Laboring Day

Got an invite Sunday to hike to the top of Noonmark Mountain on Monday.  Jumped at the chance!  I didn’t hike last summer and had not yet this.  Never even hiked in the Adirondack’s at all!  That isn’t right!  My friend had worked on parts of the trail to the summit as a kid, but was too tired at the end of each day to summit the thing himself.  Now, roughly twenty years later, he got his chance.  Here he is posing in front of some stairs the crew placed so long ago.  That’s his new pooch at his side.  Great dog!

The walk was tough.  Not much more than two miles to the summit, but we gained 2,000 feet along the way.  The route we took up was steep.  Steep enough that a couple of ladders were necessary.  And it was nothing but up.  No measurable flat spots to offer a moving break.  Two great look outs on the way up offered good excuses to rest, though, and we made use of both.  

The second lookout offered a view of the summit.  I was already bushed and the summit looked laughably far away and well above us.  I honestly thought my friend was joking–no way could I get up there!  Here is that second lookout viewed from the top (with 2.5x zoom).   See the tiny hikers?  Looks far, doesn’t it?  As we rested on that lookout we discussed turning back.  Glad we didn’t, as the height and the distance were deceiving.  It wasn’t terribly far.

The view form the top was fantastic, with a 36o degree look at both the Great Range and the Dix Range.  We sat quietly for maybe ten minutes.  The silence was beautiful.  Just one plane in the distance, but it was soon out of the range of my ears.  The cool breeze was a treat, too.  What an experience!  Thanks again, buddy!  I will never forget it!

On the way down we took a longer route with a more gentle descent to save our knees.  Mine still got pretty ripped up.  I need to either build up to these kind of hikes throughout the summer or do exercises to prepare.  Maybe both.  Sounds like stepping up on a box backwards (the reverse step) helps prepare your knees for descending.  I should try it.

Some folks report making the round trip in two hours.  We took four.  Doubt we could have gone faster.  After the hike we got food and headed to a nice swimming hole.  Nice if you like swimming in ice water.  My friend and his dog partook, but I just dangled my legs in the water whilst enjoying a Sam Adams Octoberfest.

I should go now.  Be well!

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2 responses to “Laboring Day

  1. Hey Randy,- I found two useful metrics on http://www.hikenewengland.com that we might use for gauging a hike’s difficulty and the time it might take the next time we contemplate a hiking adventure. These difficulty and time measures never seemed to be a consideration when I was younger but now I think they’re worth considering.

    Using hikenewengland’s metric anything over 800 ft elevation gain per mile might be considered difficult. Noonmark’s Stimson trail gain of roughly 1000 ft/mile places it solidly in the “difficult” category.

    This hike time calculator estimated the time for a hike of 2.1 miles up and the 3.5 miles down to be about a 3 1/2 hour hike. So we did fine on the time when you add in our breaks and viewing at the top.

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