Sunday, June 24, 2012

Adirondacks Day 5 (A) - Sun 6/24/12

Part 10, Mount Jo

7:15am - I finally haul my chilly self out of bed. I have been awake for a while, but I was cold at times during the night, and my sleeping bag is nice and toasty, so I have a bit of trouble mustering an urgent need to get out of it. I am typically warm, and I am surprised that I made it through the entire night wearing everything that I had on when I started. Dave apparently shed a layer or two during the night, but I didn't.

Some big boys from Mount Jo - (L-R)
Wright, Algonquin, Iroquois and Wallface
Others have been up for a while, and breakfast preparations are well underway. Since we are nearing the end of the trip, breakfast is an assortment of hot leftovers; a few bits of bacon, some sausage and a few eggs for those that want, plus all sorts of other cold items that we have lying about. It's getting close to "now or never" on the food. I eat some scrambled eggs and toast, but as good as everything looks, I am not feeling that well. Actually, I am feeling perfectly fine, but I do seem to have to have some gastrointestinal "not quite right" going on (too much information, I know, but I am just telling the truth for posterity...). I am really not happy about this development, as this is not an ideal accompaniment to long hikes out in the woods. I will hope for the best, but prepare accordingly. Ugh.

Our intrepid band (minus one, and me) on
the lower summit of Mount Jo
While eating breakfast, we discuss what we are going to do. Dave has a different plan. The four of us (minus Dave) have decided on a relatively modest hike up to the top of Mount Jo, and then down and back out to Rocky Falls on the Indian Pass Trail. We will pack a lunch for Rocky Falls, and if people feel like it, perhaps get into the water. This will make a hike somewhere in the vicinity of 6 total miles, and will have some climbing to it, but nothing extreme at all. Mount Jo is 2,877 feet, and the lake surface is 2,165, so the gain is modest, but it happens in short bursts, as the Mount Jo portion of the trail is less than a mile each way, so while it is only 700 feet of elevation, it happens quickly. I still do feel the need to get to the top of something, and this should fit the bill. It is a nice hike, modest in scope, and modest in climbing. Perfect for a non-killer day.

Me on top of Mount Jo
Another option discussed, and one I would have pushed strongly for if I were not having issues, was to hike approximately 6 miles out the Indian Pass Trail to Indian Pass itself, in the shadow of 3,700 foot Wallface Mountain. It seems to me like this is something that would have generated some of the kind of scenic photo opportunities that I have been craving, and not generally finding. The other appeal of that hike is that while it would be in the neighborhood of 13 miles roundtrip, there would be very little climbing involved, and what there was would be accomplished over a very long distance, and hence very gradual. My problems come with climbing, not distance. But on this day anyway, it wasn't to be.

8:02am - Dave finishes packing food and liquids and sets off alone to tackle Algonquin. I'm not sure how set he is on doing all of it, but the general campsite chit chat consensus is that another Adirondacks trip is unlikely (for these trips anyway), so I guess he is feeling like it is now or never. Others shudder at the thought of climbing from 2100 feet to 5100 feet in 4 miles (Marcy is to 5300 feet in 7.4 miles). Dave's back must be feeling 100%. I am slightly concerned that he is doing this alone, but he probably has the best judgement of all of us, so I'm not overly worried.

True summit of Mount Jo
9:30am - Four of us set out for Mount Jo. The first section of trail I have done before when we went to Rocky Falls on the first day, but we soon reach the side trails up the mountain. We need to decide whether to do the Short Trail or the Long Trail, and we opt for the Long Trail. This does the same amount of climbing in 0.7 miles vs 0.4, and we are in no hurry so the mileage doesn't matter. It will be quick either way. The ascent is brief but difficult at times, but it is so short that the tough parts don't last long. It is also interesting that on a trail that shows no junctions, there are a couple of places where there seem to be two choices of which way to go. We do not make any wrong turns at this point, but there seem to be some side trails that are not on the maps. After my Table Top Mountain escapade on Friday, I have no qualms about pulling out my GPS and map to figure out which way we should be going.

Heart Lake from Mount Jo. Campground is on left
shore, and my pics are taken from there
10:43am - One last climb up some hand over hand boulders and we reach the lower summit, which is basically a rock shelf 15-20 feet below the real summit. Finally, after four days here, there is a vista and a fantastic photo spot. It is breezy and cool up here, and you can see many miles. It is great to be standing on top of a mountain, no matter what size. The view is everything that it was said to be; many of the big name mountains can be seen, and the view of our little lake below is spectacular. We know that we are not quite at the true summit yet, as there is one last rock shelf behind us, and we can hear a number of voices coming from up top. I am content to stay here and take some pictures here, where we have the place to ourselves, at least for the moment. Symptomatic of the times we live in, there is great cell reception on top of the mountain, and we take turns taking pictures of each other with our phones so we can text or email the pictures to our loved ones, or post them on Facebook.

Mountains, forest, and clouds
10:55am - A few more boulders to hop and we join the small crowd on the true summit. There are approximately 15 people up here besides for us, including families, grandparents, and children. Mostly speaking French. Pictures up here are even better. I make sure to step on every obvious high spot up here; I don't want to miss the true summit, since there is no marker on this small one.

11:20am - After twenty minutes or so on the summit taking pictures, enjoying the view and having a brief snack, we start back down the way we came. There is a fairly steady stream of people of all types heading up, as there was when we were coming up. We even saw a guy with a baby in a carrier on his back. It is a beautiful clear day, and it is great to be out on a trail. And I am happy to have summited something.

Next... Rocky Falls Redux

No comments:

Post a Comment