The Crooked Canes Journal


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Rooster Comb and Snow Mt. Loop Hike ~ Oct 12, 2017

Journal entry by Gail Stauble



There were 17 of us for the climb to Rooster Comb today.  The woods were beautiful as always, and with the added bonus of fall colors and leaf strewn paths it was really special. We had an uneventful climb to the peak of Rooster Comb and took our time there, having lunch and enjoying the sun and colors.  There was a mutiny in progress, though.  All but 5 friendly Caners bailed ship on my plans for a one peak day - Peter (!) arranged for a side trip to nearby Snow Mt.  I hope that it worked out well, with no further deviation of plans.  I will let Peter elaborate on that segment of the day.  Myself, Barb & Rich, Jo-Ellen and Lynn, had a pleasant, quiet and meditative walk, retracing our steps to the parking lot.

Thanks to Bob, Ed, Shelly, Lynn, Jo-Ellen, Carolyn, Donna, Barb & Rich, Kurt & Diane, Joanne, Barbara, Denis, Linda P and Pedro for coming along with me today.

Gail

…. and now for the rest of the story ….

Planning a mutiny requires secrecy, something I knew would be nearly impossible with our group.  I mentioned my plans to offer a side trip to nearby Snow Mt. to a few people at a time.  I promised those joining me that they would be rewarded with a beautiful trail and views that would match or surpass those from Rooster Comb and would only require an additional mile of hiking and 250’ more in gain.  As expected, the secret was soon out in the open and I had more people than I thought joining the mutiny.  Gail took it well – she was just happy she was able to keep those that carpooled with her together – Lynn was the extra.  As Gail mentioned, we had a long and enjoyable lunch together before the mutineers packed up and headed off to Snow.  There were 12 of us now, headed to the junction where we needed to veer off to Snow.  We first passed Valley View Ledge where everyone stopped on the way up and enjoyed the expansive views of the Ausable Valley and the mountains that surround it – we continued down.  My plans were working out too well and, being a skeptic, I suspected that there may be traitors among our group, those not loyal to the goal, and had to come up with a plan to root them out.  Being a devious person when the situation requires I quickly thought of a plan.  At the next junction I would intentionally lead the group off in the wrong direction.  I would make sure the effort would tire some of them out and only the motivated and loyal would remain.  We soon arrived at the junction to Hedgehog Mt and I told them to head in that direction – that there would be another trail junction up ahead to Snow – the trap was set.  The trail was a little rough and continued to rise – all the time I knew we were headed in the wrong direction.  After about fifteen minutes, when I thought they had enough, I called for the group to return, that we were going the wrong way and we need to go back to the last junction.  Sure enough – my plan worked.  When we arrived at the junction Ed, Shelly and Denis said they were heading back to the cars and not going on to Snow – the traitors were identified!  They came up with the excuse that they wanted to make sure they returned early enough to attend “waltz” night at a local capital district dance hall – a likely excuse!

We had a loyal group now and the trail to Snow was even nicer than I promised – easy to follow and soft from all the newly fallen leaves.  There were several stretches where the deep red maple leaves looked like a blanket covering the trail.  The trail is mostly flat in this section with only a couple of narrow stream crossings before arriving at the spur trail to Snow.  The spur trail to its summit is very steep in sections but only .4 miles.  Reaching the ridge we had views of Rooster Comb and its jagged cliffs behind us and a little further on the trail the open area of Snow Mt.  Views were expansive with a close-up of Giant and the Nubble, Chapel Pond, Round Mt, Noonmark, Ausable Club, Dix, Dial and Nippletop and more.  We spent much more time than we originally intended but it was worth it – after all, that is why we were there.  Eventually, we had to start down, retracing our steps to the junction and the loop trail that would take us to our cars.  The trail was beautiful, in a valley that parallels the one we climbed up hours before. It follows a brook most of the way, with only a trickle of water due to the lack of rain.  The sun wasn’t as bright now and the trees changed to more evergreens with huge, mature hemlocks visible along our route making it look darker than it really was.  Before long we arrived at the junction with the main trail with less than a mile to go.  Back at the parking lot and out of the forest canopy the sky was bright again and we were greeted by an always smiling Peter Wood.  Peter was unable to join us today on the hike but did drop off his wife Donna so that she could join us while he spent the time exploring the area and having some lunch and berry pie at the Noonmark Diner.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Any rumors suggesting that I was actually lost on the trail to Hedgehog are totally false.

Pedro

10/15/17 - Barbara Zuccaro added 7 photos. 10/21/17 - Wanderer . added 15 photos.

23 photos



Group pic at the trailhead sans Gail, leader and photographer



Our starting point! - added by Barbara



The sun shining thru the canopy was great! - added by Barbara



Stunning foliage! - added by Barbara



Rich & Pete on top of the tangled roots. - added by Barbara



Pete offering advice on area hikes. - added by Barbara



On a clear day you can see forever! - added by Barbara



Reflections! - added by Barbara



On the boardwalk at the start - added by Wanderer



We're on the trail! - added by Wanderer



View from Valley View Ledge - First Brother (L) with L to R - Cascade , Porter and Blueberry Mts. - added by Wanderer



A very good mast year - added by Wanderer



Kurt says we're close - added by Wanderer



Lunch on top of Rooster Comb - added by Wanderer



View from Rooster Comb - Giant of the Valley (L), Round Mt (R) and Snow Mt (C) - the small one - added by Wanderer



On our way to Snow Mt - Linda P, Donna and Joanne leading the way - added by Wanderer



A steep section on Snow Mt - added by Wanderer



View from Snow Mt with Round Mt (L), Noonmark (R) and the Ausable Club center/bottom - added by Wanderer



Another view from Snow Mt with Dix Mt and its slides and Bears Den, Dial and the ridge to Nippletop in the center horizon - added by Wanderer



Rocky top of Snow Mt - added by Wanderer



Looking back at Rooster Comb from the ridge on Snow Mt - added by Wanderer



Trailside cascade - added by Wanderer



You've gotta love Mother Nature - our trail! - added by Wanderer



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