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Santanoni Range - Aug 10, 2019

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  • Santanoni Range - Aug 10, 2019

    Paul, Paul, Paul's son Johnathan, and I drove down to Newcomb on Friday after work. We set up at an awful site at Lake Harris Campground, and then tried to sleep in this noisy place. At 10:30 a thunderstorm rolled through and that quieted everything down, after which sleep was wonderful until the 4:45 wakeup call. We hit the trail at 06:30 in some light rain, which turned to sunshine, which turned to rain, which turned to sunshine... you get the picture. It was certainly variable in the weather department, and remained that way all day. We ascended the Bradley pond trail which is in pretty good shape with lots of new maintenance been put into this since the last time I have been up here. Quite an improvement I must say!

    The climb up Panther brook was also quite nice, and we arrived at Herald Square to meet the first people of the day. The quick jaunt out to Panther was a muddy quagmire (no change here since last time), and Johnathan was less than impressed. Unfortunately we summitted in one of the rainy intervals, so had no view on the peak with the best lookout of the day. The way back to Times Square was slow as Johnathan was lagging, but we stopped for a break there and fed him a sandwich, after which he was full of energy again and anxious to get the Couch. We head out along this trail which was pretty nice all-in-all, did battle with the swamp of doom, where we almost lost Johnathan forever as he fell into its murky bottomless depths. Still in reasonably good spirits though, our mud covered companion was game to go on. At the push up to the summit a burst of energy sent him scrambling on at the front with the rest of us struggling to keep up. We topped out, took a picture and then head back a ways to a lookout rock for a second lunch, marvelling at the vista in front of us, in awe of how far we had come, and how far we had left to go.

    The second crossing of the Couchie Swamp of Doom went a little bit more smoothly, and Johnathan made sure to warn all other parties we met afterwards to beware. Another break at Times Square, a quick poll of the spirits had the thumbs up for a go of the final push to the top of the range. At the lookout before the summit we had a great view, and I made sure to get a photo before the next rain cloud rolled over us just as we hit the summit.

    The descent down the express was a muddy slippery mess, and caution had to be taken on some of the steeper scrambles. I guided Johnathan from below as we slowly picked our way down these, and also helped a father/son team with some navigational advice as we passed them on one of the steeper slab scrambles. Paul and I tended to speed ahead here, and we would wait up for Paul and his son wherever a tricky part of the trail was encountered. We finally arrived out at the Bradley Pond trail, shoved some more food into Johnathan here, and then sped off with visions of more food to come. The pace quickened on this relatively smooth trail, with Paul scampering ahead with me at his tail trying to keep up, until we finally reached the bridge where we stopped and figured we might be waiting a while for the others. To our surprise, Johnathan was right on our heels, easily jogging along the trail in youthful energy, despite being hiking for twelve hours at this point. Once dad caught up we all hiked quickly along the last three kilometers of never ending road to finally reach the parking lot after a thirteen hour day. Supper and beer at the campsite followed, with glorious sleep following shortly therafter, tired enough to only be slightly disturbed by the partying that went on until 02:00.

    Pictures:
    http://web.ncf.ca/mbowler/hiking/adk...anta_2019.html
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