Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hiking - Fifth Peak, Lake George

Today was another late winter hike, on the rugged Tongue Mountain Range that juts southward into Lake George. We chose a 5-mile round trip to Fifth Peak, which has a leanto and great views.

Spring is trying hard to arrive in the Adirondacks, but the past week hasn't been much help. The snow had started to melt, and then we dropped back into the 20s and 30s again, and the process stopped. The streams were running, and the lower-elevation trails were partially bare, but it was cool and windy and there was still plenty of crusty snow up high.

Some of the steeper sections were icy, but otherwise, the trail was just firm and hard-packed. We went with snowshoes from the start, not knowing quite what to expect, but micro-spikes would have been a better choice. We reached the summit in good time, and had a seat for lunch, enjoying the views.

View south down the "Tongue"

East toward Crane Mt. (l center) and Gore Ski Area (r)

A leanto with a view!

For the trip down, we stuck with snowshoes for the time being, instead of carrying them, until we reached the steeper icy sections. These were easily negotiated with micro-spikes, and then we reached the rapidly softening snow down below. Temperatures were rising into the 40s now under the strong March sun, and it felt a little more like spring. Warmer temperatures are ahead, and hopefully, more spring-like activities will follow.

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