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The Seward Range 7/22/2017

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  • The Seward Range 7/22/2017

    Hello all!
    Wife and I are planning on Seward range 7/22/2017 and need to ping my friends on ideas/suggestions:
    We have two areas left on our 46 journey, the Seward range, and a traverse of Haystack, Basin, Saddleback on Columbus day weekend. We wanted to save Haystack/Basin/Saddle to we can enjoy JBL (first time there, celebrate a little, etc)
    The last three hikes we did this year we all 12 hours days (not to say we mind this, more that we are accustomed to it) Marshall, Allen then the Santononi’s. We prefer to sleep in car, roll our at 4am and get moving…we like to be done at around dinner time….and would rather do the headlamps at beginning of trek as oppose to the end.
    When we did the Santononi’s (this past weekend) we went this route (TY to Trailboss on suggestions read)
    Hiked up via Express, hit santononi, then panther, then Couch. During that traverse I’d say my legs did fine, and didn’t “bonk” until the last ascent back up to TS/HS. When I say bonk, I mean my legs get a way where each step up has a strong burn, I can’t do one leg per step, more like one leg up, push up, second leg level with first leg, then repeat…very slow goings. We started at 4:50am and were back to Car at about 5:10pm. It rained the entire time, until we got to car (then sun came out)
    Back to Seward Range questions….
    Originally we were going to backpack in, stay at lean to day 1, Day 2 hit the 3 peaks, Day 3 hit Seymour then head out. Then we decided not to hike in with full packs, but break the range into two trips (We live in RI). Lastly I read there are two ways to get to the range (one being blueberry, but other coming from Caulkins Brook up to Donaldson). This got my wheels spinning on a possible loop, or something similar to the “square” loop on santononi.
    I’m wondering if we can do the whole range again now? I was thinking hike up through Calkins trail, Donaldson, Emmons, Seward…then go over seward and down. When down we have option of bailing out and continuing decent back to car…or doing and up and back of Seymour then back to car. This way, give us the option of doing all…….or sticking to plan of coming back for Seymour. But…going up and over Seymour does that increase our distance, etc back to care whereas we would be better doing Donaldson, Emmons, Donaldson, sewared, Donaldson, back down, etc…
    Seems like many options (I also heard there was adjustment to blueberry trail). I guess one of my main concerns is I don’t want to “bonk”…and based on Santononi..I have a ascent limit of about 4 (although I did dix range without bonking last year.
    Questions, comments? Sorry for the babble but I like to give a full picture…..

    Brimmy

  • #2
    They're going to be wet, so they might be slower going. If you're planning all 4 in a day, that seems well over your "bonking" mark, in fact just the three Sewards minus Seymour are comparable to the Santas.

    I would suggest climbing the three out and back via Calkins Brook, it's the best approach. Then climb Seymour on its own. Both hikes are more reasonable!
    ADK 46/46W, Grid 232/552
    Photos & Stuff

    Comment


    • moosebeware
      moosebeware commented
      Editing a comment
      I completely agree with you, Sean. The Sewards are rugged and slow going, even more so than the Santas, IMHO.

      Bonking is usually a food issue...not sure what your eating schedule is/what you eat/drink, but that is something to consider. Lots of great hiking nutrition knowledge on this forum if you are curious...

  • #3
    I also agree with the previous comments. Four Sewards require a substantially greater effort than three Santas. Nevertheless, if you do consider the option, I suggest that you approach via Calkins and climb Emmons, Donaldson and Seward in that order. Depending on how you feel on top of Seward you can then decide whether or not to add Seymour and continue your descent down the north side of Seward, or turn back and return via Calkins, leaving Seymour as the orphan.

    Comment


    • #4
      I did all 4 last week (Seymour on Weds, camped and did the Seward's on Thursday). From Ward Brook out and back to S,D, E via the herd path is about 12 mountains. SDE is a much longer day than I had been expecting (9 hours for 9 mile RT from Blueberry LT). Lots of mud and bugs and steeps.

      Hiking alone, I usually cover ground pretty quickly, but I was averaging under 1 mph up in the range last week. Going downhill was no faster than going uphill. It's not a good place to run. All 4 in one day is doable, but preferably in drier conditions. Rock hopping or otherwise pulling your feet out of deep mud both stress different muscles and burn more calories. Seymour has a section with about 1200 feet of elevation gain in about 0.6 miles. Seward and the others have some steeps too. The bugs really get energized when you are using both hands to get through a steep section. FYI, Deet works wonders against the mosquitoes, but seems to be just a tasty marinade for the flies.

      At least if you do a loop starting with Calkins Brook, you don't have to go over the sub peaks of Seward twice.

      "Orphans" should never be considered a problem, but I'd do Emmons and leave Seymour for another day if the choice is one or the other.

      Did I mention mud and bugs?

      Comment


      • #5
        My boys and I are planning to be in the Sewards this weekend. We've done Seymour. We plan on hiking in Saturday, camping, dropping our packs, do the three summits then back down. Grab our gear and hike out. Any suggestions on a route are welcome.
        The mountains are calling and I must go.

        John Muir

        Or maybe I'll just let that go to voicemail...

        John Moore

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by JMoore View Post
          My boys and I are planning to be in the Sewards this weekend. We've done Seymour. We plan on hiking in Saturday, camping, dropping our packs, do the three summits then back down. Grab our gear and hike out. Any suggestions on a route are welcome.

