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for at least one of the following peaks
7 Climbing log entries Found.

Jan. 21, 2024 (Sun.)
Elevation: ; Order of Height:
Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Brian Connell, Gino Brancatelli
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Brian's 30th winter 46R Peak: Lower Wolfjaw.

The kickoff to friend Brian's 2024 Winter 46R climbs: a less-standard loop hike up and over Lower Wolfjaw.

Started off from near the Deer Brook trailhead on Route 73, walking along the road to the AMR Lake Road Gate. From there, soon branched off onto the Ladies Mile trail and over to the West River trail. Followed the West River trail to the lower end of the Slide Brook Trail - the trail that leads up to the Lower-Upper Wolfjaws col.

Trail was well-packed up to the col. Weather was cold but calm and clear. Near the col, took the shortcut towards the summit. Arrived a bit later than intended, shortly before 2pm. Enjoyed a brief but happy 30th winter summit congratulations for Brian.

Trail east of the summit -- the continuation of our loop -- was not broken out. Our progress was now much slower, with the trailbreaking and trail-finding that was required. Took us several hours to get down to the top of the junction with the WA White trail near Hedgehog mountain. Took this (also not broken out) downhill, arriving at some nice lookouts just as the sun set.

Just before 6pm (in the dark), arrived at a junction that allowed us to hop over to the Deer Brook trail. We started downhill along the Deer Brook trail but after a short while lost the markers and instead came upon a Lean-to and the top of a plowed residential road. We elected to make life easier for ourselves and hiked down the road to route 73, reaching it shortly before 7pm (this road comes out only a few yards away from the Deer Brook trailhead).

So, success... but with a lot of troublesome effort for the final 2/3rds of the loop. In restrospect, it would have been easier to just walk back down the way we came up (even with the additional distance), but .... oh well... loops are nice.

Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
 Image Gallery: January 2024 Lower Wolfjaw Loop Hike

Mar. 20, 2023 (Mon.)
Elevations: 4736 feet, ; Order of Height: 10,
Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Brian Connell
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Brian's 27th, 28th, and 29th winter 46R Peaks: Upper Wolfjaw, Armstrong and Gothics.

A sunny but somewhat chilly and windy day - but with perfect snow conditions - to help Brian achieve his final winter 46R ascents of the 2022-2023 winter season - in style, on three peaks of the Great Range.

Starting off nice and early (in the dark) at the Garden Trailhead, we bare-booted over to the South-side trail and marched up to the connector trail leading up to the Wolfjaws col. Part of the way up was unbroken and required some tiring hiking. Fortunately, at the Range Trail in the col, the track was broken out (although a bit drifted over in places).

Hiking west on the Range Trail was fairly straightforward and quite fun, what with all of the steep twists and turns. The skies cleared up for our first summit of the day on Upper Wolfjaw. Fine views everywhere and lots of clean white snow.

A couple of faster hikers overtook us and nicely re-tracked the Range Trail ahead of us. The steep climb up the eastern side of Armstrong was no problem on firm, clean snow - even though the summer ladder was completely buried. The summit of Armstrong provided a jaw-dropping view of the Upper Great Range in pristine winter condition. Very cold chilly gusty wind here, though.

The hike from Armstrong to Gothics was quite easy, especially given the lack of prominence between the two. Arriving at the lower end of the open ridgeline on Gothics northeastern ridgeline, we stopped to put all of our winterwear on, as the gusts were at time rather strong and any exposed skin needed to be covered up. The climb up the open ridgeline was a sublime as you could imagine, with perfect snow and amazing expansive views everywhere.

After taking a good bevy of summit pictures and congratulating Brian on finishing his 27th, 28th, and 29th winter summits, we continued west, soon reaching the western sub-summit, where we observed the very steep descent trail and decided to do the first part in microspikes and an ice ax. It ended up being pretty easy and soon we were down in the Saddleback-Gothics col. Switched back to snowshoes and began the long, at times tedious, descent of the Orebed Brook trail down to the bottom of Johns Brook Valley.

The final hike back along the Phelps trail to the trailhed was tiring and our feet were sore, but not further difficulties meant we made good time back to the Garden trailhead, completing our outing. Not an especially fast pace: fourteen hours in total. Excellent outing, however.

Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
 Image Gallery: March 2023 Upper Wolfjaw Armstrong and Gothics Loop Hike

Apr. 1, 2014 (Tue.)
Elevations: 4736 feet, 4400 feet, 4185 feet; Order of Height: 10, 22, 29
Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Jennifer Innes, Chris Hatko
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A late-winter tracing of the always-scenic loop over the top of Gothics Mountain, one of the Adirondack's premiere peaks.

We did this outing mid-week, tired of being stymied by weekend after weekend of unfavourable weather. Partially we chose this route for our friend Chris, who was interested in increasing his 46R count and for which this loop was ideal, since it involved three of the Adirondack 46: Gothics, Armstrong and Upper Wolfjaw.

Under crystal clear skies and calm conditions, we rapidly bare-booted on a packed trail from the Garden TH to Johns Brook Lodge, where we donned snowshoes and continued on to the Orebed Brook Trail. A set of tracks lured us up the bed of the Brook, instead of on the trail, and we were glad that they did: a deep snowpack and the recently Hurricane Irene-widened Orebed Brook system made for a beautiful open walk with many new views.

Near the 3300-foot mark on the main Orebed Brook slide, we had to jog left through the trees to reach the also-widened upper slide. The far western side of this slide offered yet more expanded and scenic perspectives, especially across the impressive north face of Gothics.

Rapidly warming temperatures and sticky, soft snow greatly reduced our ascent speed, and it was well past noon when we arrived at the Gothics-Saddleback col. Unbroken trail and lack of traction issues made for another very slow ascent over the last steep 5-600 feet to Gothics' western sub-summit. Fortunately, the fantastic day and views more than made up for the toil.

Gothics' summit was achieved just past 2:30pm, with an ever-building overcast turning the cheery blue sky increasingly grey. A short but beautiful descent down a snow crest on Gothics' east ridge, then some routefinding as we descending along the now-trackless trail into the trees. Fortunately, a lone set of tracks appeared at the Gothics-Armstrong col, and helped guide us along over the summits of Armstrong and Upper Wolfjaw. Arriving at the UW-LW col, we immediately started down along a once-again unbroken trail, noting many additional new slides formed by Hurricane Irene along the way. We reached the valley bottom at 7pm, knowing for sure now that we were going to finish in the dark. In order to minimize this, we chose the shortest possible trail route - along the southside trail - arriving back at the Garden TH shortly after 8:30 PM. Long and tiring, but a very rewarding hike.

Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
 Image Gallery: April 2014 Gothics, Armstrong, Upper Wolfjaw loop

Jun. 27, 2009 (Sat.)
Elevations: 4175 feet, 4185 feet, 4400 feet, 4736 feet; Order of Height: 30, 29, 22, 10
Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Jennifer Innes, Brian Connell, Julie Moran, Johanna, Mirek, Chris, Joe, Duncan, Rocky
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On this hike, we were invited to join Julie Moran's Hiking Mates Challenge hiking group, on a challenging loop of the Lower Great Range + Sawteeth. The weather forecast looked unsettled, and it delivered! We had several bouts of heavy rain and were socked in on most of the summits - the exception was Gothics, where we had a few brief glimpses of something beyond the end of our noses.

On the plus side, I discovered that during times of rainy weather, there are beautiful cascades and waterfalls along Wedge Brook. And the Wedge Brook Trail itself is pretty nice. Beaver Meadow Falls, too, was spectacular (on the way down). Julie's hiking group are a very fun bunch to hike with, too, and hopefully we'll get to hike with them again.

Please refer to the link below for the full trip report with lots of pictures.

Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
 Image Gallery: June 2009 Lower Great Range Loop

Feb. 19, 2006 (Sun.)
Elevations: 4185 feet, 4175 feet; Order of Height: 29, 30
Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Jennifer Innes, Ewart Tempest, Pu Chen
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The bright idea for today was a horshoe-like traverse of the Wolfjaws, starting at the Garden and ending at the Roostercomb trailhead on route 73. We'd bumped the hike from Saturday to Sunday in order to avoid a particularly cold and windy day. Along on today's hike: Myself, Jennifer, Pu, and Ewart. We drove down in two cars, leaving Ewart's at the Rte 73 trailhead, and then climbing into Jenn's little Echo hatchback and driving up to the Garden Trailhead.

