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  • Looking for input on my "46er finish trip"

    Hey All.

    I'm currently planning what I hope is my "46er finish trip". I always get good information and advice from everybody's posts here. So now I'm asking for any and all input the forum is willing to provide in an attempt to make my trip as successful as possible. When I first started this journey many years ago in 1994 I would just randomly choose mountains to climb without thinking about if that was efficiently tackling my end goal of finishing all 46 high peaks someday. But recently, in the last three years, as I've had the opportunity to restart my quest to finish the 46 high peaks with focused planning, I've systematically been crossing off mountains (23 peaks since Sept '16) with the intent of finally coming to this hike. I'm currently at 38/46 and the peaks I have yet to complete are Basin, Cliff, Gothics, Gray, Haystack, Saddleback, Skylight, Redfield. I always envisioned my 46 finish to be memorable, of course, but also multi-day in nature. I wanted to totally immerse myself in the Adirondacks, at least for a couple of days, and during this hike I wanted to see everything I've always heard about in the Adirondack High Peaks folklore: Panther Gorge, Saddleback's cliffs, the "spiral rock" near Gray Peak, the towline up Gothic's steep western face. This hike would also be a chance to pass thru some of my favorite places in the Adirondacks like Avalanche Pass/Lake Colden area (sidenote: one of my sons is named Colden).

    For this hike there is a chance I can convince a buddy of mine (who is already a 46er) to come along but I almost always hike alone so my current plan is to do a big loop from South Meadow as a solo hiker. Here is my working plan as of now.
    Day 1-Arrive to South Meadow and Camp
    Day 2-Take the Marcy Truck Trail into Lake Colden Dam>Opalescent>Redfield>Cliff>Gray>Skylight>Camp Overnight in Panther Gorge
    Day 3-Hike up the back side of Haystack>Basin>Saddleback>Gothics>Orebed Brook Trail>Klondike Notch Trail to South Meadow.

    Some general background information:
    I'm a hammock camper but I plan to camp at the designated lean-to locations along the route
    I will be using my Osprey Exo's 58 (total weight with food and water is just under 30 lbs)

    To gauge my fitness level my last three Adirondack hikes are listed below:
    Allen Mountain (Early March-9:25min roundtrip)
    Nipple Dial Counter Clockwise Loop (Mid March-6:40min roundtrip)
    Santanoni Range Counter Clockwise Loop (Early July-9:08min roundtrip)

    Question one: Does it make sense to do Cliff before Redfield for any reason? Does it make sense to drop full pack and just take day packs up each of these peaks?

    Question two: Is about available water between Panther Gorge and Orebed Brook trail. Is it safe to assume that the water I leave Panther Gorge with is the water I'll have until almost JBL?

    Question three: Please comment on the conditions of the campgrounds along my proposed route. I've heard that Uphill Lean to is kind of a dump? The camping locations that I'm aware of along the route are Marcy Dam, Flowed Lands/Colden Dam, Uphill, Feldspar, Panther Gorge, Snobird, Orebed Brook, and Klondike Notch. Am I missing anything? Which camping/lean-to's are the nicest/worst, reason?

    I'll have some more questions for sure but this should get at least a little conversation started. Thanks in advance for any advice or helpful tips.
    Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul!

  • #2
    Appropriate topic for your 46th post

    Originally posted by lemonhead24 View Post

    For this hike there is a chance I can convince a buddy of mine (who is already a 46er) to come along but I almost always hike alone so my current plan is to do a big loop from South Meadow as a solo hiker. Here is my working plan as of now.
    Day 1-Arrive to South Meadow and Camp
    Day 2-Take the Marcy Truck Trail into Lake Colden Dam>Opalescent>Redfield>Cliff>Gray>Skylight>Camp Overnight in Panther Gorge
    Day 3-Hike up the back side of Haystack>Basin>Saddleback>Gothics>Orebed Brook Trail>Klondike Notch Trail to South Meadow.
    Sounds like a great itinerary. If you can make it back to Lake Colden (or at least Avalanche Camp) on Day 1, that will save some effort on Day 2. Seems like you're fit enough to manage Day 2 as planned, but it's still a decent sized day and you'll be carrying your full pack for about 3000' of ascent not including peaks.

    Originally posted by lemonhead24 View Post
    Some general background information:
    I'm a hammock camper but I plan to camp at the designated lean-to locations along the route
    I will be using my Opsrey Exo's 58 (total weight with food and water is just under 30 lbs)
    Will you be hammocking or lean-to camping? Lean-to locations typically have designated sites nearby, but the immediate vicinity of the lean-to is off-limits to other campers. You can also still camp "at large" for 2019, so long as observing applicable regulations (distance from trail, water, elevation, etc.). Next year things change.



    Originally posted by lemonhead24 View Post
    Question one: Does it make sense to do Cliff before Redfield for any reason? Does it make sense to drop full pack and just take day packs up each of these peaks?
    Cliff is muddier. Don't know if that is a factor for you. I would definitely prefer to not haul the full pack to any of the peaks on Day 2 (that's over 5500 feet of ascent as planned), but opinions vary.

    Originally posted by lemonhead24 View Post
    Question two: Is about available water between Panther Gorge and Orebed Brook trail. Is it safe to assume that the water I leave Panther Brook with is the water I'll have until almost JBL?
    You should be able to get water near Sno-Bird campsite between haystack and basin. Not 100% guaranteed in dry years but it's pretty reliable.


