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11/7 5 Mile, Fifth, French, First

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  • 11/7 5 Mile, Fifth, French, First

    After not "officially" tagging 5 Mile Mt on my last trip, I decided to go to the tongue range again to make 5 mile official, then finish off the tongues with Fifth, French, and First. This time starting at Clay Meadows at 5:45am, quck work was made to get to the 2nd junction and head up 5 Mile. From the junction, it's a 3.4 mile out and back. I cursed myself the entire way for not taking the time to do the proper research on my last trip and missing the summit. After the quick climb and short "wack", I gave the 5 Mile sign the one fingered salute and made my way back down to the junction.

    From here, it was time to tackle the southern range. Fifth Peak and the lean-to up there were awesome. I took a short break here to take off a layer of clothes since I was sweating pretty good.

    Next came French and First. The terrain became much more difficult after Fifth. Quite a few steep spots that normally wouldn't be a problem. But with all the leaves down now, and a soaking rain the day before, I really had to slow things up in a few spots.

    After descending First, and the hill after that (is it named?), I came down to the next junction. Just within sight, I see an outhouse. Getting a little closer I see a small storage building and a good sized cabin. This was a surprise to me. Looking in the cabin there is a bed in a back room, and a canoe in the large front room. Anyone know the deal with this cabin? Can anyone use it?

    Cacheing my pack near the cabin, I make the short walk out and back to Montcalm Pt. Really nice spot to camp or just hang out.

    Picking up my pack now, I make work of the last leg of the trip. About 5 miles back to Clay Meadows. It was really neat to walk along the shore of Lake George's Northwest Bay. Saw a few spots along the way where people made camp.

    Notes:
    -Awesome views of Lake George at all peaks, with them getting better as you make your way south.
    -This hike was by far the most challenging of the 12sters that I've done. With only one left to do (Erebus), I'm confident saying this is the hardest of them all.
    -The trail at many spots was difficult to follow. You can go quite a long way without seeing any blazes. And with all the leaves down, I faltered off the trail on more than a few occasions.
    -Just one other hiker (with dog) signed in after me. He was only doing Fifth and I never saw him.
    -Because of the mileage, slippery conditions, steepness in spots, and the significant gain and loss in altitude, this was definitely one of the more challenging hikes of the year for me. Some spots really felt like the high peak ruggedness.

    Sign in: 5:45am
    Mileage: 17.1
    Sign out: 2:20pm
    19/46
    11/12
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