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  • Idea for a big hike

    so i started my quest to be a 46’r last summer because I had just turned 46. Now that this is my 47th summer, I’ve thought of a trip and I want your opinions and knowledge.

    It starts with Dial, Nippletop, Colvin and Blake. That’s the “4”. Instead of returning back over Colvin, I hang a left, down the Elevator Shaft. I use the Bartlett Ridge Trail and hike up the backside of Haystack. I then traverse the Great Range all the way to LWJ “7” and return to my vehicle.

    So my 4 + 7 hike. Obviously not a day hike, I’d spend a night or two. So what’d ya think?

  • #2
    Do it. Back side of Haystack may have been the most difficult trail I've been on in the ADK's.

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    • #3
      Sounds like an epic trip!

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      • #4
        Haystack with a full pack is quite interesting...lol.
        Panther Gorge is lovely and often devoid of others.
        John's Brook will feel great on your feet, boots and all, or just lay in it, I have, after the Range, on a hot summer day.

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        • #5
          I know you are not built for speed, but consider doing this in a day. Otherwise, pack VERY light, or you might end up hating your pack when you get done.

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          • SIAWOL
            SIAWOL commented
            Editing a comment
            that's like 26 miles and 11.5K of ascent, with some pretty gnarly descents for good measure. A day?

          • tcd
            tcd commented
            Editing a comment
            Sure. Plenty of people can. But obviously it's a choice based on your expected pace. My knees are a little worn these days, but I think I would still choose to day hike this. But if I chose to overnight, I'd want to pack ultra light.

            Google up some "lightpacking" and "fastpacking" websites for ideas. If you can find it, look up what Drew carried for his unsupported 60.5 hour NPT some years back. I think his "pack" weighed about 8 lbs.

        • #6
          That sounds like a fun hike, full pack and all. Wish I could cross the border to join you!

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          • #7
            Hmmm....my first day ever spent in the ADKs was up Colvin, down the elevator shaft, and up Bartlett Ridge, then a split onto/up Haystack Brook, with a night at Sno Bird. I was 29 years old at the time. We started around 11 a.m., and it was just getting dark by the time we got to Sno Bird. Full packs on that hike.

            I've gone up Haystack via Bartlett Ridge - Haystack Trail (steep freaking trail!) twice. Once after camping at Panther Gorge, then a loop to Marcy and back with a light load, but with much snow (early May, 2005). The other time was with a full load. Drove up from PA, parked at Elk Lake, hiked in at night and camped along Pinnacle Ridge, then up and over Haystack to Sno Bird the next day. We spent 2 or 3 hours on Haystack, but it was still a big day. I was 31 at the time of that trip.

            I'm 45 now, and I can't believe some of the hikes I did when I was younger. I personally wouldn't try what you are proposing. I'm a bit overweight, but I run fairly regularly, just finished my 46, and I still wouldn't try it!

            I did just the Dial/NT loop from Roaring Brook Falls (where I was camped) two years ago, with a daypack, when I was still in pretty good shape, and that was a full day.

            I'm a believer in the hike your own hike kind of deal, but what you mentioned would be a total suffer-fest with a full pack, IMO.

            I realize you probably have an urge to try to knock off peaks as quickly as possible, but don't make it painful for yourself! If I wasn't close to your age I'd say go for it! However, as I've aged and gotten to know the terrain much better, I allot 1 mile per hour on any kind of hike that involves a few thousand feet of elevation gain...and that's with a daypack. That allows me to go slow on the ascents if I need to do so, and plenty of time on the summits to enjoy the view from what I just climbed.

