The Crooked Canes Journal


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Black Mountain Hike ~ Oct 1, 2015

Journal entry by Diane Wisell



Foliage season typically has peaked, or nearly so, during the first week of October at the latitude of our originally scheduled hike for this week, but this year giving only faint hints of how pretty it may or may not become. Is this due to the extended period of gloriously sunny, warm, dry weather we experienced during the past few months or the harbinger of a real old fashioned winter to come? Either way, with no foliage, our hike at Bird would have been a replay of our hike in June so we opted to change the hike to Black Mountain on Lake George, not on the CC schedule since Irv Boyle's outing in 1998.

In spite of a forecast painting the day as gloomy, cold and windy, it was close to perfect most of the time. All of our troupe of nine were chilly at the damp, cloudy, 45 degree trail head and eager to be climbing. As we climbed the roughly 2.8 mile path to the summit, the sky gradually cleared, the temperature rose and numerous stops were made to shed layers. It had been many years, or never before, that any of us had been to Black Mountain and memories, if retained at all, were well faded except for the general recollection that this was a pretty good hike. It’s not a good hike, it’s a REALLY good hike over excellent, well-marked trails ascending at a quite even, moderate grade from bottom to top, through absolutely beautiful forest.

Nearing the summit, we could distinctly hear the windmill whirring noisily away in the stiff northeasterly wind. The summit views were well worth our taking time to check out the forgotten overlooks with views of the northern half of Lake George and in one case seeing something thought to something else and nearly crushing poor Ed in an attempt to get away from a dreaded, creepy and surely deadly……….stick. After checking out the views and taking a few pictures, we retreated down the trail we had come up to where we recalled it was windless, warm and sunny with a broad smooth ledge to spread out on for lunch.

Lunch over and navigation checked, we headed out on the second part of our loop on another trail descending the southerly side of the mountain. With only fuzzy memories of the trail, we strained mightily, with little success, to recall if there was any virtue in what lay ahead or if the planned route was a ho-hum long slog to the bottom. This was one of those times when failed memory provides unexpected rewards! The trail was absolutely beautiful, in the sun and out of the wind. The descent gentle on good trail in beautiful forest with great views, one after another, of the southern half of the lake, followed by lovely ponds and enough trail left over to unwind from all that excitement.

Arriving back at the trail head, the general consensus was that it sure would be nice if the day could continue…..with our tired legs refreshed, more terrific views another 12 hours of sunlight and wonderful companionship. Linda & Peter, Diane & Kurt, Rich, Margie, Cathy, Joy and Ed had a memorable day in the Adirondacks!

Advice. If you are not real young, do this hike more than once every 15 years. It's a great hike with a lot you don't want to forget! Our 7.6 mile hike with 2,020' total vertical ascent included a few hundred vertical feet and half mile or more than necessary of "extra" wandering. The trail is of fairly constant grade, in generally nice condition and there is no final steep ascent to the summit as commonly found on higher peaks with good views.

10/13/15 - Wanderer . added 9 photos.

18 photos



Our chilly troupe, ready to CLIMB!



Several of quite a few hoodoos found in numerous locations on and off the trail. We attributed them to Ed's talents with stone.



Ed points out highlights of the view north toward Ticonderoga.



Joy, it was great to have you back!



Absent anyone having a good memory, the Crooked Canes Cartographic Society reviews our options.



Another of Mr. Valla's artistic hoodoos.



A brief moment of terror when someone thought this..........



..........was this. Fortunately it was the former, but Ed was nearly mowed down in the paniced observer's flight. Did you see that Diane?



A southerly view of Lake George.



Lapland Pond. A lean to is in the middle left.



Colors are just beginning - late this year - added by Wanderer



Upward bound - added by Wanderer



Ferns nipped by frost - added by Wanderer



Looking NW - Saint Sacrament Island (lower left) and Harbor Islands (center) with Vicar Island slightly north - added by Wanderer



Cliffs of Deer Leap on the Tongue Mountain Range with Vicar Island (bottom) - added by Wanderer



Group pic on top - added by Wanderer



Looking south - the Narrows - added by Wanderer



Looking back - it doesn't look so high from this view! - added by Wanderer



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