Tag Archives: nature

Springing into action again

Hopkins Mountain via Mossy Trail-March 2, 2017

First hike since last September!  I have always been a bit nervous on the start of this trail as it runs parallel to the Ausable River. If you remember Hurricane Irene tore through NY State in 2011, besides doing major damage to the roadways and the community of Keene, it cut deep into it’s banks, tearing through the forest and dragging , bolders, trees, bridges and pipes along with it. Early into this hike the trail is on the edge of the wall, with the river raging below. Fallen trees, tubing and wire fences still litter the forest. We have avoided this trail in the icy winter months because of this, however we attempted it this time and successfully, albeit tenuously, navigated this area. The trail skirts some private property and turns deeper into hemlock forests traversing up to 3800 feet. Winter hiking is slow for us, we tend to respect our turnaround time rather than worry about summiting, so we packed in a solid 4 hour hike and called it a day.

Van Hovenberg Mountain-March 3, 2017

Beautiful trail ,snowy, but not enough for snowshoes we used micro spikes up… but crampons down. Got to the ledge and had a nice snack with hot cider and trail mix. This is the second time here, last time was not snowy. Beaver activity really floods the lower area and makes for challenging footing. Another 4 hour hike.

Car Trouble-March 4, 2017 Engine light really put a damper on our hiking day. Certainly don’t want to be stuck on a remote trailhead up here. So we stayed put, knit, read, relaxed and enjoyed the cabin..Plan B.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Adirondack Club, ADK, Hiking, Nature in the Highpeaks, Van Hovenberg,, Wildlife

Marching into March

Back in the ADK. Funny how it draws us every two months, and it has been that way for the last 7 years. “Vacationing” traditionally a one to two week break that is taken two times a year, has never been possible for us.Instead a three day end of week/weekend works best by not cutting deeply into a work week and allows a physical break from daily routine. This is how we have been able to maintain high level stress and taxing decisions during norman work days.

March 4th Ampersand Mountain: -2 Degrees

IMG_4932

We have never attempted to hike in below zero weather. It poses challenges greater than putting one foot ahead of the other and knowing what gear to switch out to. Keeping your nose, for instance is what is important, exposure to extreme cold will frost-bite skin in a short time, and is painless while it is happening but damage is life long afterwards. It was a long beautiful trek with a gradual inclineIMG_4934 that was wooded and slightly snow covered. It was a beautiful clear day and the crunching sound of the micro spikes was all that could be heard.

Ampersand mountain is in Saranac Lake, an area that we have yet to hike, so although it is the Adirondacks it was outside of Keene and Lake Placid area which we are familiar with. Driving 30 minutes to get to a peak added a bit of stress to the day, but we looked at it as expanding our comfort zone to add to our experiences. At the start of the final mile the trail took a sharp ascent, was icy, and far too challenging for us to attempt after two hours of hiking. We opted to turn back, and save this summit for later seasons when crampons are not needed. Total hours: 5

 

March 5th : Rocky Falls / Indian Pass Trail

IMG_4954

 

This is one of our go-to hikes when we want a lower trek, no or minimal altitude. The reward at the end is a serene waterfall and a great comfy tree covered  rock that you can sip coffee, cider and snack on trail mix.

It was warmer (14 degrees!) windless and a bit cloudier but we were under dense woods for the entire hike, so it’s not as if we were going to summit and catch a grand valley view. It was a great day and a relaxing walk, just what was needed after the challenge of slick ice covered boulders.

 

March 6th: Rooster Comb Mountain 

IMG_4963

One of our favorite things to do on a winter hike is to look for footprints of the wildlife. We are always amazed at the absence of animals when we are up in the mountains and we attribute it to the fact that they are way too shy to be seen. On the other hand… they may just be stalking us and waiting for us to weaken and then pounce! We made the mistake of watching a horror movie of a couple that were camping in the Canadian wild and were attacked by a bear. A cautionary tale that stays with us and is never too far from our thoughts when in the woods!

IMG_4955 Spotting moose prints was a pretty exciting event for us. I feel its the closest we will ever  get to “seeing a moose” but, we will be coming back, there is always a next time.

The hike was challenging. This is the second time we have done Rooster Comb, the first time was in October of 2010. It was criss-crossed with elaborate  bolder stairs and traverses that ascended pretty quickly to 2700. When we saw the ice covered stairs at a 45 degree angle, we opted  to call it, and once again come back later in ice free seasons. It would not be a wise choice to make one wrong slip and ruin the rest of the season to an injury. It was a beautiful crisp day, all along the way glimpses of the sky and mountains would remind us why we keep coming back.

IMG_4965

Leave a comment

Filed under Adirondack Club, ADK, animal tracks, Healthy lifestyles, Hiking, Hiking the High Peaks, Nature in the Highpeaks, Wildlife