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The Wolfjaws

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  • The Wolfjaws

    Since no one else wrote a report for this hike I guess I will get us started. The turn around from Saturdays hike made getting up and going early on Sunday feel like we just went home for a nap. Surprisingly our boots dried out pretty well considering how soaked they got in the Jays on Saturday. Charlene and I met Dick and Joanne at the ADK headquarters in Lake George. We were late but they waited. Thanks. We met Doug and Jen at the Garden parking lot which was pretty empty for a weekend in summer. After a few minutes of joking about the hikes Doug has planned for Jen we started down the trail. We took the trail over to John's Brook and searched for a place to cross. After wasting some time doing so we agreed to just walk to the Ranger outpost and cross there. The brook could have been waded but not everyone was comfortable doing it so we made the group decision to go around and not waste more time looking for a place to cross. The walk in was uneventful. We crossed the bridge near the ranger outpost and once across the ranger came over to tell us not to use the bridge again. We then backtracked on the southside trail to Bennies Brook. Remnants of Tim's cairn was still there. Heading into the woods we found them to be pretty open. That is until we made a couple of mistakes on this "easy" bushwhack. First we found little evidence of a herd path so we kept the brook on our right and headed up. When the brook split we made our first mistake. Instead of keeping the brook on our right we couldn't decide which branch was the main brook so we went up between the branches. Now off course we continued on until some members of the group spotted open rock and decided this was the slide. It of course was not and walking towards it put us further off course. There might be some neat views from up on the cliffs but I had no time to explore since the rest of the group was waiting while I scouted ahead. Then it came to me! Why don't I take out the map and compass?! Well a quick look at the map and it was pretty easy to see where we were and where we needed to be. It may have been easier to descend some at this point and contour over to where we wanted to be but instead we just contoured from where we were. This had us pushing through some thicker stuff than anyone had bargained for on this "easy" bushwhack. There was some frustration until we got to a point where we could see the slide. We hit the slide just above where it breaks into two. We took a break at that point and I think we were all pleased to be out of the woods. Another group of 3 climbed up as we were having some food. We let them go ahead as they were kicking rocks loose and being below them didn't feel safe. The slide was great fun and the herd path to the Range Trail was short and easy as was the walk on trail up to Lower Wolfjaw. There were a few others on the summit. We were way behind schedule now and Doug and Jen's thoughts of going all the way to Gothics had long been abandoned. At this point the group split up. Charlene and I headed to Upper Wolfjaw while Doug and Jen started down ahead of Dick and Joanne. The trip to UWJ was pleasant. We had the summit to ourselves for a few minutes before a group of 3 arrived. After a couple of minutes the woman in the group asked me "what mountain are we on?" :shock: I really wanted to say Whiteface but didn't. So a little worried I asked where they started from. The answer "the golf course" :lol: The kicker was when they took out their 'map' which was the pamplet available at the Ausable Club showing the Lake Road and surrounding mountains. I hope they made it down ok. The bugs were few and it felt good to sit in the sun on the summit. The burn area on Noonmark/Bear Den looked very cool as all the new growth appeared bright green in contrast to the surrounding pines. Heading down was a little slower than usual due to the wetness of the trails. At the junction below Wolfjaw Notch lean-to we backtracked towards JBL in order to cross there. Crossing Ore Bed was uneventful but Charlene did dunk a foot in John's Brook. The walk out from there was also uneventful except that evening is my favorite time to be in the woods. I always wish I was camping when hiking out at that time. Doug and Jen were long gone and Dick and Joanne said they had been there about 15-20 minutes ahead of us. Great to hike with Doug, Jen, and Dick again, and nice to meet and hike with Joanne. I imagine one of these days Jen will draw the line on Doug's 'adventures' but she sure does have some great high peaks stories. I also hope we didn't scare Joanne away with our off trail wandering. Everyone seemed to stay pretty positive in spite of the frustration we all were feeling at making careless mistakes. Upper Wolfjaw was #25 of 46 for Charlene. Hopefully some pictures will follow.
    This post is for entertainment purposes only.

  • #2
    It is my sincere hope that it was not MY DIRECTIONS, that made you go astray :(. That would make 2 days in a row :shock: that you wandered aimlessly due to my backcountry ineptmness. I attempted to make it as clear as possible. I though it was pretty easy when we did it, and because we left the stream proper (of to the right and within hearing distance only) we never noticed another brook come in. We hit hit the slide way below any thick stuff.

