In February 2021, I lead a small group up into the Catskill’s Blackhead Range. The purpose of our trip was to test some winter backpacking skills and equipment and to bag a few peaks. The first day, we hiked up to Lockwood Gap and set up camp before ascending Blackhead Mountain. The next morning hiked Blackdome and Thomas Cole mountains before returning to camp, packing up, and walking out to the car. It was a successful trip and we learned a lot.Continue reading Winter Backpacking the Blackhead Range
In late January 2020, I lead a group of six Argonauts from Hudson Valley Hikers to tackle the Vermont Winter for a weekend of backpacking. We traversed Kilington Mountain Southbound along the Appalachian Trail, and then descended into the wilderness lying to the south, finishing at VT Rt 103. Temperatures were consistently about 30 degrees F with some strong winds Saturday and occasionally snow flurries during the day and moderate freezing rain over night.Continue reading Vermont Appalachian Trail: US 4 to VT 103. Snow!
Continuing in the theme of “misunderestimating” snow, we take a look back at March of 2019. We had planned a 23 mile hike from Dalton to North Adams in Massachusetts. Snow maps were sketchy, but from what we could tell there would be no more than 2 inches on the ground. The weather had different plans. Four to eight inches of fresh snow on this relatively unused section of the Appalachian Trail made route finding and forward progress difficult. Imagine trying to spot white blazes when every tree is covered with white snow!Continue reading Massachusetts Appalachian Trail: Dalton to North Adams – A Snowy Slog!
In November of 2019, I took a group of Hudson Valley Hikers on a backpacking trip from Bennington, VT to North Adams, MA. We covered only 18.7 miles, but bridged a gap between two longer sections. Weather in November can be tricky. We call it shoulder season. Fall is over, but winter hasn’t quite started yet. You can get an odd combination of conditions. Over the last couple of years, we’ve learned to expect snow when hiking in Vermont or Massachusetts between November and March.Continue reading Appalachian Trail: Bennington to North Adams
Labor Day Weekend of 2019, the Argonauts contingent of Hudson Valley Hikers spent 3 days backpacking the Wildcat-Carter-Moriah range in the White Mountains. This range is full of challenges, but we broke it into three very manageable days. This was my last section of Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire, completing a continuous section from Shenandoah National Park to Grafton Notch. Everyone on the hike earned 6 New Hampshire 4000 footers.Continue reading Appalachian Trail / White Mountains: Wildcat, Carter, Moriah Traverse
On a cold and rainy weekend in August of 2019, I lead a small group of Hudson Valley Hikers on a backpacking trip to Owl’s Head in the White Mountains. Owl’s Head is the only 4000 foot peak in New Hampshire’s White Mountains without an officially maintained trail, although there is a well established herd path. We camped for the night at AMC’s Thirteen Falls Campsite.Continue reading White Mountains: Owl’s Head and Thirteen Falls Loop
In July of 2019, I lead a team from Hudson Valley Hikers across the Pemigewasset Wilderness in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. We backpacked 22.4 miles, climbed 5,828 feet, and bagged 6 New Hampshire 4000 Footers: Galehead, North and South Twin, West Bond, Bond, and Bondcliff. We camped at Guyot Shelter about halfway through. The Bonds are a spectacular range set in the middle of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Because its at least a 6 mile hike into the woods to get to them, they are like a more private version of Franconia Ridge.Continue reading White Mountain Bonds Traverse: Gale River to Lincoln Woods
In July 2019, I spent a week in Maine with a group of Argonauts from Hudson Valley Hikers. We spent the first half of the week exploring Baxter State Park, home of the famous Katahdin. Day 1 was very rainy, so we did the easy 10 mile section of Appalachian Trail from Abol Bridge to Katahdin Stream (separate post.) On Day 2 we launched a 2-prong assault on the buttressed fortress of Katahdin itself. A portion of my group went up the Helon Taylor trail and crossed the Knife Edge. Tree Whisperer and I chose to go up the newly opened Abol Trail. We would all come back down the Appalachian (Hunt) Trail.Continue reading Katahdin: Up the Abol Trail, down the Appalachian (Hunt) Trail
Saranac Lake, NY
In June of 2019, I spent a weekend canoe camping on Lower Saranac Lake in New York’s Adirondack Park. I went with friends from Hudson Valley Hikers. HVH hikes have a reputation for being long, difficult, and fast. Our canoe camping events tend to be quite the opposite. Most of these trips are slow and relaxing. Canoe camping is also a nice departure from my normal minimalist backpacking style because it is easier to carry cooking equipment and real food.Continue reading Saranac Lake Canoe Camping, Fishing, and Hiking Ampersand Mountain!
In July of 2019, I took a small group of Argonauts from Hudson Valley Hikers up to Maine for a week. This was a real multi-adventure. We spent the first few days in Baxter State Park hiking the Appalachian Trail and climbing Katahdin. Then we took a day off hiking to raft down the Penobscot River. This post discusses the last leg of our trip: a 4 day backpack from Flagstaff Lake to Monson.Continue reading Maine Appalachian Trail: Flagstaff Lake to Monson