The Crooked Canes Journal


Viewing 15 of 76 - 2017

    Return    

Black Mountain Lollipop Loop Hike ~ Mar 9, 2017

Journal entry by Wanderer



I think everyone who attended the hike of Black Mountain this past Thursday was surprised at the large turnout.  Despite the longer than normal ride, forecasted cold temps and high winds seventeen brave souls showed up and were rewarded with a very nice adventure.  A scout of the trails was not done so it wasn’t known whether snowshoes were going to be required but once at the trailhead parking lot it was easy to see that Microspikes or some other type of traction footwear would suffice – very little snow, if any, could be found. 

From the parking lot the trail follows an unpaved road for a little over a half mile to a private camp before entering the woods and becoming a well marked foot path.  The snow had all but melted, leaving behind ice, scattered here and there and while you could probably bare-boot it by going off trail, as some did, it was easier using Microspikes. The wood’s trail contained long stretches of ice down the center which functioned as a highway for us and had us gaining elevation steadily.  At about a mile from the start we reached a trail junction to the left that leads to Lapland and Black Mountain ponds – our return route.   In another half mile the trail really started to gain elevation and the ice sections were much more prevalent which made for slower going for the remaining mile and nearly 900’ in elevation.  At approximately a half mile from the top there were times when we could hear the whirl of the power generating windmill at the summit, something you don’t hear this far away when the leaves are on the trees.  Despite the ice we all made it to the top and headed for the sheltered spot just below the old fire tower, decorated with solar panels and antennas, now used as a DEC forest ranger communication tower and closed to the public.  Although we were bathed in sunlight with lots of blue sky the wind forced everyone to keep their windbreakers and warm layers on.  The windmill speed ranged from just a slow rotation and a whisper to super fast and a roar, so fast that it felt like the propellers would break off at any moment.  Some compared it to the sound of a helicopter close by.  From our perch it is just a short distance to two super overlooks that provide expansive views of the northern end of Lake George towards Ticonderoga.   From these there was a clear view of the Harbor and Vicars Island with Deer Leap and its steep cliffs just behind them, Sabbath Day Point and further north Cook Mt., and on the eastern shore Anthony’s Nose and Record Hill.  There were additional views of mountains in the distance but they would go nameless on this visit.

With lunch finished it was time to start back, continuing in a counterclockwise direction, descending the west side of the mountain and then south towards Black Mountain and Lapland Ponds.  The trail is just as steep in the first mile of descent as on the last mile of the ascent but there are more switchbacks that make it seem easier and since it is south and west facing there was little or no ice to worry about and bare boots were just fine.  Along the way, there are several short spur trails that lead to super nice views of the southern half of Lake George, the Narrows, the southern end of the Tongue Mountain range and views of Crane and Gore Mountains to the west – all reasons to stop and linger.  From the overlooks you could see the numerous white caps on much of the surface of Lake George north of the islands in the Narrows – a tell tale indicator of strong winds on the lake and not just where we were.   At close to a mile from the summit we reach a trail junction that leads to the shore of Lake George at Black Mt. Point – the trail we took back in August of 2016 where we had boat rides to Huletts Landing waiting for us.  We will save that for another day and continue on a short distance to the first of the two Black Mountain ponds – still completely frozen – a sign that winter had not yet lost its grip entirely.  The trail has leveled out now and continues east another half mile to the second and smaller Black Mountain pond before turning north and in short distance we pass Lapland Pond, also frozen.  We see more ice on the trail at this point so most of us put on our Microspikes to make it safer on the next mile to the junction with the trail mentioned at the beginning and make the final turn east back to our cars.  I am not quite sure of the total distance traveled – seems like there was quite the difference in what people recorded on their GPS units – some had 6.6 miles while others had as much as 8.8 miles – I never turn mine on to measure the miles – doesn’t matter much either – as long as everyone had a good time.

A nifty video of the turbine making a LOT of noise is HERE.

 

3/10/17 - Joy Munro added 6 photos.

3/12/17 - Wanderer . added 8 photos.

3/22/17 - Diane Wisell added 3 photos.

6/24/17 - Wanderer . added 1 photo.

17 photos



The trail up was icy in places at the beginning... - added by Joy



And even icier in places nearer the top... - added by Joy



But the view made the trip well worth the effort. - added by Joy



The wind turbine - added by Joy



We also had great views on the way down - added by Joy



As we made our way around the base of the mountain, just after crossing a foot bridge, we could look back and see where we had been: the peak on the right. - added by Joy



View of wind turbine and communications tower on top of Black Mountain through the trees from well below the summit - you may have to look closely to see the wind turbine to the left of the tower - added by Wanderer



Linda P and Katie negotiating some ice on the trail - added by Wanderer



Our sheltered lunch spot just below the summit - missing a few - added by Wanderer



Lynn and Margie at the summit - added by Wanderer



View of Deer Leap and its steep cliffs - located at the northern end of the Tongue Mountain Range (I think that is Vicars Island) - added by Wanderer



View looking north - Sabbath Day Point (lower left), Anthony's Nose and Record Hill (center right) and Cook Mountain (center - back of Anthony's Nose) - added by Wanderer



View from the descent looking west - Crane Mt - left on the horizon, Gore Mt - right on the horizon and Tongue Mountain Range in the foreground - added by Wanderer



Barbara D and Bob G on one of the switchbacks on the backside of the mountain - added by Wanderer



Our gang at the trailhead. - added by Diane



Two generations of winter in one season! Old ice on the left, new ice covering much of a small spruce on the right. - added by Diane



Joy enjoys the southern view from Black Mountain. - added by Diane




Attendees:  Jan & Jim, Barbara D, Joy, Margie, Lynn, Ray Boucher, Katie, Jayne, Diane & Kurt, Shelly, Linda P, Bob Glandon (first timer), Rich, Bob A, Peter

Viewing 15 of 76 - 2017

    Return    

Update entry