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Peakbaaaaaging in the rain!

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  • Peakbaaaaaging in the rain!

    What a glorious feeling, I’m happy again.

    Well, I certainly don’t have the panache of Gene Kelly, I just needed an appropriate title for this trip report. I know it’s customary to put the mountain or trail in the name, but that wouldn’t work. Let me explain.
    While planning for yesterday, we were watching the forecast and it wasn’t looking good. Whether it was Pillsbury, Marshall, The Catskills, or Lake George area, it was going to rain. I spent Friday night at the in-laws place in the Mohawk Valley, so I decided I’d hike some trails around the Northway corridor, I was halfway there. And thanks to Makwa, he reminded me that the ADK Jr. 29’er list isn’t just for kids. And with the clouds, I thought if I stayed low, I might actually be able to see something. So I strung a combination of small hikes together and thought it’d be fun to see how many I could do before heading for home. I humorously dubbed it a “fat guy ultra”. Im just going to touch on each trail briefly:
    1- I started with Hackensack Mtn, just outside of Warrensburg. I began at 6am and did the loop around the back of it and down the more direct path. For a small mtn, it had some steepness to it. Nice views at the top, I’m sure the local kids love this place.
    2- The Pinnacle. Very accessible and engineered trail leading to a view over Lake George, including a bench at the top as well as two places along the trail.
    3- Thomas Mountain. Longest of the day, 3 miles round trip. Sections of trail was littered with loose rocks from baseball to volleyball size. Trail runners could find this hazardous.
    4- Bartonville Mtn. Nice trail with switchbacks. Some slab walking interspersed with trees, reminded me of Cobble Hill a little bit. The route is shared with bicyclists, so stay alert.
    5- Stewart Mtn. This was a nice trail to do 5th. One of the mildest. But it leads to a ledge with a decent view.
    6- Kipp Mtn. This is where I finally saw other hikers. Steady mile up to some nice views if clouds weren’t in the way.
    7- Severance Mtn. This is the first underground mountain trail I’ve encountered. It starts on the east side of I-87 and you hike through two sections of corrugated metal tunnels under the highway. Lots more hikers here, including a group of about 2 dozen that were spreading ashes of a loved one.
    8- Belfry Mtn. I hardly ever get this far east so I figure I should get Belfry for my FireTower list. I had to detour around a road closure so it took me a while to get there. The rain had finally stopped and while up in the tower I spotted a plume of smoke from someone’s bonfire. “So this is what it was like,” I thought to myself.

    At this point, I figured I should start the 4 hour trek home. I made my way past familiar trailhead parking areas, OwlHead Lookout, Hurricane, Cascade, Ampersand… all very busy.

    After giving my muscles and joints a couple of hours to tighten up, I swung into the Ranger School and hiked #9- Cathedral Rock. I’ve passed it many times, saying I’d save it for another day…well this was it. Very interesting points of interest on this 2 mile trip. Ok, Done. Hiking and driving since I started at Hackensack, 11 hours, 40 minutes.

    Yes, I was wet all day, but it was warm. I never felt chilled at all. Most of the time the rain was light, and I usually sweat to saturation anyway, so being wet from rain wasn’t bothersome. I wore a thin dri-fit tee and basketball shorts. My bug spray must have washed off after the first trail because I killed a bunch of deer flies and a few mosquitoes throughout the day.

  • #2
    So, over 17 miles and about 4.5k elevation gain.


    • #3
      Holy moly... that cannonball run beats every one I've ever pulled off. I've done a bunch with 6+ stops but I usually limit them to flatland kinda hikes. So... Stewart and Kipp... you just knocked out 2 of the Chester Challenge. Have you done that one yet? You can get the rest in well under a half day if you don't bother with Green & Catamount which you have to pay to get into. The other 5 are all easy. You could do them in the morning and something around LG in the afternoon.


      • #4
        I’ll probably clean up the recreating around Chester and Moriah when I get a chance to stay with my sister in the Saratoga area.


        • #5
          But think of all the little pebbles that got in your car!
          Leave No Trace!