Seward Mountain

On 21 November 2009 a group from journeyed on a day hike of Seward Mountain in the Adirondack High Peaks. Our group included one brand new Adirondack hiker. As is mentioned in the video, "I don't think the list is very long of people whose first High Peak was Seward".

Seward Mountain is one of the four peaks of the Seward Range; the other three are Mt. Donaldson, Mt. Emmons, and Seymor Mountain. The Seward Range can be accessed via Corey's Road just north of Tupper Lake or via the trail to Duck Pond from Upper Works. Seward Mountain is a trail-less High Peak, although there is a pretty well-defined herdpath to the summit from the Ward Brook truck trail. The start of the Seward herdpath is marked with a small rock cairn.


Algonquin Peak in Winter Adirondacks

Hiking Algonquin Peak on 3 January 2007 was a real milestone for our group. It was an extremely fun adventure--the sum of what an Adirondacks High Peak climb is supposed to be.

Algonquin was the first High Peak ever for Grizzly Adams, and as of 16 December 2009--almost 3 years later--he's at the 46er halfway mark. So Algonquin truly made its mark on one man, that's for sure.

I wish I could have this hike back again. To do it again. Here at we hope you enjoy our video footage of Algonquin Peak in Winter and are either inspired to find Adirondack beauty or adventure for yourself, or celebrate this New York State natural wonder from the comfort of your home. Either way, this mountaintop experience is for the sharing.


Adirondack MacIntyre Range

Three of us from (including Tanner the Mountain Dog) ventured on a dayhike of the MacIntyre Range in the Adirondack High Peaks region on Friday, 23 October 2009. The trip included climbing Wright Peak, Algonquin Peak, and Iroquois Peak. This was a trip I'd been wanting to do for a long time--catching all 3 of these on one hike. Boundary Peak is also part of this mountain walk as it sits in between the summits of Algonquin and Iroquois.

My video camera bit the big one on our first peak of the day (Wright), so I don't have any video footage after that. It was a gorgeous day with low clouds filling in the Adirondack Mountain passes around us and I did shoot some still photos--which have been included in my edited video--to give an idea what the scenery passing over Algonquin, Boundary, and Iroquois was like. Please comment if you've any questions about the MacIntyre Range, for these guys are a pretty majestic trio.


Climbing Log: Seward Mountain

Mountains Climbed: Seward Mountain
Date of Hike: Saturday, 21 November 2009
Hikers: Seth C. Burgess, Adam C. Chapin, Jessica L. Burgess, Tanner W. Burgess, Zach Hussion

Trail Conditions: Muddy. Some ice on rock near Seward's summit. Did I mention Muddy?

Comments: Our group left Wayne County, NY on Fri. night (20-Nov-09) and drove partway to the High Peaks, stopping for the night at Adam's Camp on the Independence River. We had plans for a meal on the drive so instead of shooting up I-81 N as we might otherwise have, we broke over toward Rome and stopped just north of it at Okey Dokey's Restaurant for some Friday Night Fish Fry. This was our 2nd time at Okey Dokey's as we had stopped there on our "Santanoni Revenge" trip in March 2009. At Okey Dokey's we were intrigued to find "Buffalo Haddock" on the menu--a fried haddock filet smothered in Buffalo wing sauce and served with a bleu cheese dip. Delicious! We watched the 2nd half of the Syracuse vs. North Carolina men's college basketball game there and SU was victorious in a move that would push them up in the national polls.

We continued up Rt. 12 into Lowville, stopping at the Walmart there for breakfast food and a Sam Adams winter pack. A short drive to Adam's Camp from there, we settled our gear indoors while Adam started poking his fingers around in the high-voltage electric box on the power pole in order to get the lights & heat to stay on. We stayed up altogether too late, although the Sam Adams was enjoyed (except for the Cranberry Lambic).


Pain is weakness leaving the Body

On the 20th of November approximately around 6pm or 18:00hrs we set out for what would become my 23rd High Peak, The Halfway point. Our group included the norms of Seth & Jess Burgess, Myself and the boot Zach Hussion who will not soon forget his First Accent! On the way to My Family Camp which has finally become a nice stepping stone to the Blue Border we made a stop for some Friday fish fry at Okey Dokey's. Another great dinner from this small town restaurant.

