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Old 06-13-2018, 05:15 PM   #1
SpencerVT
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Behold, the worst route up Lost Pond + Hoffman and Texas Ridge last weekend

My wife and I climbed Hoffman and Texas Ridge Saturday. The hike was so insanely long; in fact, the hike is probably still going on.
It was longer than the Rolling Stones' career. Longer than any Trump Cabinet member has served, and longer than the line for the bathroom at a Chipotle.

The good part, was the it was perfect weather and minimal bugs. They didn't even mess with me, they just attacked my wife the whole time, and I just laughed at her all day.
Insert evil laugh here _____.

We followed the southern spine of Hoffman from the Hoffman Road Big Pond trailhead. This route may be long, but in my opinion it is mostly open good woods virtually the entire way. If you stay to the eastern side of the ridge, there are great views sporadically looking east towards Schroon and Vermont. In fact, from the nearest view to the summit of Hoffman you could look out and see Killington and Pico Mtns in Vermont readily.

We backtracked down the ridge from the summit of Hoffman and I cut over heading west to Texas Ridge. All the open woods fun ended when I descended off the Hoffman Ridge. I got pummeled by vicious spirit-breaking conifer red spruce nearly impenetrable apocalyptic thickets which ruined my life for the next 45 minutes. The woods finally cleared up and aside from the steep ascent up the ridge to the summit of Texas Ridge was much better going after a while. Texas Ridge was a fairly uneventful summit. No real views, no Bed Bath and Beyond, No KFC, no unique geological features. Just me and my scratch wounds all over my body from getting there.

Going back I cut south to get further down the Hoffman ridge route and I got supremely douched by another endless thicket of epic proportions. I accrued 4-5 new tears in my hiking garb, which is always a sign of an enjoyable successful frolicking bushwhack. I met up with Renee who had wisely passed on Texas Ridge and waited for me on the ridge soaking in the sun at a fern glade. We enjoyed the open woods on the rest of the ridge back down to the Big Pond trail where we stumbled back to our car at 10:45pm. The Ambrosia Diner in Queensbury never tasted so good that night man.

Sunday I hiked Lost Pond via what may be the totally worst route. The weather could not have been improved upon. Zero bugs anywhere. Nothing but sunshine. Cool temperatures.
A golden rule with Bushwhacking is that the shortest distance between two points is not always a straight line. Like with Hoffman, it pays to go the longer distance and take the northern approach from the south ridge because the other routes to Hoffman, while shorter, will devour your soul and murder your family.

One would think I would have taken this principal from Hoffman just one day earlier and applied to it Lost Pond. But alas, I was out sick on common sense day during grade school. I took the hands-down dumbest route up Lost Pond to where I almost gave up. I cut up to Lost Pond just a little after the drainage that is before the shelter on the Indian Pass trail. This route was the closest thing to violating the bushwhackers law of physics that: "It cannot go on like this forever," because the horrendous imprisoning woods just never let up until I was nearly at the summit. The views at the summit were a tremendous reward though for all the suffering I went through to get there. I just laid down on the slab of rock which looks out so far that you can see like over to Cambodia; the Lost Pond views are seriously that good.

When the route up is almost definitely worst possible route, you probably can't lose by trying a different route down, which is what I did, and it was somewhat better, thank God. I made it back to the LOJ at 10:30pm and was back at my desk for work at 9am Monday in Brattleboro. Lost Pond took just under 7 hours, but felt like 29 hours of conifer hellscape. Despite that, I absolutely love this mountain and the summit was worth the effort getting there.

Renee on way to Hoffman


Summit of Hoffman


View from route to Hoffman


"Hello darkness my old friend..."


Even though I was just beat up for hours getting to Lost Pond Mtn, the summit views made me smile!


Killer views from Lost Pond


More killer views from Lost Pond
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Last edited by SpencerVT; 06-14-2018 at 12:09 AM..
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:08 AM   #2
Tick Magnet
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Cool bushwhack!

I always look up at Hoffman from below and say "nope".

I loved the "Hello darkness my old friend" picture. That says it all!
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