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Old 10-27-2004, 12:40 PM   #1
TheKrazyKanuk
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First Time Peak

Hello everyone,

I'm new on this site, and to the ADKs. I'm from Ottawa ON.
I've been to the Adirondacks once before, but one of us was feeling a little slow, and we never made it to the peak (this was years ago, I don't remeber the name).

So, we are planning a first trip to the mountains, and I'd like your suggestions for wich peak we should scale first. We are two couples going, leaving from Ottawa on a Friday afternoon in November (date to be determined), so a northern peak would probably be better considering our travel time, but also considering possible snow/ice in mid-november.) We are all novices to the mountains, but not to camping/hiking. We thought we could set camp on Friday night, hike up one of the mountains on Saturday, and back down to the camp, and leave on Sunday. We are well equiped for below-zero camping.

Any suggestions? All information would be appreciated: maps, destination and route to get there, camp sites, mountains, and trails.

This will be a first of many!

Thanks for your help
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Old 10-27-2004, 01:09 PM   #2
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I'm sure you will here from Kevin or Mavs soon. They have a lot of knowledge about the peaks and share it freely. You might also look through the trips reports, there is a lot of good information there. Also do you have a gps? Most have waypoints they can forward on to you.

Me' I'm a "flatlander", the resident bushwhacker. I have one ADK Peak, Haystack.

My primary duty on this forum is to be the resident smarta$$. (So far so good!)

Which brings me to mt question about your screen name "TheKrazyKanuck" Isn't that sort of generic among people from North of the Border, (except of course for the stuffy "all English" ones).

Just want you to understand that before that screen name is officially yours, you have to out Krazy Martin and Neil.
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Old 10-27-2004, 01:21 PM   #3
percious
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What you describe is something my friends and I often do. What you would want to do is choose a base camp, and then just go for it. Good choices for base camps are:

Johns Brook Lodge (JBL) Which is only a relatively flat 3.4 mile hike to the leanto.

Lake Colden(LC): 6 miles of tough terrain, with a 600 foot climb, and one of the most beautiful low-land hikes in the high peaks.

From JBL you can either nab Big Slide, or head up to the Range, hitting any one of Saddleback through Lower Wolf Jaw. (Armstrong would require climbing 3 peaks in 1 day).

From LC you have Colden, Algonquin, and Iroquios. The trail up Alg is spectacular, following a flume almost the whole way.

Lake Colden/Algonquin would be the most challenging of these hikes.

JBL/Lower wolf Jaw or Big Slide would be the easiest.

I would not recommend summiting Marcy with your limited experience as many first timers shoot for. I would recommend bringing crampons if you plan to do algonquin.

Hope you have a great trip. Please post a report when you return!

-percious
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Old 10-27-2004, 02:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by percious
JBL/Big Slide would be the easiest.
...And my recommendation for a first hike. Most people start on Cascade and its a busier peak. Big Slide has great views of the Great Range and I think it's a more interesting hike than Cascade. If it's icy watch out, whatever you do. The last bit up to the top is very steep. I haven't done much winter hiking yet myself but I understand that Mid-November is an in between time (more ice than snow) and experienced hikers carry and use crampons and trekking poles. (They carry them all winter) Read the trail conditions and trip report section over at VFTT for very up to date trail conditions. (I hope Kevin dosn't mind me sending people off of his site!)
And if you've got questions, fire away. There are very knowledgable people on this board who enjoy sharing.

P.S. You do know that you stand a very good chance of needing snowshoes don't you?
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Old 10-27-2004, 02:53 PM   #5
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Krazy,
Might I add that
1) You never know what to expect in the high peaks in Mid-November. (I remember wading through hip deep snow on Colden one Thanksgiving in '94.) YOu really should have snowshoes and poles with you - But more importantly read the NY Trail Trip reports on VFTT.com.

2) If this is your first peak or first winter peak, choose one that gets a lot of traffic (I like the idea of Cascade and Porter) and is realitively easy, because what happens in November is a lot of folks aren't really out hiking all that much (many wait until 12/21 to start working on winter peaks) and you may get stuck breaking trail for hours and end up turning back because of daylight or cold/wet conditions.

3) By staying at a lean to or tent site by the ADK Loj, you can enjoy your winter gear (or test it out for the season) and have the added the luxury of going into town for dinner after your climb.

