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Seymour, Emmons, Donaldson and Seward (#s 43-46)

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  • Seymour, Emmons, Donaldson and Seward (#s 43-46)

    Tuesday and Wednesday I hiked the Seward Range with an old college buddy, Bob, who is also working on the ADK 46. The trip put him in the high thirties and for me, it was the end (or only just the beginning?).

    The journey up Seymour was relatively uneventful, though Bob found it a little tiring. In his defense, he's a Washington lobbyist and it was his first hike of the season.

    Once atop Seymour, we headed down towards that "gloomy gorge" as Verplanck Colvin called it. At times the vegetation was quite dense.

    We stopped for the night at the night at the old lumber camp that McMartin mentions. What we assume was a bear, was heard frolicking in the brook and woods throughout the night.

    Wednesday morning we headed up towards Emmons Slide. We stayed in the slide-fed brook as much as possible, but as we neared the base of the slide it again got mighty dense. The slide itself reminded me a little of Macomb, though much shorter.

    Above the slide the going was steep, but not as horrificially thick as McMartin implies.

    After summiting Emmons, we headed on to Donaldson and Seward. Bob was having problems with cramps, but gutted it out admirably. On top of Seward we spent almost an hour enjoying fine cigars and cheap, but tasty, bourbon. A curious little birdy came and visited with us.

    The rolls of thunder signalled that it was time to head on home, so we made our way back towards Donaldson and descended via Calkins Brook. Just after 5:30 PM, we reached the trailhead, our cars, and warm beer.

    It felt good to have finished the 46, but in all honesty, the greatest relief came with summiting Emmons and knowing that there would be no more bushwhacking on the trip. Not that I disliked it, on the contrary, it was the first major bushwhack we had done and both of us really enjoyed it. But, it is both mentally and physically tiring... in a good way.

  • #2
    Congratulations!
    And you surely finished in style, warm beer and all.

    That was a good hike, thanks for sharing.........

    Happy Trails!
    Walk Softly

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Peakbagr
      Congratulations on the trip and a terrific trip report.

      Re McMartin. ...Many have not been updated in a long time, and storms, regrowth, trail reroutes and other things make the books unreliable if you really need them.
      Thanks.

      Of course, that's one of the reason we have these forums, no?

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      • #4
        Interesting report indeed. I plan on ascending that very slide next Saturday on day 4 of a 4 day trip with as light a pack as I think I can get away with. Reading your account was kinda like a pre-dj-v.
        Congratulations on finishing the 46.

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        • #5
          Congratulations on finishing the 46, TEO! Sounds like a terrific trip!
          --
          ADKatie
          46er #5460

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          • #6
            Extra comments to be posted soon in Bushwhacker's Delight forum.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TEO
              Extra comments to be posted soon in Bushwhacker's Delight forum.
              Well, hurry up and post 'em!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by neil
                Originally posted by TEO
                Extra comments to be posted soon in Bushwhacker's Delight forum.
                Well, hurry up and post 'em!
                They're up.

                Comment


                • #9
                  TEO, Are you trying to imply that bushwhacking can be mentally draining :roll: .

                  Seriously, what a finish. You did it in style my friend. Time to head on over to the "b-whackers de-light" and see what you have to say over there

                  Nice job.
                  "The forest is the poor man's overcoat. " Old Northeastern Proverb

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Peakbagr
                    Congratulations on the trip and a terrific trip report.

                    Re McMartin. Her books provide decent overviews of an area or a hike. Many of the trips, however, were farmed out for others to hike and write. Much in the book series was not correct even when they were first published. Many have not been updated in a long time, and storms, regrowth, trail reroutes and other things make the books unreliable if you really need them.
                    I am not sure the farming out to others to hike and write about is the crux of the problem with these guides. I suppose it depends upon who it is designated to. Back in the seventies while I was climbing the high peaks for the first round I became involved with a revision of the ADK's high peak guide. Armed with a measuring wheel and notebook I retraced the trails in the Sanford Lake section. Yes I actually pushed that bloody wheel the length of the Bradley Pond Trail and Twin Brook Trail. Not an easy task with all that mud and courderoy.

                    Spending most of my free time that summer to accomplish this I did learn many things. First of which was that Morgan Porter fellow was amazing with the accuracy that he measured trails. The trails that were unchanged from Porter's time proved with my measurements to be dead on. The point being that as others did the same for other sections I would be rather arogant to think my work was the only work done properly.

                    I did benefit from Jim Goodwin's notes on the trail-less peaks. I was was to check the accuracy of those routes. Having never climbed Allen, Cliff, Redfield, the Sewards or Santanonis Jim's routes were precise. The club was planning on expanding the trail-less descriptions as the prior guide was intentionally slimed down giving less direction. The thinking was to give less instruction as a matter of policy. Who knows what the political thinking was behind that. Now the club reconsidered and felt the hiking public wanted more detail to find those herd paths. This guide was to expand the detail and that is why I was armed with Jim's notes. The benefit of course was I climbed those trail-less peaks almost with ease. Jim had nailed every route.

                    When done someone I will never know decided not to publish the verified and detailed routes. The resulting guide had actually less info than the previous one. A little off the course here but I suppose the lesson is if you wish to screw it up have a committee do it. As far as the guide goes the info presented by those who were in the field was good. The fact someone edited one of my trail descriptions to read "descend to the height of land" is rather humorous. It may be editors in the McMartin series altered the text to fit into a contiguous style thereby lousing up the actual directions.

                    My issue with the McMartin series is the general layout and the sometimes over wrought expounding of opinion. A guide to the southern Adks several years ago was filled with so much complaining I questioned why write the book if these trails are that bad? What I want to know is distance-ascent- where the trail head is and general condition of the trail. I don't particularly care if the author didn't like the hike. In the Northeasten Adirondack Guide, a few editions back now. I don't know if the current release is changed, there is a description of Chase Mt. My son and I climbed that using McMartin's directions. I just looked it up to be clear it was as I recall. The writer clearly says climb following a compass bearing of 200 degrees. As there is no trail this is an important point. Upon reaching the summit the guide states return by retracing your steps at 70 degrees to reach the place where you left the trail.

                    At age eleven my son said "dad I am no expert but does retracing your steps mean go back the way you came?" I said yes, he quipped, "excuse me but if we were hiking at 200 degrees the opposite direction can't be 70 degrees." I looked at the compass and we hiked out at 20 degree heading and reached the trail at the place we left it.

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