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Old 04-16-2017, 06:16 PM   #1
malexander
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Tongue Mountain Range 4/14 - 4/15

My work/hiking balance had been leaning towards the unhealthy side so I extended my weekend and made plans to tackle the Tongue Range. The range has been on my list for a while and I figured spring would be the best time to visit - no bugs, no crowds, no snakes to worry about, no leaves blocking the views and still plenty of water. I also figured it would be a great opportunity to put some miles on my recently upgraded backpacking gear.

Day 1:
I started from the north end of the range (Deer Leap TH?) around 9am and worked my way up the ridge and over Fivemile Mountain admiring the views but not lingering too long at any spot. There were some small snowy spots on the north slopes in this area but they were quite manageable without any traction. I reached the Fifth Peak lean-to before noon and called it a day. The Fifth Peak lean-to has been on my list to stay at since the first time I was up there a couple years ago. I spent nearly all the rest of the day reading, napping and enjoying the views.
lean-to view.jpg

After enjoying a spectacular sunset, I retired to the Lean-To. Reading in the lean-to after dark, I heard something slowly approaching over last autumn's crunchy leaves. I have been on high guard after having a similar experience with a black bear a few years ago. Once the sound got close enough I turned on my head lamp but couldn't quite confirm what it was as it retreated. Ruling out any animal of concern, I figured it must have been a porcupine based on it's size, gait, and lack of haste. I settled in for a cold night with temperatures approaching freezing but never really felt cold.
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Day 2:
I woke up to an amazing sunrise and monitored it from the comfort of my sleeping bag. On my way to retrieve my food, I bid good morning to the porcupine and managed to grab a quick picture of him before he was startled. I ate breakfast and broke camp before 8am on what I knew would be a long tough day.
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I headed south on the range towards Montcalm Point pausing every so often to admire the views and snap some photos. The trail was rugged and leaf covered and very hard to follow at times. (I lost count of how many times I lost the trail going out to the point and back). I stopped at the point for a snack and watched a few fishermen on the lake for a while. I returned on the lakeside trail enjoying that it was a little less technical than the ridge.
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The warm day and the uneven trails were taking their toll on me but I knew the next section would be the hardest. I re-climbed the ridge stopping once for lunch and once to filter more water. I could tell that the anticipated rain was moving in so I made a push for Five Mile lean-to. I took a little bit of a longer break at the lean-to but decided that my bed and fried food were more inviting than a westerly facing lean-to in the rain. I worked my way back to the TH by 530pm under a very light refreshing rain. It was quite the big day for me with a full pack but was a much needed foray into the woods.

Last edited by malexander; 04-16-2017 at 07:37 PM.. Reason: wrong dates
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Old 04-16-2017, 07:27 PM   #2
Tick Magnet
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Welcome to the Forum.

Cool TR!

Love the porky photo.
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