Trout Pond Loop

TroutApr2015_11camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Monday, April 13th I was still a little tired from hiking Westkill the day before and had not planned on going anywhere. When Karl came in for breakfast, he asked if I was going to hike somewhere since the day was so beautiful already. I decided to get a few miles in at Trout Pond as I expected Russell Brook Falls to have a high volume of water. I got a late start leaving Livingston Manor just before 10:30 AM and heading north on Route 17 to Roscoe. I took Route 206 to Downsville but turned left onto Morton Hill Road just after the Roscoe Nursing Home. When I got to the intersection with Russell Brook Road, I turned around and parked on the side of the road to avoid parking in the large open space which is marked as private property. Russell Brook Road appeared to have been plowed as was free of snow and ice. I decided not to take my snowshoes but left my Microspikes in my pack. Sheila was ready to go as always and we started down the road just after 10:45 AM.  Continue reading

Westkill from Spruceton

WestkillApr2015_03camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Sunday, April 12th, I was ready to hike after almost a week “off” for the Easter holiday. A return to coaching track and relentless rain also curtailed the hiking opportunities. I decided to do another 3500 foot peak since my experience on Hunter had been so enjoyable. I decided to return to that area and hike Westkill. This peak has a special meaning for me as it is where I spread the ashes of my canine hiking companion Sheba. I also like Diamond Notch Falls which is on the way to the peak. I had read many posts on the ADK High Peaks forum and knew that I should take both snowshoes and spikes. Some hikers even advocated crampons but I have seldom need them. I got a later start than I had wanted leaving Livingston Manor at about 8:00 AM. I got Sheila into the car and loaded up my equipment. I headed out DeBruce Road which almost bare. At the end I turned left on Route 47 to head toward Big Indian and Route 28. Continue reading

Weather for the week of April 12

The week of April 12th began with a beautiful, sunny day on Sunday . Temperatures started in the mid 20′s but quickly roSe to the mid 60′s as the sun shone brightly. The forecast for Monday through Thursday is for more bright and sunny days with highs in the low 60′s or high 50′s. The low temperatures at night will barely bet down to freezing. The forecast for Friday calls for cloudy skies and a passing shower. Saturday will see more rain in the morning with clouds in the afternoon with a high of 59 degrees. This forecast makes it hard to predict the trail conditions anywhere. There is still enough snow to make snowshoes a good idea for hiking on the peaks and even on many of the other trails in the area. Trails that are packed hard in the morning may soften with increasing temperatures throughout the day. Crampons or spikes may be required in spots as the trail thaw and then refreeze. Many of the trails have many postholes from hikers too ignorant or inconsiderate to wear snowshoes! Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Frick Pond: Quick Lake and Logger’s Loop

FrickQuickLoggersApr2015_07camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhike On Monday, March 6th I was ready to get back out on the trails after a long weekend. I led four church services from Good Friday through Easter and had family at the house most of the day on Sunday . All of this was wonderful but tiring. Monday looked liked it would be the best day to hike since the forecast for the rest of the week called for rain. Cindy had not been out in some time but agreed to take a hike at Frick Pond. We got Sheila in the car and loaded our equipment to head DeBruce Road. We decided that snowshoes would probably be needed as the warm temperatures would make the snow soft on the trails. I decided to bring my Crescent Moon snowshoes this time as they are slightly wider than the other models I have. We left home around 10:15 AM and parked in the larger of the two lots at the end of Beech Mountain Road. There was a layer of snow in the parking lot as we got ready and headed out at 10:45 AM on the Quick Lake Trail. Continue reading

Weather for the week of April 5th

The week of April 5th began with snow showers overnight and into the morning resulting in some accumulation and icy surfaces. The snow continued until afternoon when the sun came out and temperatures rose√©.Monday was a beautiful day with plenty of sun and temperatures rising into the high 50′s. train showers moved in beginning in the early evenings and are forecast to continue throughout the night. Showers will stay around throughout the day on Tuesday with heavier rain in the late afternoon. The showers will continue throughout Wednesday as the temperatures drop to only 40 degrees. Thursday appears to be a repeat of Wednesday. On Friday the rain will persist but the temperatures will rise to 60 degrees or above. Showers will also be around on Saturday but the temperature should be in the mid 50′s. This forecast makes it hard to predict the trail conditions anywhere. There is still enough snow to make snowshoes a good idea for hiking on the peaks and even on many of the other trails in the area. Trails that are packed hard in the morning may soften with increasing temperatures throughout the day. Crampons or spikes may be required in spots as the trail thaw and then refreeze. Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Hunter Mountain from Spruceton

