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HaBaSaGo from The Garden - 10/3/17

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  • HaBaSaGo from The Garden - 10/3/17

    I couldn't let the beautiful forecast slide by without trying to get a few more peaks in. The trails were in great shape and remarkably dry. In fact, I'll mention right now that the water sources between Haystack & Basin were just barely a trickle. I suspect they may dry up in another day or two without any rain.

    Dry trails made for good time. I headed for Haystack first from The Garden. Then on to Basin. I really like the section of narrow trail up Basin where the shallow soil is worn away to smooth bedrock. I can't get the "yellow brick road" out of my head whenever I hike it. Once on the range, all the trail sections ascending as I headed northeast were dry, while the trail sections descending were still mostly damp. Those damp steep descents do slow things down a bit.

    I'm always surprised at how quick and short the actual ascent is up Saddleback from the Basin-Saddleback col. As I climbed up Gothics, I wondered why they placed to cables on that section of trail, as they really don't seem necessary. Perhaps I would think differently if the rock was wet, but still surprised that the cables are there.

    I descended to Johns Brook Lodge via the Orebed Brook trail, and jogged steadily from JBL back to The Garden, determined to better my hiking time into JBL. I took a good fall that resulted in a bruised rib and a sprained thumb. I don't know about the rest of you, but I always laugh out loud at myself after moments like that. I'm just glad nobody was there to see it, particularly the part where I laugh at myself. I moved a little slower after that, but still managed to better my time in by 1 minute. Still, I thought I would have been quite a bit faster than that on my way out.

    I had the hike at 19.8 miles (from the distances marked on my Topo! software map), and the elevation gain at 6,100 feet (using the route tool on the Topo! software). While the route tool will also calculate distance, I find that it's not terribly accurate.

    I only went through 2 liters of water and 3 granola bars for the whole hike, which sort of surprised me. I think I'm getting better at this body fat for fuel thing. I typically eat and drink quite a bit more.

    I only have Allen & Marshall left for my 10th round, and I'm planning to hit them both in the same trip (overnight or day trip yet to be decided) with a visit to Hanging Spear Falls, which I have never visited before.

    46R #4772W

  • #2
    Sounds like an excellent day in ideal conditions!
    I believe that the cables going up Gothics are there to help people stay on the trail and off of the fragile alpine vegetation, and not as much about assisting hikers with difficult footing. I get the impression that a lot of folks find climbing on open rock a bit intimidating and were starting to use the vegetation for hand holds.

    I climbed Allen and Marshall a few years ago as part of an overnight trip and definitely recommend the visit to Hanging Spear Falls. If you camp, there are a few good options. You could start on the East River Trail, cache the overnight pack and bear can near the junction with the Allen herd path and carry a small summit pack up to the peak and back. Then continue north towards Flowed Lands and camp at either the designated site 1 mile up, or at one of the lean-tos or tent areas near Flowed Lands. For the hike to Marshall, cache overnight gear near the Herbert Brook lean-to and use the summit pack again for the hike. After that, it's a lovely walk out on the Calamity Brook trail to Upper Works, with a fairly short road walk back to the car.
    We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige


    • #3
      Thank you debmonster. I knew that someone would know the logic behind the cables. It makes sense now. Your itinerary is along the lines of what I was thinking. Now I just need to wait for some rain so the falls won't disappoint!
      46R #4772W


      • #4
        For what it's worth, one of my worst fall/slips in the ADKs was going down that trail on Gothics. It was raining and I slid quite a few feet before being able to arrest myself. I was on a lake road/upper range/Loj traverse, and was pretty rattled for at least the next couple of mountains. I'm not sure if I was careless or the the rock there was slippery or a combination. But I agree, the cables aren't really necessary as long as people aren't intimidated by bare rock.


        • debmonster
          debmonster commented
          Editing a comment
          That does sound nerve wracking. I've been on the cable section in wet weather, but it was ascending Gothics, so I think that it would be tougher on the descent.