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Old 10-10-2005, 08:32 AM   #1
billz
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Questions - JBL, Lower and Upper Range Hikes

I am outlining plans for a hiking trip with my son (12 yrs old) that include a few nights at JBL. I am thinking we would do this next July 2006.

Here's what I was thinking: Evening 1 - Garden to JBL, Day 2 - LWJ, UWJ, Armstrong & Gothics, Day 3 - Basin, Saddleback & Haystack, and Day 4 JBL to Garden. However, I have some questions:

1. Are the 2 day hike plans doable?
2. I never stayed at JBL. What should I know? What should I bring?


Also, any other adivce more seasoned hikers may have would be much appreciated.
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Old 10-10-2005, 09:43 AM   #2
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Upper Range

Hi BillZ,
These are definitely do-able hikes depending on both of your level of fitness. My husband, sister, and I just did Saddleback, Gothics, Armstrong, UWJ a few weeks ago, and that was plenty for one day for us old 30 somethings You can view my trip report here: http://www.viewsfromthetop.com/foru...read.php?t=9353
The nice thing about the way we went, is we left LWJ up in the air for when we got to the col btwn UWJ and LWJ and then we could go for it if we felt up to it. The lean-to we stayed at was only a few tenths of a mile from JBL, so the distances would be similar.
I can't speak for Basin,Haystack as I've never done them, but if you were too tired on day 2 for that; you could always scoot over to Big Slide which is only about a 5 mile round trip from the JBL.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 10-10-2005, 09:51 AM   #3
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Sounds like you have an impressive schedule planned. I would say both days back to back are do-able for the seasoned hiker. If you have never been to the ADK before, your task is formidable.

I would also do Gothics first, and then head down through to LWJ. Its downhill from Gothics, and you can bail after Gothics if you decide, and not feel bad about it, since the view is incredible.

For the second day, you may try to just grab Haystack, or just do saddleback and basin. The trail between SBK and Basin is incredibly steep. Haystack is a tough place to be if the weather is inclemate.

JBL is a very nice place, though I have never stayed in the lodge. It may be a good idea to bring earplugs, since others may snore. You need all the sleep you can get with the hikes you have planned.

-percious
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Old 10-10-2005, 09:54 AM   #4
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No need to run through the wilderness

While doable, IMHO you'll be running through the wilderness with little opportunity to enjoy some really beautiful hiking. UWJ, Armstrong and Gothics is a wonderful hike, leave LWJ for another day. Basin and Saddleback make a nice loop trip. You don't want to hurry up and down Haystack, its worth a trip by itself. I know peakbaggers are a goal driven group, but take your time, the mountains will still be there.

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Old 10-10-2005, 12:53 PM   #5
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Both dayhikes are "doable", but are long days. In particular, the Haystack-Basin-Saddleback loop is as rugged a trail as you'll find in the Adirondacks, with lots of elevation gain/loss. Not sure what you're experience/fitness levels are, but train hard if you're planning both loops back-to-back.
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Old 10-10-2005, 02:02 PM   #6
billz
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Thanks for you response, however, the link to yuor trip report did not work.

I am definitely reconsidering the number of peaks, and would like to see your report.
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Old 10-10-2005, 09:24 PM   #7
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My link was broken!

BillZ,
You are right! I will post my trip report here on the ADKForum as well. Check it out under Trip Reports. It will be titled Gothics 9/18/05
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Old 10-12-2005, 01:06 PM   #8
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Don't turn around too soon!

One more thing! I just wanted to note that should you ascend Gothics via the Ore Bed Brook trail; you will approach what seems to be the summit after some steeper slide sections (with 2 cables) and then through some brush and boulders (if I recall). You kind of pop out onto this long rock ledge that seems to be the high point. There are great views here, but this isn't the summit! You need to continue on (even a bit downhill) thru some more alpine vegetation and then you will be led up to the true summit. The actual summit has a benchmark on it (a metal disk embedded in the rock). This advice comes from my trip up Gothics where a group of Canadian hikers passed us on their third trip up Gothics because they had turned around too soon twice before. If you end up doing the entire Gothics, Armstrong, UWJ loop the trail will lead you right over the summit...this is just advice if you get to the top of Gothics and decide to turn around.

Good luck! Be safe! Have fun!!!!
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Old 10-12-2005, 02:08 PM   #9
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When I got to this point on Gothics last weekend, I thought that I was on the summit too! I'm glad I was doing Armstrong, U.Wolf Jaw or I might have missed the summit. I do think that was a great spot to break though. There were less people. I had my lunch here in total peace watching the clouds drift over the neighboring mountains. As far as the total hike went.....it took our group of middle agers (40 somethings) about eight hours to complete the loop from the Johns Brook Camping area, Gothics, Armstrong, Upper Wolf Jaw and back to camp. Speaking for myself, I know that I couldn't do much more. One other thing to note, I had one member of my group that had a little problem with heights going up Gothics at the cables. I think that going down this side would be even more traumatic for this person. I'm glad that we had almost 100% fog/cloud cover too........It would have been even harder to get him up that rock!
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Old 10-12-2005, 06:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeedHopper
I'm glad that we had almost 100% fog/cloud cover too........It would have been even harder to get him up that rock!
Believe that!

I'm afraid of heights... but much less now that I climb regularly. At first it was truly an obsticle for me. Climbing is my therapy in this regard.
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Old 10-13-2005, 07:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeedHopper
When I got to this point on Gothics last weekend, I thought that I was on the summit too!
Not uncommon. Also on Upper Wolfjaw, and Colden.

I remember one cloudy-rainy day, climbing the Trap Dike. It started out nice that day, but the rain predicted for the afternoon arrived when we were halfway up the dike. By the time we got to the summit, is was thick fog, with very limited visibility. We headed down toward Lake Arnold. When we reached the little bump, it was filled with people sitting on the bald rock, thinking they were on the summit.

I remember a guy with a green pen telling me that this was a reason for having canisters on every peak.
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Old 10-13-2005, 01:09 PM   #12
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I would concur with the advice you've been given. The UWJ, Armstrong, Gothics loop is a great hike, and if you're really energetic, you could add LWJ on the end. I would agree that Saddleback and Basin are enough to tackle without trying to do Haystack too. Haystack alone is a wonderful hike. Another option for the second day would be a loop of Yard and Big Slide. Yard is not on the list of 46, but its still nice.
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