HunterSprucetonApr2015_03camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Wednesday, April 1stI wanted to do a 3500 foot peak and had decided early in the week it would be Hunter. I looked at the weather forecast and picked the day that seemed to offer cool weather but some bright sun. I wanted the snow to be frozen and hard packed for hiking but also wanted to have some nice views from the fire tower. I had thought I would get started at about 7:00 AM but for various reasons I did not get out of the house until after 8:00 AM. The temperature in the early morning was in the low teens but it was quickly warming into the mid 20′s. I got an always eager Sheila into the car and put my gear in the trunk. I was hoping to be able to use only spikes but I brought along my MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes in case conditions warranted. These are not my favorite snowshoes but they fold almost flat which makes them the best pick when they may have to be strapped to a pack. I headed out DeBruce Road which was snow covered and slippery in spots from some snow the day before. I turned left on Route 47 to head toward Big Indian and Route 28. Continue reading

Frick and Hodge Ponds: Flynn and Quick Lake Trails

FrickHodgeMar2015_01camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Monday, March 30th I had made tentative plans to hike with a friend at Frick Pond. When I called him mid-morning, he told me he was running late and would not be bale to make it. I decided that I would go anyway but hike a longer loop. I though I might go up the Flynn Trail as I had not been there for the entire winter. It had snowed some overnight leaving a blanket of one to two inches of fresh white over the melting snow. By the time I got Sheila and my gear in the car it was almost 12:30 PM. The temperature was about 37 degrees which worried me a little since the snow would be close to melting. I headed out DeBruce Road and made the familiar left turn onto Mongaup Road. At the split I headed to the left on Beech Mountain Road and parked in the smaller parking area on the left. When I let Sheila out of the car, she ran in circles around it until I was ready to go. Continue reading

Weather for the week of March 29

The week of March 29th began with generally sunny skies and temperatures in the mid to high 30′s on Sunday. The forecast for Monday calls for highs in the low 40′s with a few snow and rain showers throughout the day. On Tues day the temperature drops a few degrees with the threat of showers in the afternoon. Wednesday’s forecast is for temperatures in the low 40′s with plenty of sun and little or no wind. The temperature rises into the 50′s on Thursday with more clouds than sun. Showers will be around throughput the day on Friday but the temperature will remain in the 50′s. On Saturday and Sunday there will be more sun but the temperatures drop back into the low 40′s. There is still enough snow to make snowshoes a good idea for hiking on the peaks. Trails that are packed hard in the morning may soften with in increasing temperatures throughout the day. Crampons or spikes may be required in spots as the trail thaw and then refreeze. When parking to hike, be sure you are out of the way of snow plows and do not park in places where they must turn around. Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Long Pond Lollipop Loop

LollipopLoopMar2015_02camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Saturday, March 28th I had planned to go to Hunter Mountain and hike from Spruceton to the summit. IU wanted to get some views and another snowshoe hike before the snow was gone. When I awoke at 6:00 AM, I looked at the forecast for Spruceton which called for windchills in the single digits for the whole day and for some snow. I decided that I wanted some sunny views if I was going to hike to a fire tower. I do not mind hiking when it is cold since I have the appropriate clothing but Sheila only has one set of clothes and she seems to get a little cold when temperatures less than the mid-teens. As I was thinking about another hike I realized I had not been to Long Pond in some time. I also knew that the trails in this area would be packed by snowmobile traffic. Since I usually walk back on Flugertown Road, I would have to carry my snowshoes if I wore them. If the trails were packed, I could wear my spikes which are easier to carry on the road. Continue reading

Frick Pond with Bryce

FrickBryceMar2015_17camera32On Friday, March 27th, I wanted to get in a hike but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I knew it would have to be short and local as I had track practice in the afternoon. Bryce, my 4 year old grandson, was at the house by 9:15 AM and told me he wanted to use his snowshoes before all the snow was gone. I decided we would go to Frick Pond and walk out to the bridge and back. Having Sheila and Bryce along means that much more to manage but I finally got both of them, my equipment and Bryce’s poles and snowshoes into the car. It was a little colder than I would have liked with the temperature only in the mid 20′s. The parking lots at Frick Pond were empty so I parked in the bigger lot and helped Bryce put on his snowshoes. The MSR Tykers do not have keepers on the front straps but I tucked them under the strap and they seemed OK. Continue reading