          My suggestion would be to camp at the designated site near the Blueberry Horse Trail/Calkins Truck Trail junction, and climb SDE out and back via the Calkins Brook approach. This site is about 30 minutes from the trailhead so not much difference between camping vs dayhike. You may be tempted to hike these as a loop using the Seward north approach but IMO, this adds mileage, effort and tedium.

          Comment


          • #7
            Brimstone and JMoore: I suggest setting up base camp at Ward Brook. The Sewards are a long day than you would expect as North Shore stated. They will be wet and muddy. Seymour is an easy half day hike from WB camp.
            I've done all of the different combinations of approaches and one time did all four in a day. When I did the one day-er it was dry and still took 12 hours which is moving pretty fast. The current wet conditions will slow that considerably. The best option for regular folk in these conditions is two days for all four.

            Comment


            • #8
              Thanks guys for the feedback! Hopefully this weekend will be dry, but that's always just a hope in the ADK.
              The mountains are calling and I must go.

              John Muir

              Or maybe I'll just let that go to voicemail...

              John Moore

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by Thomas View Post


                My suggestion would be to camp at the designated site near the Blueberry Horse Trail/Calkins Truck Trail junction, and climb SDE out and back via the Calkins Brook approach. This site is about 30 minutes from the trailhead so not much difference between camping vs dayhike. You may be tempted to hike these as a loop using the Seward north approach but IMO, this adds mileage, effort and tedium.
                I've been doing some reading and this does sound like a good route. Have you found a map that shows the location of this campsite? The last time I did Seymore it was winter and difficult at best to see trails, campsites, etc. It sounds like the cairn for the Calkins brook is fairly well defined? How about the trail going up that way?
                The mountains are calling and I must go.

                John Muir

                Or maybe I'll just let that go to voicemail...

                John Moore

                Comment


                • #10
                  https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#....1845!-74.2412


                  ​There are over ten thousand registered 46ers; all trails leading to the 46 peaks are well defined.
                  Looking for Views!

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Trail Boss View Post
                    https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#....1845!-74.2412


                    ​There are over ten thousand registered 46ers; all trails leading to the 46 peaks are well defined.

                    Trail Boss to the rescue, Thanks man! This does look like a good route for us. Fingers crossed for good weather this weekend. Hopefully, we'll bad #41-43. Close!
                    The mountains are calling and I must go.

                    John Muir

                    Or maybe I'll just let that go to voicemail...

                    John Moore

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      FWIW - I found this trail report with great pictures of the Calkins route

                      https://alavigne.net/Outdoors/ImageG...Sewards/?n=2#_
                      The mountains are calling and I must go.

                      John Muir

                      Or maybe I'll just let that go to voicemail...

                      John Moore

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        JMoore, how'd it go? I'm going this weekend and trying to decide whether to approach DES from the west via Calkins Brook as suggested by Thomas, or from the north out-and-back from Ward Brook as suggested by NorthShore.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Had a lovely two-day expedition in the Sewards this weekend; I decided to avoid the north side of Seward.
                          https://davidkotz.org/2017/07/29/seward-range/



                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by dfkotz View Post
                            Had a lovely two-day expedition in the Sewards this weekend; I decided to avoid the north side of Seward.
                            https://davidkotz.org/2017/07/29/seward-range/
                            There's a misconception and bad practice your trip report promulgates.
                            "They leave 'herd paths' – unofficial, unmarked, unmaintained trails from the marked trail to the summits. With heavy traffic, and some informal maintenance by a few kind souls, these paths are as easy to follow"
                            This is a misconception. The so-called "trailless" peaks haven't been trailless for decades. They used to have true herd-paths, often multiple braided paths converging on the summit, but they were consolidated back in the 90's into officially-accepted primary routes to a summit. Most are recognized as official trails that, by design, are left unmarked and only receive a modest amount of maintenance (only enough to prevent the establishment of new braided paths). The idea is to provide some semblance of an old-time herd-path (albeit with some maintenance). A long time ago, these trails were not depicted on maps but virtually all modern maps show them.
                            https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#....1637!-74.1795

                            ​If you return in autumn or winter, you may discover "these paths are as easy to follow" isn't necessarily accurate.

                            "every flat section was a pit of mud, requiring a nimble dance to hop along the sides or firm spots to avoid wet feet"
                            This is a bad practice. Please don't do this because it contributes to the trail's destruction. You are engaging in trail-widening which is a pervasive problem in the High Peaks. In fact, most trails look the way they do (broad muddy wallows with scoured sides) because hikers avoid walking through wet and/or muddy areas.

                            I'm closing in on my tenth round and can assure you that my hiking poles often find some kind of 'stepping stones' across the muck. Very often, there are stones, logs, branches, or firm spots within the mud (visible or just beneath the surface) that permit crossing it without much drama (aside from muddy footwear). Worst case, I use my poles to 'pole-vault' myself across the mud. In addition, it's currently summer, a time when having wet footwear isn't a significant liability.

                            Aspiring 46ers who damage trails (and engage in other destructive practices like carving symbols into trees) need to do some soul-searching. In their quest for a patch, they're leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Every wayward footstep adds to the cumulative damage. Since the completion of my first round in 2010, almost 3000 new 46ers have been registered, and I clearly notice the increased damage to trails, predominately due to trail-widening. All hikers (especially 46ers) should invest a little extra effort to protect the place they've come to appreciate.
                            Looking for Views!

                            Comment

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