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Old 03-31-2005, 05:04 PM   #1
MattC
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Hey Y'all. I'm an ADK newbie, more or less. I did climb Algonquin and Giant many, many moons ago as a child, and over the years have climbed smaller peaks like Crane and Blue. Anyhow, I finally started hiking frequently last summer in the Catskills (about an hour from home), and I just finished the 3500 Club requirements. I've also been using Views From the Top extensively these past months, which is where I found out about this site. I've lurked a few times, and decided to join, since I plan to hike in the ADKs as much as possible in the near future. I live in the Hudson Valley, but I can also stay w/ friends and family in Albany and drive up from there.

I'm thinking about making my 1st ADK excursion soon, maybe mid or late April. I'm well aware of the mud conditions after the snow melts, and would like to avoid contributing to trail erosion as much as possible. I'm considering Giant/RPR or perhaps Dial/Nippletop on 4/15 and/or 4/16. Somebody over at VFTT (where my handle is mcorsar, by the way) made me aware that this is the weekend of the 4000'er awards in NH, so I realize a lot of people will be at that.

Matt
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:27 PM   #2
Kevin
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Originally Posted by MattC
I'm thinking about making my 1st ADK excursion soon, maybe mid or late April. I'm well aware of the mud conditions after the snow melts, and would like to avoid contributing to trail erosion as much as possible. I'm considering Giant/RPR or perhaps Dial/Nippletop on 4/15 and/or 4/16. Somebody over at VFTT (where my handle is mcorsar, by the way) made me aware that this is the weekend of the 4000'er awards in NH, so I realize a lot of people will be at that.
Hey Matt, welcome .

The fact there are White mountain awards that weekend will have nearly no impact on the ADK hiking community. The mountain ranges are pretty far apart and most people hike either/or, not both. This is the reason adk forum and VFTT both exist, the northeast isn't one large community but rather several smaller ones. [I'm sure we can cite examples of a few die-hards that hike both, but it's a very exceptional group that do rather than the rule]

I can't stop you from hiking during mud season any more than I can tell you who to vote for at election time. If you're okay with knowing it's likely creating negative impact then it's your right and conscience. In other words - I won't be there to tackle you at the trailhead. I also won't candy coat things. This is the one time of the year I don't hike the high peaks.
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:38 PM   #3
MattC
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Hey Matt, welcome .
I can't stop you from hiking during mud season any more than I can tell you who to vote for at election time. If you're okay with knowing it's likely creating negative impact then it's your right and conscience. In other words - I won't be there to tackle you at the trailhead. I also won't candy coat things. This is the one time of the year I don't hike the high peaks.
Yeah, I really want to avoid adding to the erosion if possible. That's why I was thinking about sneaking in a trip or two before the snow melts. I imagine there would still be some snow cover until at least late April? What is the period in which you avoid the High Peaks? Is it all of May? Into June? The entire spring?

I believe I saw a DEC phone number at the ADK website that one can call for info about voluntary trail closure during mud season. I'll have to check that out.

Matt
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:41 PM   #4
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Matt, try a taste of other areas. The Adirondacks are absolutely beautiful everywhere. And each area is different, you will never get bored there is so much variety. Try the southern Adirondacks or the central region, close to Albany and you will put in a good workout. Want a challenge? Hike the entire Tongue Mtn range, up down and all around. It will change your mind that the only workout is in the HPs.
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:45 PM   #5
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The mud season is generally from the first major thaw (which has been occurring slowly over the past few weeks, a tad sooner than last year) until it magically becomes passible.

The past few weeks have started the thaw process. If you can be air-dropped to about 3,000-3,500 feet or higher you can avoid most of the current slushy and muddy spots. There's still lots of snow at the higher elevations, but that will quickly change as warm days take their toll on the depth and quality of the snow pack. Its getting to the higher elevations now that's the hard part.

It's not too bad now, you can probably still bushwack around the lower elevation mud through the woods. But in a few weeks as you planned it's going to be mud and water, and that's the time erosion (especially on steep sections) will be taking its toll.

There's a lot of other places already dry in the lower elevations. I shift my attention there until about mid-May, then I start looking upward again .
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:47 PM   #6
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Welcome Matt. I think you will find this is a fun forum. Congrats on the Catskill achievement!
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Old 03-31-2005, 06:31 PM   #7
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PB- I realize there is much more to the Park than the High Peaks, believe me. In fact most of my activity over the years has been outside of the HP area. It's just that, er, uh, well, now I'm thinking in terms of, well, you know. I guess I should be patient. After all, I've waited my whole adult life to start working on the 46!

Kevin-Thanks for the info. I was thinking April would be more okay in terms of mud/erosion, and that May would be the month to really avoid. So you're saying just the opposite. Maybe I'll just save the gas money and keep hiking in the much drier and closer Catskills and Shawangunks for the next few weeks. I imagine the ADKs will still be there a little longer. Funny-I didn't take a single trip up North the whole time I was working on the Catskill 35, and now that I'm finished, I want to get right up there. This is how my brain works.

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Old 03-31-2005, 06:59 PM   #8
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Funny-I didn't take a single trip up North the whole time I was working on the Catskill 35, and now that I'm finished, I want to get right up there. This is how my brain works.
You got the bagger's bug!

I had it all last year, so I know where you're at. Try to keep perspective and enjoy the ride - you only get one first climb, everything after that is sight-seeing. There's worse bugs to catch, and I've caught a few of them in my day. lol

I wouldn't say there's a definitive timeline for the thaw. It depends on how fast spring's warm air takes hold, whether it rains a lot, and how much snow fell during the winter. Above 3,000 feet there was a lot of snow this year. But in the valleys not nearly as much, which is why it's already started to thaw there. usually you can get away with some early April peak bagging, but the lower elevations are becoming messy due to lack of snow and warm temps. My mid-May timeline is a guestimation, if it gets cold again it prolongs the thaw, etc. I was hiking Whiteface and Esther mid-May in 2004 on dry and snow-free trails. It was a light snow year, unlike this year, but the thaw also started later.

I think the consensus is that mud season is from early April through late-May.

Check our trip events section for southern and central hikes if you're looking for a reason to get out in the adks. Having the Catskills next door is a nice compromise. I was in Arlington Vermont yesterday and it was drying up nicely there, maybe a few weeks away from being thawed. Albany's completely thawed.
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Old 03-31-2005, 09:53 PM   #9
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Welcome Matt,

I hike at this time of year, I just try to stay away from areas I know will be bad (or have a history of being that way), which would be pretty hard for you, being new to the area and all. That's one of the great things about a forum like this (and others like it), you don;t have to have direct knowledge, all you have to do is ask and you'll find people pretty knowledgeable and helpful.

Myself, I also like to bushwhack a bit at this time of year, both for the mud reasons and with the foilage down, "dead reckoning" navigation is easier. Then again, I like to bushwhack in full foliage too .

Good luck and feel free to ask away, it's generally pretty frielndly here, but sometimes we do have to knock Redhawk or Kevin off their high horses.



P.S. another helpful hint, Neil loves these dancing bananas , so make sure you start AND end any post direted at him with several of them. What can we say, he can't get enough of em.
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Old 03-31-2005, 10:13 PM   #10
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Yeah, what Tim said.

And it's an ass, not a horse!
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