Friday, September  20, 2019
Return to alavigne.net home
[< Previous Page]
[page 1] [page 2] [page 3]
[Next Page >]
The trail began to level off at about 4000 feet and started to follow a ridgeline connecting it to the spine of the Great Range. Got my first few glimpses of Gothics and surrounding peaks from here. Most of the elevation gain was now complete. The trail was pretty straight-forward through here, save for a stretch across a steep sideslope that requires some ladders to negotiate steep slabs.
Wall-walk
Gothics coming into view
Many ladders
I arrived at the Range Trail shortly after 10 a.m. From here it was only a short few hundred yards up to the top of Gothics. There were one or two mud patches but overall the trail was not all that wet. There were a few sections of hard-pack snow near the top, along the final crest (a crest that is such a beautiful snow ridge in the winter). Ice was minimal.
Arriving at col
My favorite trail
Nature's Sidewalk
Some snowpack still
Final ridgeclimb
Johns Brook Valley
The forecast was unfolding as predicted as I arrived at the summit of Gothics - cloudy but no rain. The overcast was very high and did not obstruct views in any way. It did lend a somewhat somber and melancholy air to the High Peaks, though.

I had seen not one other person on my hike up to the summit, and here on top I was still alone. Although Gothics is definitely much less visited than the more accessible "good" peaks, I had expected to see someone by now. Perhaps my early start was partially to blame.
Arriving at the top
Gothics
Contemplating Life
After a quick lunch of banana, carrots, hummous, bread, and cheese, I decided to move on. Because I wanted to do this hike as a loop, I continued southwest, along Gothics' scrubby crest, until I reached the junction with the Weld Trail. The Weld Trail starts at the end of Lower Ausable Lake (at the end of the Lake Road), comes up to the col between Sawteeth and Pyramid, climbs over Pyramid, and arrives here at junction with the Range Trail near Gothics' peak. This was the route I was planning to follow.
Andrew's Cantina
Gothics Crest
Along the Great Range
Hiking southwest along Gothics' crest brings one over several beautiful sections of open rock, with excellent views along the Great Range towards the highest of the mountains of New York State: Marcy, Haystack, Skylight, Basin... and many others.

At the junction with the Weld Trail, I met my first fellow hikers - a couple of guys squinting at their map and wondering where Gothics' top was. Mid-stride, I jerked a thumb back in the direction I'd come from, turned left onto the Weld Trail, and continued on.

A few more in-the-scrub and out-of-the-scrub sections (including one magnificent edge above the huge southwestern basin below Gothics), I arrived at a sharp edge in the terrain, where a south-trending ridgeline dips steeply downward. Immediately to the south was the distinctive shape of Pyramid, with its very distinctive and steep right-hand slab. I met my second couple of hikers here, puffing up the very steep trail from the Pyramid-Gothics col.
Heading south to Pyramid
Impressive Basin
Pyramid
Remembering the accidents-and-injuries-always-happen-on-descent mantra, I carefully but efficiently descended to the col, then steeply back up to Pyramid, where an excellent west-facing ledge affords an even better view of that aforementioned basin. Much of the southern aspects of the Great Range in this vicinity are bare, naked slopes of clean bedrock. The thought came to me that if the Great Range was denuded of all of its vegetation, it might have some features in common with the smooth granite domes and faces of Yosemite National Park.
Pyramid Lookout
Not doing Sawteeth
Fungi-d Log
From Pyramid, I began the long descent back to the bottom of Ausable Valley along the Weld Trail - at first steep and rough, but over the second half quite gentle and with good footing. Near the bottom, I stopped to take a shot of fantastically beautiful Rainbow Falls from above, from a limited viewpoint along the trail, then went down to the bottom and around on a separate access trail to get a look from below. This and nearby Beaver Meadow Falls (which I had visited on the way up) are probably two of the Adirondacks nicest waterfalls. In fact, the whole of the Ausable Valley has quite a high concentration of good waterfalls, making it one of the best places in the area to visit to see such things.
Not all falls are big
Rainbow Falls
Rainbow from below
Rainbow Falls is essentially down in the bottom of the Ausable Valley, and a few hundred yards further and I arrived at the spillway at the lower end of Lower Ausable Lake. I could have made my return loop by heading back down either the West or East Lake trails, but I was feeling like a bit more speed, so I instead chose the AMR Lake Road. For some reason there were clouds of pesky black flies around here - the first I had encountered all day. All the better to encourage me to walk quickly, I guess.
Back to AMR stuff
Ausable Spillway
Fast walk down Lake Road
[< Previous Page]
[page 1] [page 2] [page 3]
[Next Page >]
[ send feedback | message board (1 message)
(last message posted on Thu Jun 01, 15:42 EDT 2017 by Elvira)
]
Facebook comments (note: these comments are separate from those in internal message board, above)
Web Page & Design Copyright 2001-2019 by Andrew Lavigne (google+ profile)