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  • Saddleback and Basin?

    So I want to do Saddleback and Basin for my next climb and I was wondering the best way to go. It looks like from the Garden would be the simplest approach or I could be way off here. Thanks

  • #2
    Keep in mind the Garden parking lot is closed and you'll have to take the shuttle from Marcy Field. So plan accordingly with timing to hit the last shuttle out.
    Most years, yes from the Garden would be the easiest route. You could do it from St. Hubert, but means more miles and going up and over Pyramid Peak (although, not exactly a route with bad views). Going from the Loj is going to make for one long day.
    ADK 46er #9204, 9/46 W

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    • #3
      Thanks someone had probably already posted the hours for the shuttle but I wonder when the last shuttle leaves

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      • PA Ridgerunner
        PA Ridgerunner commented
        Editing a comment
        I drive the shuttle a couple days a week. The last shuttle leaves the Garden at 7pm. If you are arriving at Marcy Field to get a late shuttle to the Garden, best to be there no later than 6:30.

    • #4
      Yes, the Garden is the only real approach for these two. Itís a hard hike, particularly Basin. FYI Shoreyís isnít really a shortcut, itís just shorter than going to Haystack first.
      ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 271/552
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      • #5
        Thanks yeah I have heard Basin is tough how steep does it get?

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        • #6
          Originally posted by Rmxfiles View Post
          Thanks yeah I have heard Basin is tough how steep does it get?
          Steep enough that there are ladders.

          Have you done a lot of other hiking up here? What have been your hardest ones? (And how long did they take?)
          ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 271/552
          Photos & Stuff

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          • #7
            I just did Marcy last Friday and it took abt 7 and half hours round trip I have also done Gothics I canít remember how long it took but I didnít think it was to bad. I have done most of the easier 46ers and a just Trying to branch out to harder ones

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            • #8
              So I was researching more abt this hike and people were saying itís better to hike basin first and then I to saddleback I was just wondering what if there is any advantage to doing it this way. The pictures I saw of saddlebacks cliffs looked scary how bad are they or is it just taking your time to chose the right place to pace your hands and feet. Do you need anything experience in rock climbing for this?

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            • #9
              Originally posted by Rmxfiles View Post
              So I was researching more abt this hike and people were saying itís better to hike basin first and then I to saddleback I was just wondering what if there is any advantage to doing it this way. The pictures I saw of saddlebacks cliffs looked scary how bad are they or is it just taking your time to chose the right place to pace your hands and feet. Do you need anything experience in rock climbing for this?
              Well FYI this is much harder than Marcy, so my advice is to get the earliest shuttle you can. These two summits and Haystack are the most impacted by the Garden parking being closed because they take so long to get to.

              Anyway, yes Basin first. This way you're practically done when you get to the top of Saddleback. If you do them in reverse, you have a steep and tricky descent of Basin plus additional climbing to get over Shorey's "shortcut", also you're at the farthest point of your hike.

              Saddleback's cliffs do not require rock climbing or rock shoes, and are as intimidating as they are because they are exposed. There are many posts about them here on the forum with good information.

              ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 271/552
              Photos & Stuff

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              • #10
                I haven't been to marcy in 2 years unfortunately, but I was just through habasa this last weekend, and the ascent up Basin seemed significantly steeper and tougher than the Van Ho up to Marcy.
                With the shuttle the only way in or out to the Garden we camped near jbl for Saturday night to have the 2 days, so into area Saturday at 7am and out sunday afternoon. I am sure many people can still do basin and saddleback as a moving dayhike and make the shuttle back out by 7pm, but I wanted to enjoy my time in that valley for my first time there so did 2 days.
                I went out to haystack then to basin then saddleback, Basin's ascent from the col was long tough steep (fun scrambles), and when I got to the base of the "cliffs" of saddleback I was pretty tired already (4 mile fullpack the morning of dayhike always drains a bit out of me), I regrouped at the base of saddleback and being solo and tired and still over 200lbs, that first move was tricky for me, and I had to jump back down the first attempt, gather myself and got it the second time. The rest of the moves seemed much easier, and overall that section was really fun. I wouldn't like to go down that section, especially solo. I was wearing my barely broke-in trail runners and the grip was great, definitely don't need approach or rock shoes. I would say it's kind of like any other hard scramble in an adk trail, maybe with bigger significance with less forgiveness, and needing more thought for hand and foot placement.
                Ore Bed trail out to jbl is fast, if doing it as dayhike you can make time in that section, I was jogging back down a bunch when I wasn't wondering how a trike would be so much quicker to get down that slide as opposed to running down all those stairs. Jbl out to garden can probably make good time too with day pack if rushing for the shuttle.
                35er #3133
                46er

                "The Kingdom of Heaven is not a place, but a state of mind."
                John Burroughs

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                • #11
                  Yeah I knew it would be harder then Marcy and how concerned she be I for Basin? Is it a lot harder then saddleback?

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                  • #12
                    they seemed to be different beasts to me. I would say that after the approach to the range trail, basin is tougher and harder than saddleback, as the elevation gain from their respective cols is significantly more for basin than for saddleback, and the ascent seemed long and demanding with scrambles throughout. Saddleback was just one long scramble that took care of the entire ele gain from the col in one shot. while I thought basin's ascent was tough, it s actual scrambles seemed like the usual tough adk scrambles. while some ledges are high and the falls could be significant, none of them seemed as limb endangering as saddlebacks.
                    35er #3133
                    46er

                    "The Kingdom of Heaven is not a place, but a state of mind."
                    John Burroughs

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                    • #13
                      Basin and Saddleback from the Garden (ascending Basin first via Shorey's) is 17 miles and 4,100 vertical feet of climbing. (Marcy is 14.6 miles and 3,400 vertical.) However, almost all of the vertical feet is getting to Basin, like bikerhiker said the actual climbing to Saddleback is short & sweet.

                      I mean, certain 4-year-olds can do it, but be warned that it is not nicely groomed or gradual like the Van Hoevenberg to Mt. Marcy.
                      ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 271/552
                      Photos & Stuff

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                      • #14
                        Each peak provides its own challenges. Saddleback is famous, or infamous due solely to its exposure. There's tougher scrambles all over the ADK, but this one just happens to be wide open the whole way up (or down). As you can see in the link I posted above, its really not a cliff. Its just a series of slabs and ledges. The rock is grippy, there's plenty of foot and hand holds, and it does not require any more vertical climbing ability than most other peaks. Don't psych yourself out by watching those dizzying YouTube videos or peoples' angle-doctored pictures online. You'll be up it in under 5 minutes unless you just take your time to enjoy the views along the way up.

                        Basin on the other hand, is steep on both sides, and tends to be perpetually wet or greasy in my experience. Again, its no more "dangerous" than most other peaks, but it does require a little more attention to what you're doing IMO. One of the reasons that you don't hear much about it is because people hear all these horror stories about Saddleback and its all they're thinking about on the hike over Basin, so they don't really appreciate the all the fun, varying terrain, views, and scrambles it has to offer.

                        Just remember than small children climb these peaks all the time without incident. As mentioned above, its the mileage and the ruggedness of the terrain that gets you on this hike. If you're in good shape, conditioned for ADK hiking, and get an early start, you can easily tag the whole HaBaSa trio in a day. Neither Basin or Saddleback is any worse than Horse Hill or Little Haystack in terms of being technical or difficult.
                        My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

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                        • #15
                          Yeah thanks for the info I definitely want to enjoy the hike and i think the comments on here have helped me to be so mentally

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