Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Saying Hi & Bye to Street Mountains & Nye Mountains 2-16-14

The LOJ Road
Nolan and I grew excited as we turned onto LOJ Road and completed this last leg of our 3 hour drive to the high peaks region and we both anticipated that we would be the beneficiaries of  a perfect sunny winter day to climb this pair of peaks. All roads (OKwell maybe not all-just some) lead to the ADK LOJ road when climbing the high peaks and  the view as you enter onto the LOJ road seemingly says; "Welcome & Hello!" setting the mood for the days hike. Cheered by the sight of the ADK LOJ we approached the gate-house and were greeted by an indifferent teenaged young lady playing loud music, who held out her hand saying that will be $10 and promptly took our $10 parking fee without even looking at us, and closed the window.
Oh well, every climb is kinda like Christmas morning with the excitement and anticipation of the climb, so we moved quickly to the parking area to set off on the days adventures....Once again, bear with me and I'll complete the writing in a week or so, until then enjoy the photos!!!

Beautiful snow-covered, wind swept trees near summit of Street Mountain
More of the lovely snow-covered, wind swept forests near summit of Street Mountain
Summit view from Street Mountain
Close up View of Algonquin from Street Mountain (can even see the hikers going up and at the top)
Close up of Wright Mountain from Street Mountain (can even see the cairns silhouettes)

the only sign you're at the summit of Street Mountain
Summit marker on NYE Mountain a less than impressive reward for such a gruelling climb
As you approach the summits you do get views(don't forget to turn around and look once in a while) along the trails that are quite stunning, so enjoy! As the views on Street Mountain are OK, but the views on NYE Mountain are nada!

Close up of Algonquin, Boundary & Iroquois Mtns

Nolan and I on summit of High Peak #20 Street Mountain after completing #19 NYE Mountain

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Moments of Introspection, Peace, and Renewal on Whiteface & Esther Mountains

We step out of the car and the snow crunches below our feet as Nolan and I begin to prepare for todays climb. I inhale deeply the brisk cold air, and stretch like a butterfly morphing from a cocoon. Getting up at 3am plus the 3 hour trip to get here, leaves you a little foggy in the head and stiff in the muscles. The cold air and the nervous excitement quickly re-energizes me  though.  Nolan and I move quickly to suit up and not risk losing core temperature before we even begin the ascent.  There are 3 or 4 parties in the parking lot already, most of whom are almost ready to go. We check each other out and some nod and smile.   Ice spikes are a given today, but we both agree after seeing trail conditions and reading ADK trail reports, that our snowshoes are likely not needed today. The winds are light and the sun is out, so it promises to be a beautiful day for this climb. We quickly pass  a couple of groups in the first mile or two as we start the ascent.

As you trudge up and down mountain trails for hours and what seems like at times, endless miles of forested trails, you have a lot of time to think. Unlike mountains in the west where you often drive up to the trailhead at the base of the mountain, the Adirondack peaks generally are accessible after climbing over many smaller peaks and mountains and over many miles of rugged mountain terrain to get to the respective mountain. So, you have a lot of time, to challenge in your own mind; many of your beliefs and ideas. A lot of time to relive the past, and a  lot of time to dream and plan for the future. Nolan's a great son, but he is a teenager. Although he seems eager and happy to share conversation related to the days events, apparatus, or perhaps history along this journey, the  real mind-bending and philosophical conversation I might enjoy, is a no-no.

 Most times there is no cell phone coverage, so we don't even try. Nolan will snap an occasional photo with his cell and send it to a friend if coverage is available, but otherwise he's like me, and forgets about the device for the day. Often it's so cold on these winter hikes, electronics don't work anyway.

 Business calls, so enjoy the photos for now and I'll try to finish this post over the coming weekend.........................