    Originally posted by lemonhead24 View Post
    Question three: Please comment on the conditions of the campgrounds along my proposed route. I've heard that Uphill Lean to is kind of a dump? The camping locations that I'm aware of along the route are Marcy Dam, Flowed Lands/Colden Dam, Uphill, Feldspar, Panther Gorge, Snobird, Orebed Brook, and Klondike Notch. Am I missing anything? Which camping/lean-to's are the nicest/worst, reason?
    Uphill is notorious for rodents. All of the areas (save maybe Sno-Bird and Klondike) have a relatively high incidence of bear encounters.

    Comment


    • #3
      Ha! Nice Catch on the 46th post, FoulHooked.

      Making it to Lake Colden for Night 1 is a possibility and would make the other days easier for sure.

      I will be using my hammock rig but I plan to sling up near the lean to locations along the way (minus sno-bird, don't think there would be trees big enough to string a hammock rig)

      I know Cliff is supposed to be a mud pit so I was considering dropping pack at the junction and doing Cliff first with gaitors on. Then I could take those off and clean up on my way up Uphill Brook to Redfield. Any good swimming holes etc on the way to Redfield?

      Looking at topo maps I was wondering if water might be available near sno-bird. Can anyone else verify the existence of filterable water in that stretch of trail between Haystack and Basin?
      Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul!

      Comment


      • #4
        Funny you should ask about swimming holes on Uphill Brook going up Redfield. I'm a swimming hole lover, especially secluded ones! Here's a fun one that will be our little secret (ha,ha...). I always noticed looking out from Cliff that the Uphill Brook valley on Redfield had a large, open rock section that I assumed was nice and secluded and I wanted to see in person. I went there once and it was as expected - a wide bedrock stretch of Uphill Brook that you could scramble up, perhaps 150 feet long...and at the open rock section's base was a deep swimming hole you could dive into. It was about 10-15 minutes out of the way on the hike up Redfield but a fun side trip if you have the time. I've been there often as it is also on route to visit Moss Pond (NY state's highest true bog and a must visit for true bog lovers!). To find it you need to know the herd trail a bit. About 35 minutes up Uphill Brook and maybe 10 or 15 minutes above the Uphill Brook viewing spot on top of the waterfall, the herd trail angles off the brook (to the right of the brook) a bit and eventually comes onto a tributary of Uphill Brook (sometimes dry). In the old days the herd trail actually stayed on Uphill until the spot where the tributary joins Uphill Brook. Anyway, once the trail enters the tributary (where you turn right and rock hop upstream to climb Redfield), if you look down the tributary you can see where it joins Uphill Brook, 100 feet below. If you follow the tributary down to this stream junction and get back on Uphill Brook proper, turn right and follow Uphill Brook 15 minutes upstream. There is no sign of anyone else on this section of Uphill Brook...I suggest it be done on the way down if time allows...

        Comment


        • #5
          You're plan looks more than doable. As far as mud, I stopped listening to people warning me about mud. Seems like it's always exaggerated, or they have a lower tolerance for it than I do.

          You're gonna get slowed down a bit on the south side of Haystack. That's been the toughest trail that I've been on in the 'daks.

          I stayed at uphill a few weeks ago, and didn't see any rodents at all besides one friendly pine marten. Granted, I was at the tent site, not the lean to.

          Looks like an awesome way to finish your quest!!! Enjoy.
          39/46 (33 solo)
          12/12 solo 12'ster #382
          4/12 W solo

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tumbleweed View Post
            You're plan looks more than doable. As far as mud, I stopped listening to people warning me about mud. Seems like it's always exaggerated, or they have a lower tolerance for it than I do.
            I hear you there. I did Santa Range a couple of weeks ago and although I think I caught it at a pretty good time is wasn't nearly as muddy as I was expecting. I actually enjoyed the stretch of trail between Herald Sq and Couchie and I've heard people bitch and moan about that stretch of trail for years.

            You're gonna get slowed down a bit on the south side of Haystack. That's been the toughest trail that I've been on in the 'daks.
            This stretch of trail has me slightly worried I must admit. I have an older 30 year old copy of the ADK High Peaks Region trail book and it reads "It is strongly recommended that backpackers not attempt this trail even though it is part of a seemingly attractive loop trip taking in the lean-to and campsites at Panther Gorge. It is unremittingly steep with numerous small ledges posing danger of a serious fall-especially for less experienced backpackers".

            Does my almost 30 years of backpacking experience qualify me for this trail?

            Looks like an awesome way to finish your quest!!! Enjoy.
            Yeah, I'm really looking forward to this trip.

            Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul!

            Comment


            • Earthworm
              Earthworm commented
              Editing a comment
              South side of Hay is tough but the views are totally worth it and it sounds like it will be your first climb of the day so you will be fresh. Just take your time and enjoy it.

            • tumbleweed
              tumbleweed commented
              Editing a comment
              I remember reading that passage about that trail (after I did it, LOL). . If I were going down it with a full pack, I'd be sure to bring a rope to lower my pack down in some spots. I think I remember tossing my daypack down a few times. I'm sure everything will work out. Look forward to the TR.

          • #7
            Can anybody comment on the existence/non-existence of filterable water on the stretch of State Range trail between Haystack and the Orebed Brook trail?

            Also, how is the Klondike Notch trail looking now? It must be seeing increased traffic this summer due to the disruptions at the garden trailhead.
            Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul!

            Comment

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