Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Wright Peak

Continuing on with our hiking adventures from back in October (and now I have some to blog about from a few weeks ago, so behind), we decided to see how Bernie felt the morning after our hike up Colden to decide if we would attempt another peak.

Hiking? Again?

When we woke up, we were happy to find that Bernie was moving around easily and seemed ready for another hike (we were all feeling the previous day's hike, but wanted to get another high peak before leaving to go home).

The night before we decided that we would go for Wright Peak, but instead of starting at the Loj we would park at South Meadow and take a ski trail over to the trail from the Loj. We got to South Meadow pretty early and got ready to go. It was warmer than the day before, but cloudier. We weren't expecting many views at the top!

Gorgeous light at the trail register

After gathering our things, and helping another hiker figure out where she might be meeting her friends for their hike, we got going. The walk on the South Meadow truck road is nice and flat in the beginning. We checked in at the register and then kept going. We weren't going to be on the trail for long and we were looking for our turn off for the Mr. Van Ski Trail.

One nice thing about this trail is that we got a different perspective of the ADK

Our owl friend!

Walking single file

We saw it about a mile or so into our hike, and went for it. The Mr. Van Ski Trail connects with the trail from the Loj that we needed to take to get to Wright. The ski trail was a little over a mile and the trail was really overgrown. I worried about ticks and Bernie, so we were walking single file the entire way.  The trail wasn't too bad until we came to a stream crossing. The water we walked into was calf deep, but luckily it was passable. It was at this moment that I knew that I didn't want to take this trail back to the car.

I was happy to get out of this section, it was a bit creepy!

The ski trail widened at the end and then we were back on the trail from the Loj that we had used the day before. We didn't have very long to go and then we were at the junction for Marcy Dam and Iroquois, Algonquin and Wright.

Different direction than the day before

Cute family photo

Still some fall foliage

The trail became rocky right away, and it started to rain. We were still making really good progress and thankfully it wasn't icy.  Along the way we didn't see many people, but two hikers did take our photo together and one hiker from a couple that we stopped to talk to at a waterfall gave Bernie a couple of dog treats (he really liked her!)

Another pretty good family photo 

The waterfall 

Mike playing on the rocks

After the waterfall, we didn't have too much further to go to a junction for Wright, Iroquois and Algonquin. Mike and I stopped to have a snack and to put our down jackets on since it was getting colder.

So dapper 

The weather was definitely going to change!

As we started our way up the final .4 miles toward Wright, we came across two hikers who were coming back down. They told us that it was very windy, socked in and slippery at the top. As we got closer, we could tell that it was definitely windy up there. We took a short break before navigating one of the last difficult sections before getting to the exposed terrain. We saw these two hikers coming down as we started to make our way up, they commented on how much warmer it was there than at the summit!

Up we go! 

Taking a break before going the final distance to the summit

Once we got up there, it was windy. It was difficult to navigate because of how windy it was (it had to be at least 50-60mph winds), but Mike, Bernie and I continued on. We could see the large cairns marking the way (and that we thought were the summit). It was so cloudy that we could barely see in front of us.

Bernie's pack was vertical!

At one of the cairns

After determining that a bump a little ways away was the summit, we trudged along. Finally, we made it to the summit of our 16th high peak! Mike took a short video to document how windy it was (you couldn't even really hear him yelling into the phone) and I immediately sat down on the rock with Bernie. After a few minutes up there, I said that it was time to go back down.

Me and Bernie, my 16th high peak and his 7th!

Mike on his 16th high peak! 

Heading back down

We quickly made our way back to the safety of the trees and then continued our descent. We stopped at the junction again to take off our down jackets and then we kept going.

Back to the trees!

Earlier on in the day, I had suggested that we try to go to the Loj instead of taking the ski trail back to South Meadow. As we kept going down the trail, I asked Mike if he wanted to try to do that. The worst case would be that he wouldn't be able to get a ride and that we would all have to walk back on the road to the car (which we hoped wasn't going to happen).

A family photo at the waterfall 

I love hiking with this boy! 

A beautiful end to a hike

We made it to the final junction (another option that we could have used to take the South Meadow trail back to the car), and we decided to go for it. The hike back to the Loj was easy, just as it was the day before, and just as we were approaching the parking lot we saw a guy and a girl in front of us.

I told Mike to go ask them for a ride (just for him) and when he asked them they said that they would take him to our car. Bernie and I hung out waiting for him, I was thankful that our plan had worked out!

Bernie waiting for Mike

In the end we hiked 9.5 miles in a little over 6 hours, not bad for our second hike of the weekend!

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