    What a shame, in many ways the bottom of the slide it the coolest part. At least you made the top.
    "The forest is the poor man's overcoat. " Old Northeastern Proverb

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mavs00
      It is my sincere hope that it was not MY DIRECTIONS, that made you go astray :(. That would make 2 days in a row :shock: that you wandered aimlessly due to my backcountry ineptmness. I attempted to make it as clear as possible. I though it was pretty easy when we did it, and because we left the stream proper (of to the right and within hearing distance only) we never noticed another brook come in. We hit hit the slide way below any thick stuff.

      What a shame, in many ways the bottom of the slide it the coolest part. At least you made the top.
      Tim,

      Your directions were fine (I thought you did a good job on Saturday, too!). Things were pretty wet, and perhaps that other brook or branch wasn't there when you did it? The three men we met on the slide, mentioned in Rik's report (nice report, btw) apparently had no problem, though we met up with them later and one said it was his favorite slide and that this was his third climb, so they were no doubt quite familiar with the way. The cairn was exactly as it appears on the picture on your site -- a few small rocks on top of the large one, and I recognized it right away. Rik, no need to worry about Joanne. She wasn't expecting to do that much bushwhacking and was tiring at the summit (reason for not doing UWJ), but otherwise was fine with the trip.

      We walked over a mile looking for a decent crossing, but could not find one we thought looked safe, so we went back the way we came. Spent some time talking to a couple of ADK members at the ranger cabin (no one in the cabin), who we played leapfrog with on the way out. We both had a great time!

      Dick and Joanne
      "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while care will drop off like autumn leaves." John Muir

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      • #4
        Tim,
        It had nothing to do with your directions. It had everything to do with thinking we didn't have to think. If we had pulled the map and compass out sooner we would have realized what we were doing. I didn't think it was too bad but I know that it was more than people (including myself in shorts :shock: ) planned for. This also was all after we had lost time trying to find a water crossing and then going out of our way to cross. The slide was fantastic even though we didn't get to experience it from the bottom. I actually think we were pretty close to the bottom of it when we went astray.
        This post is for entertainment purposes only.

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        • #5
          I forgot to mention that Joanne took some photos and will try to post them somewhere, somehow, soon. She can also email them to those who want them. Some came out a little blurry, but there are some good ones on the slide, and of the trip members.

          Dick
          "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while care will drop off like autumn leaves." John Muir

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          • #6
            After a couple of minutes the woman in the group asked me "what mountain are we on?" I really wanted to say Whiteface but didn't.

            :lol: :lol: :lol:

            Nice report. I think it actually helped me that I had NO bushwhacking experience when I did the BB slide three weeks ago, as I was nervously staring at compass and map at least half the time until I hit the base of the slide. I think I remember the split in the brook you were talking about (at maybe 2500 feet)...if that's the right one you were indeed pretty close.

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            • #7
              I think I remember the split in the brook you were talking about (at maybe 2500 feet)...if that's the right one you were indeed pretty close.
              That's it. I could tell we were close as there seemed to be some debris in the woods above us.
              This post is for entertainment purposes only.

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              • #8
                Rik,
                Very interesting reading your TR. Now it'll be my turn to tease you.
                Maybe you should go over to VFTT and re-read a certain thread with the 7 steps to a successful hike.
                :lol: :lol:

                Actually, stuff like that can happen to anybody so don't worry about it. Just don't quit your day job. I might go and do that one again this summer or fall, but only under blue skies, if anyone is interested.

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                • #9
                  Very interesting reading your TR. Now it'll be my turn to tease you.
                  Maybe you should go over to VFTT and re-read a certain thread with the 7 steps to a successful hike.
                  Well we did find the slide and the top so it wasn't unsuccessful nor unenjoyable we just did a little extra walking. That is why we were out there! As for the teasing you know I'm into that sort of thing. :shock: Just make sure the teasing gets spread around as this was a group hike with no leader. At least not until we got off course then I did become a sort of default leader to get us back where we were suppose to be. In other words, it wasn't me that said 'those rocks over there must be the slide'.
                  This post is for entertainment purposes only.

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                  • #10
                    Of course I knew where we were all along. I was just testing the others to see what they would do. Yeah...right...
                    "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while care will drop off like autumn leaves." John Muir

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                    • #11
                      I was the one that said the infamous "those rocks look like a slide!". I enjoy wandering aimlessly in the woods like that. I ike the thought of standing were no human may have ever been. Besides--we may have discovered the "wolfjaws amphitheatre"...
                      set the gear shift for the high gear of your soul...T.A.

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                      • #12
                        I was the one that said the infamous "those rocks look like a slide!".
                        I think Charlene gets at least partial credit on that one!
                        This post is for entertainment purposes only.

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