South West Hunter

Went hiking today to join a friend on his quest for his 3500.  This hike was South West Hunter, my third time up the mountain.  We started at the end of Spruceton bright and early with a light drizzle and chilly temperatures.  I was the only one that didn't put on a long sleeve shirt or rain gear, and I was right to not do that as I warmed up by the time we hit Diamond Notch falls.  We hiked in at a relaxed pace and found ourselves at the falls in no time.

Memorial Day Intro to the High Peaks

A while ago, a friend from my ADF days and I were talking about hiking as she had started hiking the Whites in New Hampshire, and I had already finished my 46er.  I told her that I would love to show her "my" mountains some day, whenever she wanted to.  Well, this memorial day was the time for me to show her.  My original plans were to come in from the south, backpack into the Lake Colden/Flowed Lands area and grab some peaks out of there like Marshal, Marcy, Skylight, Grey, and Colden, but the one place she had to go was Avalanche Pass/Lake.

Vanderwacker Fire Tower

Today was a prep for memorial day hiking/backpacking, and I failed miserably.  The hike itself is quite beautiful up to the former caretaker's cabin, that is once you get off the long road walk in.  You pass through forest and meadows, by ponds and over streams.  I actually saw some fish in one stream and painted trillium, which I don't recall ever seeing before.  The trail up from the cabin was a typical ADK trail, but the views from the tower are lovely, and I haven't seen the high peaks this well from the south before.

Baxter

Today, I took a jaunt over to Baxter.  This is not a big mountain, but it does have some wonderful views at the ledges near the top.  Started off on 9N and followed the trail to the top.  Overall the trail was in pretty good shape, and the snow was all gone.  Once up top it was a question of do I go over and come back around, or just go back down and do another peak.  I went on, and this was a mistake.

Winter Dial and Nippletop Attempt

This day, I attempted to do Dial and Nippletop.  The day started out as usual, with a quick walk up to the trail register and down lake road to the turn off for the Leach trail.  Going up the Leach trail is not bad, but there were a few icy spots that made it adventerous.  After the icey spots were over, switched over to snowshoes for the climb up Noonmark's shoulder.  This climb just killed me.  I couldn't get my heart rate down, and was really struggling.

Winter Rusk, Hunter, SW Hunter

This hike I did in reverse of what I did last time.  I parked at the big lot on Spruceston and started up the bridal path.  When I reached the hairpin turn, turned left and went up the ridge to the top of Rusk.  This has a stupidly steep section, but with microspikes and a bit of fresh snow, it wasn't that bad to get up and find the canister.  At this point, the tracks ended, so on went the snowshoes and over to Hunter I went.  I mostly went along what the likely herd path is, but there were a few places, mostly coming off East Rusk that I went a little awry.

Winter Halcott

This time I was able to get up Halcott as I got there earlier in the morning.  Also, this time I knew that the herd path is not straight up the mountain from where you park, but off down the road a little bit further, and I ended up leading a couple people and a lovely dog over to it.  This is the first time I've gone up this way, so I didn't realize how steep it was.  Started with microspikes but once the climbing began considered switching over to the shoes.