Rocky Peak Ridge
Rocky Peak is the 20th highest mountain in New York State, with an elevation of 4,420 ft. The length of the climb depends on which trail you take. From New Russia it is approximately 13.4 miles round trip, We went in from the Route 73 trailhead via the washbowl and it was 6.5 miles round trip, with 3527’ of elevation gain, plus the 700’ on the return to the trail junction with Giant Mountain for a total of 4227. This was a huge leg day for me, plus I had company. My friend Justin and I signed in at the trail register at 6 am under headlamp. The trail takes on a completely new perspective in this regard. The first part of this trail, up to the washbowl is sparsely marked and can be difficult to follow under headlamp, just need to pay...
Phelps Mountain
Phelps Mountain is named after Orson Schofield Phelps, also known as "Old Mountain Phelps," who created the first trail over Mount Marcy. According to “The History of the Adirondacks” by Alfred L. Donaldson, he was an early Adirondack guide from Keene Valley. He was not considered a great guide. In fact, he was not considered even a good guide. He became a local legend due to publicity by people such as writers Charles Dudley Warner and E. R. Wallace, and photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard. Phelps named many of the Adirondack High Peaks. I had hiked Phelps Mountain previously on two occasions, both were in the winter, and each time there were no views. I have wanted to go back on a nice day so I could enjoy the wonderful views the...
Cobble Hill
Took my first hike up Cobble Hill in Lake Placid today. I went in via the school, taking the sidewalk from Mirror Lake Drive up to the point of the “temporary” trail entrance from the school property. I could have also taken the Mount Whitney Road access as well as it was just footsteps away from Mirror Lake Drive on the right. In any event, I opted for the alternative Cobble access from the school for no other reason than it is where I was dropped off. I did not want to worry about trying to find a place to park, so I had my wife drop me off at the school entrance. The trail is easy to follow, even with all the blocked routes and new routes. It is an uneventful hike as it meanders up to the base of the rocky outcrop. From here, it is...
Pitchoff Mountain
I had wanted to hike Pitchoff Mountain for quite some time. I must admit I did not think clearly when I picked this weekend to hike it. Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest times in the High Peaks area, and I really did not want to add to that problem, but I did. While driving to the trailhead parking area, I decided that I would return home if I could not find a place to park. I really did not have a plan B today. I was somewhat surprised to find open parking spaces. I arrived at the parking area just after 6 am. The main parking area for Cascade and Pitchoff mountains was full, so I did have to park in one of the other parking areas just west of the main area. Even those were filling up fast. It added less than a 10th of a mile...
Bear Den Mountain
I had a mid-week day off, on purpose, to avoid the crowds. While I wait for the High Peaks to become less crowded, I want to work on my endurance and strength to hike the high peaks; I will be somewhat ready. My wife and I decided on Bear Den Mountain today. It was actually our plan-b as we originally were planning to hike Cobble Hill Lookout. However, when we arrived at the trailhead for Cobble Hill, signage stated the trail is closed due to COVID. Not sure the story on that, but I will look into it. We arrived at the trailhead for Bear Den Mountain around 7:30 am. It was a bit of a challenge finding the actual trailhead and sign-in, but with the help of a construction worker, we could locate it. It is on the north side of the...
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