            Your stamina or speed might be much better than my own, but I don't want to see someone get into something that makes them angry/hateful/injured while they are hiking. If you want to sock out all of those peaks on one trip...set up camp at one of the sites along Gill Brook. Hike up Elk Pass and back to get Dial and NT. The next day hike Colvin, drop pack in the col, hike Blake. Then, down the elevator shaft and up to either Panther Gorge or Sno Bird and camp again. Depending where you camp, hit the rest of the range from there accordingly. Note, hiking the whole range with a full pack will not be fun either. I've been up the Saddleback ledges three times with a full pack...the last time in the rain and fog, and my pack almost pulled me off the mountain, and I'm a decent scrambler. It was the weight on my back that screwed up my center of gravity and made it difficult. Actually, just typing that made me think that a traverse to the east over the range from either Panther Gorge or Sno Bird would be an all day affair with a full pack...literally all day...like 12-18 hours.

            I'm really not trying to be a downer, but full packs over these peaks are not fun, and it will take you much longer than you think! I've done it, and several years ago I vowed to never do it again.

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            • #8
              If I did it, and I have, I would not do it as a day hike. The damage you'll do to your knees you will pay for in the future and why rush? Just putt and enjoy the mountains and all they are.

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              • #9
                Sounds like a very strenuous route, unless your overnight pack is very light and compact, I would not do it as a backpacking trip. But some people can get away with a very small and light overnight pack in the summer; hopefully you're one of them!

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                • #10
                  I appreciate all the replies! The thing that kills my pack weight is the bear barrel. I’m building up my hikes. I plan on doing Santanoni Range and Sewards before I try anything like this. I am comfortable carrying a bit more weight as I am larger than average.

                  Mbowler- this will probably be in August. Maybe the border will be open then.

                  Comment


                  • debmonster
                    debmonster commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Consider buying or renting the Bare Boxer bear canister. It's just big enough to hold 2-3 days worth of food, trash, toiletries etc. and weighs 1.6 lbs. It's like a mini Garcia and is definitely bear proof! https://www.bareboxer.com/

                  • moosebeware
                    moosebeware commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Second the Bare Boxer. Perfect size for a weekend trip.

                • #11
                  I could not do a great range traverse in a day so for the fun of it I "planned" on how I could do it.

                  The idea was to hike to Snow Bird and crash there. I have a 40 liter day pack. I would add my small sleeping pad and goretex bivy sack and extra food that I would eat without cooking. I would have to buy a new down sleeping bag rated to 40 degrees and sleep in my clothes. I would just put down my pad and lay out all night. If I had good weather it could be nice but a rain storm would make it miserable.

                  I also would have gotten one of those GPS devices so I could signal for help.

                  At 58 I just worry about exhaustion and dehydration and heart health. If there is a problem you are far from home. The rangers will have to mount and expedition to get you.

                  Oh and hiking shoes! Leave the boots home!
                  Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
                  ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

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                  • #12
                    No boots, huh? Maybe my Keen Arroyo hiking sandals. I’ve thought about trying a hike with them. Maybe with Super short socks to prevent blisters.

                    Edited out the ridiculous part about wearing shoe liners. I love my Darn Tough socks I just felt funny about wearing socks with sandals. But then I realized I’m definitely wearing cushioned socks on all hikes.

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                    • Bunchberry
                      Bunchberry commented
                      Editing a comment
                      No silly I meant buy some hiking shoes. They are much lighter than boots.

                  • #13
                    Originally posted by Not_Built_For_Speed View Post
                    No boots, huh? Maybe my Keen Arroyo hiking sandals. I’ve thought about trying a hike with them. Maybe with ankle length “nylons” to prevent blisters.
                    I would try those sandals elsewhere first before attempting the fore mentioned hike..

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                    • #14
                      Climbing Bear Den next weekend, maybe I’ll try them on that hike.

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                      • Old Hunter
                        Old Hunter commented
                        Editing a comment
                        take shoes with you...lol

                    • #15
                      Sandals? Like the ones I slip on to take my kitchen trash out the side door to my garbage can in the driveway? Lol. Fugghedaboutit!
                      Catskills: 39/39, 35W/35W
                      ADK: 46/46

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