Tuesday, July  16, 2019
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After about ten minutes of meadow-y walking, we arrived at the first section of open rock: a long side-sloping expanse of clean, solid bedrock. It was a simple matter to walk east along the pavement-like surface, following the occasional cairn. At the far eastern end of this stretch of clean rock, past a patch or two of trees, we arrived at the edge of a dip in the ridge: a spot called Grassy Notch.
Arriving at open slabs
Wandering, Undulating Ridgeline
Slabby Hiking
Grassy Notch, as you might expect, is a vegetated low point along the mostly open ridgeline. It probably should be called Forest Notch, since it is mostly filled with trees.

The notch is only about 40 yards (meters) across. Some cairns mark the way down in, and a discernable path leads for a minute or two to the continuation of open ridgeline on the other side. There are two ways out of the notch and back onto the open ridge: one involves scrambling up about 20 feet of very easy, solid and craggy rock, and the other involves following a bit more path through the forest to a spot where you can simply step onto the open rock. The scramble option was much more satisfying.
Peering into Grassy Notch
Down into Grassy Notch
The sporty exit
The ridge surrounding (and perhaps under) Grassy Notch had a character unlike anywhere else along the ridge: it was covered with a layer of gravel. Whether that gravel has weathered out of the anorthosite bedrock, or whether it comes from some other overlying deposit, I do not know. Instead of a clean, white, hard surface, the surface is a brownish, gravelly texture here.
courtesy JInnes
Group Shot
The Gravelly Section
The flat bench
Climbing uphill along the gravelly section of ridge brought us a perfectly flat open platform, where a couple of glacial erratics are perched. Beyond on some more open rock, people had built several decorative cairns, including one very large and carefully-fitted pyramidal cairn.
courtesy JInnes
Cairn Central
Deluxe Cairn
Tilt-shift demo #1
Tilt-shift demo #2
Beyond the flat spot and cluster of cairns, a beautiful little stretch of footpath-through-meadows led east, towards the next highpoint along Jay Mountain's ridgeline: a prominent and craggy-looking bump. Before getting to the rock of that bump, however, the footpath wound through a few minutes of forest interspersed with some rock crags. It then broke out into the open for the final ascent to the top of the bump. We had transitioned back to solid bedrock here, criscrossed by cracks and joints but solid and firm. The easiest way up to the top of this bump was along the left-hand edge of the rock, dipping into some low scrubby forest where necessary to avoid any scrambling. Staying in the open along the crest meant a touch of scrambling - nothing too difficult but much more enjoyable. There was a grand 360-degree view from the bare top of the bump - the highest spot so far along the ridge.
Beautiful meadow-path
Trees, then crags
Crag hiking
courtesy JInnes
Brush and Crags
Climbing to prominent bump
Optional Pu Scramble
courtesy JInnes
Atop subsummit
The final stretch
Taking in the eastern view
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