Good Luck
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:27 PM   #6
TheKrazyKanuk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redhawk

Which brings me to mt question about your screen name "TheKrazyKanuck" Isn't that sort of generic among people from North of the Border, (except of course for the stuffy "all English" ones).

Just want you to understand that before that screen name is officially yours, you have to out Krazy Martin and Neil.
Well, yes. I think you're right, most of us above the border are all little nuts, but hey, our igloos will do that to any person. Besides, we think most of the people south of the border need some kind of help. It's like the thing where one person with an accent will think everyone else has an accent!

As for proving my worth for this name, well, only time will prove it. But for starters, I am considered one of the founding members of dirt-naps, and I willingly go swimming in lakes in near-zero temperatures, just for the rush.

Krazy but not insane.

Thanks for the tips Precious, good info.
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:40 PM   #7
TheKrazyKanuk
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Thanks to the others also.

Great info here, and no, I did not anticipate the need for snowshoes. Although, the thought of needing them is exciting. I figured we would see some snow on the peaks, but not that much.

Thanks also for the link to the trail conditions too, I promise to come back to this site!

The other guy in our group was thinking about hiking Esther. What are your thoughts on this?
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Old 10-27-2004, 06:39 PM   #8
Martin
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Hey Krazy K! Welcome. What part of Ottawa are you from? I'm in Orléans.


I did Esther earlier this year. Not difficult at all. There is only one steep section in the first part of the hike if your coming from Wilmington. But if your going to do Esther, may as well climb Whiteface also.
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Old 10-28-2004, 10:11 AM   #9
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Esther is definitely one of the easier peaks with unmaintained trails. If you are heading there, you could perhaps try to get to Copperas pond Lean-to and stay there for the first night (only a short hike in from the road) and then drive over to the trail head by the atmospheric station the next morning (and perhaps stay that evening at the state campgound near Wilmington (if it is still open).

But I agree, If doing Esther, Whiteface is a great reward for a relatively minor investment. Again, the caveat being snow and trail conditions.
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Old 10-28-2004, 10:31 AM   #10
TheKrazyKanuk
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Hey Martin: I'm also from Orléans, in the Fallingbrook area near Charlemagne/Princess Lousie.

The only way to survive the suburban life is to use it as a weekday pad, and get out on the weekends! Sort of like a base camp.
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Old 10-28-2004, 12:32 PM   #11
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Hey Kanuck! I read the other posts after mine and got to thinking. So here's 2 more cents CDN. No paternalism or condescension intended, just my thoughts.
I've winter camped a fair amount in the harshest of conditions with gear that seems primitive by today's standards. I've done plenty of hiking,camping,peakbaging in the CDN rockies and I've done 35 High Peaks incl. Couchie and Panther as winter peaks. No, I'm not bragging -here's my point/warning, whatever... As far as venturing into the High Peaks beyond October I feel I'm a novice and plan on proceeding with great caution. From what I have gleaned from reading many threads, trip reports etc.(excellent education for someone with your and my previous experience) these ADK HP's are all too easily underestimated and require a mental, physical and material preparedness beyond what I would have thought at first glance. Just as on any given day of the year any HP can be a piece of cake so can any of the peaks be a nightmare. (A friend of mine became mildly hypothermic this July on Gothics, 5 days prior he almost had heatstroke on Sawteeth!)

Anyway, hope you have plenty of fun and may the sun shine on all of your hikes!
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Old 11-02-2004, 11:35 AM   #12
TheKrazyKanuk
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Thanks for your post Neil. We will be going with caution on our minds, and not pushing the limits. I think we will test our abilities, and our equipment on our first try by going for one of the smaller peaks, and take it from there. We will be heading out on the weekend of November 19-20-21. I will let you know which peak we decide to go for.

I can't wait to get out there!
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Old 11-04-2004, 09:44 AM   #13
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If you want to try a smaller peak the first time out and still have a good place to camp, I would suggest Hurricane Mtn. If you take the trail in from Crow Clearing, there is a lean-to about a mile in where you could camp. From there its about 2 miles to the summit. Not a 'High-Peak' but still a nice intro climb. There is a fire tower on the summit and very nice views of the Champlain Valley.
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