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Gothics & Armstrong 7/22/2012

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  • Gothics & Armstrong 7/22/2012

    Sorry for the delay in posting my TR! I climbed Gothics and Armstrong from the AMR side on Sunday, my first ever solo hike in the Adirondacks.

    I got going shortly after 7am and crossed the bridge at the dam around 8:20. From the top of the hill on the road to the Scenic Trail junction, I was accompanied by a college-age couple headed to Sawteeth. They said they had spoken to a DEC ranger who indicated the Scenic Trail was open despite the fire. I told them to avoid Marble Point and wished them well. I hope they made it through!

    I set off up the Weld Trail and made what seemed like pretty good time to me. I got up to the Sawteeth-Pyramid col within an hour, and was on Pyramid right around 10. I said to a friend last Friday night that there's two things I'd like to try to do every year for the rest of my life: catch a game at Fenway Park and climb Gothics. What I really meant, though, was climb Pyramid. I get the same feeling coming up onto the Pyramid summit ledge and seeing the Great Range as I get when I walk out through one of the portals at Fenway and see the Green Monster. Magical. As always, I had to spend a few minutes here.

    The more times I climb Gothics, the shorter the drop off of Pyramid and back up to the Gothics ridge seems. I really enjoy this short stretch now, compared to my earlier years when I found the drop and reclimb intimidating. I got over to the real summit at 10:25 -- two hours from the bridge, not bad! Here I encountered the first people I'd seen since the Scenic Trail turnoff: a pair of backpackers, and a pair of fellow dayhikers who headed off to Armstrong after a moment. I ate half my sandwich and hung out with the backpackers for a couple minutes, one of whom was kind enough to snap a couple pictures of me.

    When I started, I had set my turnaround time on Gothics at 11:15 for whether or not I'd go for Armstrong. Leaving Gothics at 10:50 meant I was way ahead of schedule! I had never ascended or descended Gothics in this direction, so it was nice to see a different part of my favorite mountain. I was very happy to make it down and up to Armstrong in less than half an hour. It was my first time on Armstrong in 19 years, and I liked it a lot better this time. I took a few minutes to eat the other half of my sandwich, and then headed down.

    I had remembered from my first ascent of Armstrong that there were ladders near the top of the Beaver Meadow Falls Trail, but I didn't remember that they were all in the wrong direction! Shortly after I climbed the last one, I encountered a pair of hikers who were shocked to be informed that they had four ladders to go DOWN before getting to the junction.

    The trip down from there was pretty uneventful. I think this direction is the ideal one for the loop, though someday I'd like to climb Gothics (and not just Armstrong) all the way via this trail. I had forgotten about the new slide crossing the trail shortly before the AMR boundary, and was stunned by the scale of destruction. I made it down to Beaver Meadow Falls by 1:30 and turned for home.

    A great day out the woods. Lots of clouds and sun, keeping the temperature just about right. A few muddy spots despite the drought, but most of the trails were bone dry. There were plenty of bugs around, but none of them seemed to be biting. Also, I didn't see nearly as many people on trail as I would have expected for such a beautiful weekend day. Looking forward to doing this circuit again sometime!

    Some pictures.
    46/46, 12/48, 58/115
    46-R #6866

  • #2
    I love this picture of Saddleback, Basin and Marcy from Pyramid!

    Absolutely confirms what you and GK said in my Gothics thread...thanks!