Things started off badly with me forgetting to bring the memory card for my camera. So, not too much in the way of pictures for this outing! Conditions were cold and breezy, so we were prepared for the weather with lots of winter clothes. The hike up to JBL was quick and uneventful. Stopped at the "welcome hut" to some warmth, hot drinks and friendly volunteers.

Hike up to the wolfjaws col was quick and efficient as well. Ewart had to bail on the steep stuff up the Wolfjaws because he didn't bring his crampons - and there was a lot of ice from recent freeze-thaws. Jenn, Pu and I summited Upper Wolfjaw. Met with Ewart again at the col, agreed to split up, he descending back to the Garden, we up and over Lower Wolfjaw and down to the Roostercomb trailhead.

Climb up Lower Wolfjaw steep but no problem with crampons. Trail not broken after Lower Wolfjaw. Steep icy sections mixed with unbroken snowy sections - lots of switching back and forth between crampons and snowshoes. Blowdown moderate in the vicinity of Hedgehog. Fairly slow going - we were two hours later than Ewart in arriving at the Roostercomb trailhead!

Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
 Image Gallery: February 2006 Wolfjaws Traverse Hike

Jun. 26, 2004 (Sat.)
Elevations: 5344 feet, 4960 feet, 4827 feet, 4515 feet, 4736 feet, 4400 feet, 4185 feet, 4175 feet; Order of Height: 1, 3, 9, 17, 10, 22, 29, 30
Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Markus Wandel, Pu Chen, Caroline Doucet, Luc Alary
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Back in November of 2001, while Markus and Lorraine and I were watching the Leonid Meteor Storm on top of Noonmark mountain in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, we learned, through some other star gazers, of a famous and challenging hike known as the "solstice hike". This is a hike where one traverses the entire Great Range in a single day. Yes, you heard right - in one single day, usually around the summer solstice, when days are longest. Eight of the highest peaks in NY state, around 35 kilometres total length, and all in one day. We were impressed at such a hard hike had a name and a following. However, at the time, it just seemed like a crazy outing for folks with more stamina than brains.

As a few more years slipped by, and, as we got more into ADK 46er hiking, the thought of this legendary outing took on a more tangible and attainable quality - but, for one reason or another, we were never able to pull together the right conditions to tackle it - until this year (2004). We managed to cobble together five enthusiastic challengers of this legendary hike: myself, Pu, Caroline, Markus, and Luc.

Now, I won't go into a large amount of detail in this trip log - a very complete writeup is available via the image gallery link below. But, in summary, suffice it to say we did it, and we did it in good style, not injuring anyone, keeping well hydrated and fed, and experiencing some of the best summits of the Adirondacks on a cool and beautiful June day.

Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
 Image Gallery: June 2004 Solstice / Great Range Hike

Oct. 1, 1994 (Sat.)
Elevations: 4175 feet, 4185 feet, 4400 feet; Order of Height: 30, 29, 22
Participants: Brian Connell, Andrew Lavigne, Andree Plouffe, Paul Osmond, Gilbert Benoit
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Another in the series of 'early hikes'. Was a crisp autumn day, as I recall. Started out from the parking area below the AMR club and headed up towards Lower WolfJaw (we skipped going over the roostercomb). I remember the first nice lookout on the trail looking over JBV was very nice, although someone had beat us to it and was relaxing and enjoying the view. The trails up and down the Wolfjaws were exceedingly steep; or perhaps it was just that I wasn't yet used to Adirondack trails - I don't know.

The summits of the Wolfjaws were nice in that I like winding paths along ridges, and with a few nice lookouts as well. I recall one section (the east side of Armstrong, I think), where there is a section of steep rock that one can climb with the assistance of a bit of cable. Very nice broad ledges on the west side of Armstrong with good views of Gothics. Brian finds his orthopaedic rock and Paul Osmond was eager to try out his new saw on some deadwood on ths summit (at which point Gilbert looked for a convenient place to hide). The return leg of the trip was down to the col between Armstrong and Gothics and then down to the Lake Road and a quick walk out.

Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
 Image Gallery: Armstrong and the WolfJaws, October 1994

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