Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hiking - Pinnacle, near Bleecker, NY

On Saturday, I joined a Schenectady ADK outing to climb a mountain named simply "Pinnacle", in the southern Adirondacks.  There's no trail to its wooded summit, so after a short piece of old road, this would be a bushwhack most of the way.

Our route
Nine of us left the parking area at the end of Pinnacle Road, and climbed the old road in about 8-10" of fresh snow.  Leaving the road, we climbed steeply, avoiding several cliffs, up to a ridge, and followed it to the summit, where we had a brief lunch/snack break.

The descent down the NW side was a little trickier, since the cliffs we'd had to pick our way through on the ascent were now below us and invisible until we arrived at the edge.  After exploring a bit, we found a steep chute that allowed a safe butt-first descent.  Following a valley, we came upon some spectacular and colorful ice formations on cliffs above us to the right (see green dot on map above).  This was a good place for another snack break.

Continuing our descent through now over a foot of new snow, we reached a frozen beaver pond, and followed the edge of it, and then its outlet, back to the old road we started in on.  This was tough going at times, with deep snow and buried ditches that ensnared a couple of us, our snowshoes breaking through the thin ice below.

Once we reached the old road again, it was a straightforward march on tired legs back to the cars.  Pie a la mode and hot coffee at the nearby home of one of the hikers topped off a great day.

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