A different sort of hike, focusing on watery things, along with a few great viewpoints. We stayed entirely within the lands of the AMR in Ausable Valley, heading up the East River Trail to the lower lake, across to Indian Head, then back along Gill Brook and the Lake Road. We visited many points of interest along this loop, including Cathedral Rocks, Bear Run, Beaver Meadow Falls, and Lost Lookout.
The weather was perfect for the outing - sunny, cool, dry. This outing is also a perfect example of a great hike that does not involve a high summit.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: Ausable Valley Loop
Hoping to cash in on another beautiful winter weekend, Jenn, Ewart, Caroline and I headed down to the Adirondacks. I wanted to try and mix in some more cross-country skiing, so we decided to ski up the AMR lake road to lower Ausable lake, then switch to snowshoes and climb Indian Head, Colvin, and Blake. This would also add two peaks to my winter 46er list, and so that was a bonus! This was also good training for the upcoming Grand Canyon backpacking trip in early April. We arrived at the bank overlooking Lower Ausable Lake in short order. The ski up was pleasant and there were very few other people around. We all looked forward to the nice gradual ski descent back along lake road at the end of our day. We switched to snowshoes, and then started up towards Indian Head. The trail was unbroken, and the powder new and deep, so it was a good workout. Indian head was extremely beautiful, as usual. One of the best vistas in the Adirondacks! The day was brisk, with a cool breeze forcing us to bundle up as we snacked at the lookout. The day was getting on, though, and we wanted to get to Colvin's summit, so off we went. Unfortunately, it was not to be. One of my MSR snowshoe bindings snapped at the usual place (this has happened to me in the exact same place before, and to some of my friends as well, in the exact same location). The snow was soft and we had a long way before completing our snowshoe portion, so we decided to turn around right there and head back to the road (and the return ski portion). Damn - I'm not liking this trend with these MSR bindings. Even though our day was cut short by the broken snowshoe, it was still an excellent, fun and beautiful outing. The combination of skiing and snowshoeing was excellent, and I look forward to doing that again.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: March 2005 Indian Head Ski - Snowshoe
I had already done Mount Colvin via the Lake Road in an earlier outing. But at the time I was not actively pursuing my 46er quest, and so did not bother to summit Blake at the same time. So... this weekend we decided that maybe we should get it done. Initially I wanted to do a 2-car point-to-point affair from Elk Lake, over the Blake-Colvin ridge, and down and out the Lake Road, but there were only three of us hiking this weekend, and there was little support for the idea. So we decided to repeat my original Colvin hike and hike just a bit farther to bag Colvin. It was a beautiful late summer day, and after signing in with the white-bearded 'entrance guard', quickly made our way up the Lake Road. We decided to indulge ourselves of the excellent views from Indian Head and the Fishhawk cliffs even though that meant an extra bit of a detour. It was well worth it, and we had an excellent lunch break atop the Indian Head cliffs, with Lower Ausable Lake spread out below us. From there we toiled up the ridge to the summit of Colvin, with its little summit area providing the usual excellent views in almost all directions, especially towards the Great Range and down to the Lake. Next was a somewhat tiring and sometimes treacherous hike over to Blake. Blake's summit is one of the less interesting in the Adirondacks, with basically no views to speak of (and no summit sign - I had to continue down past the summit just to be sure we got it). Our mission complete, we headed back along the ridge and over Colvin again (guess I can't count that as another summitting of Colvin, can I?), and then down to the Lake road and out for the day.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: August 2003 hike (Mount Colvin and Blake Peak)
This was Sophie and Lorraine's first hikes with us in the Adirondacks. I had never been to Indian Head or Colvin, and so looking forward to seeing some new terrain. We started off from the AMR club and walked up the lake road all the way to the lake. From there, we veered left onto the trail heading up to Indian Head (I realize now that this route is not part of an official DEC trail). Lorraine, having not really hiked before, was wearing nice shiny new sneakers, but she was managing well nevertheless. Soon we were atop Indian Head - quite a fantastic viewpoint (one of the better in the Adirondacks), with the long narrow fjord-like Lower Ausable Lake sandwiched between Colvin and Sawteeth. From there we headed down steeply to rejoin the main trail heading up Colvin. A pretty reasonable trail, with very few rocky bits. The summit of Colvin, although treed, does have a very excellent little flat platform of rock that you can stand on that gets you out of the trees enough to give spectacular views straight down to Lower Ausable Lake and of the Great Range. Markus used his Brother's RIM Pager to send e-mail and unix commands to his linux box from atop the summit - he really impressed the girls with that! :-). After a good lunch break, we were headed back down the mountain, this time avoiding the Indian Head detour. Returning to the Lake Road, it was then an easy stroll down to the AMR club and beyond that to the parking lot.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery : June 1999 Mount Colvin Climb