Chapin Camp on Independence River


Climbing Log: Wright, Algonquin, Iroquois

Mountains Climbed: Wright Peak, Algonquin Peak, and Iroquois Peak
Date of Hike: Friday, 23 October 2009
Hikers: Seth C. Burgess, James Zeger, Tanner W. Burgess

Trail Conditions: Icy wet, muddy

Comments: We left the parking area at the High Peaks Information Center (HPIC) on Adirondack Loj Rd. ($3 ADK member parking fee) shortly after 0800. The trail was mostly dry and soft walking up to the Whales Tail ski trail. From there, the trail became increasingly frosty and eventually icy. We barebooted nearly all the way to the split for Wright Peak's summit trail before strapping on our Stabilicers.

Frosty Trail

The ice on the rocky trail was the type that had frozen the night before and was melting underneath--so that a good strong step with Stabilicers might break free a chunk of ice which would then slip on the watery rock surface beneath. Tricky situation.


Mt. Colden from Upper Works

On 15 August 2009, a team representing completed a daytrip summit of Mount Colden from the Upper Works trailhead, with a start / end point via auto of Lowville, New York.

Along the route several worthwhile landmarks were passed, including Calamity Pond, the Flowed Lands, and Colden Dam. From Colden Dam to Mt. Colden's summit is 2.0 miles, the majority of which is a challenging and rocky ascent.

Mount Colden hike from Upper Works direct video link


Giant and Rocky Peak via Ridge Trail completed a day hike of Giant and Rocky Peak Ridge in the Giant Mountain Wilderness Area on 20 June 2009. Our group began at the Chapel Pond trailhead on Route 73 in Keene Valley, NY and hiked the Ridge Trail 3.0 miles in to Giant Mountain, an ascent of 3,050 ft. We continued on to Rocky Peak Ridge and returned to Chapel Pond via the same route.


Mt Baker Winter Hike

On 29 December 2008 a team from climbed Mt. Baker as a casual winter day hike to conclude our 4th Annual Lake Placid Trip, organized by Burgess (Mis)Adventures.

Mt. Baker is part of the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness in Essex County, just north of the village of Saranac Lake, New York. The trailhead is easily accessible be car, although it can be a bit tricky to navigate the winding roads off of Rt. 86. At only 0.9 miles to the summit from the trailhead at the north end of Moody Pond, Mt. Baker is a great family hike with excellent views of the Moose and McKenzie Mountains, many Adirondack High Peaks, and some pretty Adirondack lakes.

Direct video link to Mt. Baker winter hike


Revenge on the Santanoni Range

On 7 March 2009 a team from successfully summited all 3 peaks of the Santanoni Range after a failed attempt in June 2008. The night prior to the hike was spent at a pet-friendly motel in Long Lake and our 15-hour day began at 0645. A full climbing log of our trip up Santanoni Peak, Couchsachraga, and Panther Peak is available in an earlier post. A quite thorough video documentary of our winter hike of the Santanonis was recorded (see below); missing from the footage is topping out on Panther and our descent on snowshoes and skis--in the dark. Weather changed drastically during the period of no video footage, from bright sunshine to snow to rain.

Direct video link for Santanoni Revenge


Climbing Log: Santanoni, Couchsachraga, and Panther

Mountains Climbed: Santanoni Peak, Couchsachraga Peak, Panther Peak
Date of Hike: Saturday, March 7th, 2009
Hikers: Seth C. Burgess, Adam C. Chapin, Jessica L. Burgess, Tanner W. Burgess

Trail Conditions: Ice on road, hardpack on Blue Trail on way in, powder after crossing Santanoni Brook, rainy wetpack on the way out

Comments: Spent the night in Long Lake on Friday 6 March in order to be able to get an early start out of Upper Works the next day. We needed pet-friendly Adirondack accommodations and made arrangements for a room at the Shamrock Motel--we arrived late after having grabbed dinner at Okey Dokey's in Floyd, New York.

Sign for Okey Dokey's Restaurant

The next morning we made the short drive to Upper Works and unloaded from my Av into the Santanoni trailhead parking a few minutes shy of 0800. We skied the 1.8 miles in on the private road until we caught the junction with the Blue Trail, followed by the rising sun. The road was the iciest stretch of the day.


ADK High Peaks Weather

A guy (Ted Letcher) just finishing his B.S. in Meterology from SUNY Oswego started up a new weather forecasting site specifically tailored to the Adirondack High Peaks.

Check it out at:


Climbing Log: Mt. Donaldson and Mt. Emmons

Mountains Climbed: Mt. Donaldson, Mt. Emmons
Date of Hike: Saturday, October 18th, 2008
Hikers: Seth C. Burgess, Jessica L. Burgess, Adam C. Chapin, Colleen E. DeCracker, Terry Monje, Tanner Burgess

Trail Conditions: Dry, some ice on ridge

Comments: A group of 5 people and 1 dog. We started from the Seward Range trailhead off Corey's Rd. and were planning on camping at the closest lean-to to go for Seward on Sat. and then Seymour on Sun. A group of returning hikers were so enthusiastic about the trip they had just done up the Calkins Brook herd path that we changed our minds to mimic their trip.

