Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I was honored to ascend Haystack with my friend yesterday as she finished her 46!

Us four girls started in Lake George and picked up our fifth hiker in Bolton before heading to The Garden in Keene. Beginning right at 6am we were right on track. The first 3.5 miles to Johns Brook Lodge were easy. The weather forcast at JBL was 50% chance of showers, temperatures in the low 60s. The sky was still overcast, but we could see some views along the way.

We were somewhat prepared for our first obstacle. We knew Johns Brook just past Bushnell Falls was going to be high, and the rock-hopping there can be tricky anyway. With the huge snowmelt and nonstop rain this spring, we came prepared with large garbage bags to cover our boots with. My feet stayed dry across, even when I slipped in a little. Some scrapped the bags and went across barefoot.

We continued on the Phelps trail to Slant Rock. We took a long break there and "held the rock up" for pictures. After Slant Rock, we almost lost sight of the trail. Who knew that the raging river along side of the brook was the trail under water?!

We had to leave the trail and walk along side of it for a bit to stay dry, and we encountered snow from here on to Little Haystack. The ascent from this point was tough. It was muddy, icy, and post-hole city. We came to a junction where you can turn off to get Mt. Marcy or to Haystack. A sign posted a deceptive mere mile to Haystack. One Adirondack mile is like a hundred real miles! At an overlook we could see Little Haystack and Haystack. We know at this point they were less than a mile, but seemed so far away. Not to mention we had to go down and back up to reach Little Haystack, and down and back up to reach Haystack.

We were surprised at how quickly we actually got to Little Haystack. We ditched our packs there and went on to Haystack. It looked a lot trickier than it was. Though the rocks were slippery, there were lots of natural hand holds to grab onto while scrambling.

We reached the summit, a total of 9 miles from the start at 12:45. There were amazing views of Mt. Marcy, Basin, Gothics, Sawteeth, Dial, and Giant. We ate some lunch and took lots of pictures.

Carefully, we went back down the way we came, back up Little Haystack, and we were on our way back to the car. The post-holing seemed worse on the way down, and my feet were thoroughly soaked. We stopped at Slant Rock, and enjoyed brownies that I had brought, one that was decorated with the number 46 for the newest 46er. I changed my socks, only for them to be wet again in a few moments. Using plastic bags crossing back over Johns Brook did not work as they had on the way in. They did hold the water in nicely, however! We agreed that the brook seemed busier, deeper, and more fierce than it did on the way in. The current was very strong, nearly taking me away a couple times

If I thought my boots were wet before... I had an actual puddle of cold water in my boots, squishing the remaining 4.5 miles back. We detoured down to Bushnell Falls for some pictures about a mile before Johns Brook Lodge. Wow, what a beautiful waterfall!

At Johns Brook Lodge, I took off in front ever everyone, I had to get the boots off!

We got back to the car, around 7:20. I was one mountain closer and my friend was completely done! For her summer 46 anyway...

All the pictures can be seen here.

1 comment:

Splendid Little Stars said...

For her, there'll be the next list, right?!!
Do enjoy the adventure along the way. Before long, you too, will be celebrating 46!