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Old 08-17-2017, 07:53 AM   #1
wxduff
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Chimney Mountain Hike Aug 12

For my bachelor party I asked my brother for an Adirondack getaway, with boating and a hike. For our hike we chose Chimney Mountain, something neither my brother or I have ever done despite the amount of time we have spent in the Indian Lake Region hiking.

The road to Kings Flow was in good shape and easily drivable regardless of vehicle. The lot was decently full by midmorning, but there was space and our $2 donation went into the rather full box. We checked into the trail register with our group of 6 and began hiking in. The first 0.2-0.3 miles is rather flat with a few brook crossings. After the last of these the trail begins to incline significantly but not to the point of extreme difficulty. Only one member of our party had much trouble, but occasional breaks got him to the summit. The trail has some slab sections that could easily be treacherous in the wet, but these mostly had herd paths around them to give you an alternative. I stuck to the rock whenever possible to prevent additional wear and erosion. The chimney area was impressive and we spent some time admiring the geological oddity, and noted some folk were repelling in the area. The only sign of that was some anchors with rope leading over the edge.

For those who haven't done Chimney before, the chimney area is not the true summit. For this, find the trail to the campsite near the Chimney. On the way up this is marked in yellow off to the right. Pass through the campsite and back into the woods to the true summit. The trail to the true summit is not marked but the herd path is obvious and short. The true summit offers some beautiful views in nearly 360 degrees. The weather was nice while we were at the Chimney but in the short time we took to get to the summit the sky was turning gray.

Part of my time on the summit was to do a quick Summits on the Air activation, or SOTA. It's a program that combines ham radio and mountain hiking. I had up my antenna, with it's center at the top of a 20 foot telescoping crappie pole. Just as I was getting ready to start sending morse code the skies got quite dark and we decided to down climb a bit, incase the storm decided to produce some lightning. We hadn't heard any thunder, but seeing as half of the crew were meteorologists we weren't taking the chance. "Meteorologists killed by lightning" isn't a great headline, despite the irony. The storm just grazed the summit and there was a quick downpour, but only about 5 minutes total. We went back towards the summit to watch the storm head towards Puffer Pond and Bullhead Mountain. It was amazing to listen to the heavy rain, which sounded like a waterfall, pound away at the neighbor.

I then ran through my required contacts with a few extras, with most of my contacts in the eastern US but a nice surprise making a contact with Puerto Rico.

We then hung out for a little longer. This was the first cell service we had had all weekend so we all took the time to ensure our significant others that we were all alive and well despite any bachelor party antics. We then made the quick climb back down. I had left my hiking poles at the camp site in Lewey but they weren't required, despite the 20 pound pack and god knows how many pounds of extra weight is around my midsection. We saw people of all shapes and sizes climbing the trail, and while steep in parts, the short distance means most can make it to the summit.

If you haven't done this hike yet in the Indian Lake area it is well worth it.
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Old 08-17-2017, 09:06 AM   #2
stripperguy
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Mr duff,
Congrats on your recent (or upcoming) marriage!
Chimney has always been a favorite of mine, great for kids too. That was the first mountain that my daughter climbed all on her own.
Next time you climb it, be sure to explore the other chimney, and the spaces between.
Just take care to not disturb the bats, they're struggling to make a come back.

Kinda cool about your ham radio stuff too.
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