8:27:48 AM - Grizzly Adams leading the pack


Being Clear

"The absolute simplicity, When you are climbing your mind is from all confusion, you have focus, the light becomes sharper, sounds become richer and suddenly you are filled with the deep powerful presence of life". "Approaching aerobic endurance training and racing as moving meditation. Meditation is simply a form of training. Specifically, it is a form of training the mind to excel in clear, precise, attentive and serene awareness. Zendurance promotes the development and the union of a healthy, highly functional body with a healthy, highly functional mind."

When I say if you don't sweat, you didn't earn it, I'm saying a clarity of thought has not yet been achieved. Your goal in any aspect of life is to improve upon yourself and to know thy self. Trying to increase the awareness of other is part of life's process. We show our journeys to express interest and hopefully to inspire others to do so as well. Sharing is a sense of gratification not a forfeit of knowledge.


First Fall

Can remember really being ready to start the winter hiking season, In the end of my Work season late Fall can be a tiring time. What better than a trip to the Adirondacks to boost one's moral. Seth & Jess Burgess, Colleen DeCracker, Terry Monje and I set out for my first Fall Climb. We picked up Colleen & Terry at a car pool stop some where near her collage, don't really think Terry knew what he was getting into although in good spirits. We stopped at Lacie J's Dinner for some Friday fish fry to fuel the up coming marathon march. Later arriving at the Park Motel and Cabin #14 In Tupper Lake around 11:00pm. We unloaded the gear from the truck and tried to settle in with the two beds and a couple air mattresses.

Inside Cabin #14

Cabin #14 in Tupper Lake

Corey Road parking area

The next morning we got a somewhat late start. We arrived at the Corey Road parking area and gear up our full packs for the hike ahead. Along the BlueBerry Foot trail we made our way to the BlueBerry Lean-tos, on the route we met a group of three that stayed at a closer campsite the night earlier. We decided to make a detour to this well maintained site that seemed to be an old horse trail area/stable. After setting up the tents we dawned the day packs and hit the trail.

Starting from Campsite

The unmarked herd path Caulkin's Brook ascent would be our choice. We bypassed Seward Mt for a clear shot to Mt. Emmons and then to Mt. Donaldson. While peaking in a timely fashion the decent and lack of daylight seemed to creep up on us. With the sun setting and returning over Emmons we had a quick thought of climbing Seward but that would have been a mistake.

Scenic Lookout

The decent was not the most pleasant with headlamps and miles to go our view of the unmarked trail began to fade. We strayed from the path many times and if we didn't have the Mountain Dog Tanner on the team our return would have been delayed quite a bit. He would wait for his fellow hikers and make clear of the path ahead, thanks to the power of the Canine nose we made it back to our camp site in one piece.

Tanner a.k.a The Mountain Dog

The Body Bag

Back at the camp site we got the fire burning to warm our bones and try to dry our toes, I made the mistake of placing my socks to close to the fire only to find the remainder of what was my sock. Jess had similar issues with her shoes unfortunately. A quick fix with some ducked tape kept them on her feet for the Hike out. On the menu for this trip were MRE's and Natures Valley bars for the most part and some PB and Bagels. We all settled into the tents and me in my new zero degree sleeping bag and a bivy sack shell. Even with the 24 degree temp I was comfortable outside on the ground. Waking to the morning frost I decided to wait for the thaw before I emerged from my body bag. After some breakfast we packed up and headed back to the Corey Road parking area from another successful trip.

#12 Donaldson & #13 Emmons on Oct 18th 2008


Progress Report

I've been working on my GoogleDocs tracker to see where all my hiking partners stand on number of ADK High Peaks climbed. Below is a listing for those I have hiked with and anticipate continuing to hike with in the future:
  • Seth: 24/46
  • Adam: 20/46
  • Jess: 19/46
  • James: 17/46
  • Colleen: 9/46
  • Tanner: 9/46
  • Joe: 5/46
  • Terry: 2/46
  • Lacie: 2/46
  • Chris: 2/46
  • Hannah: 1/46
  • Josh: 1/46
  • Amanda: 1/46
  • Brendan: 1/46
  • Cara: ?/46
Winter hiking has now come to a close for the season and we'll probably have a few months of break from High Peaking; I look forward to some good group Summer climbs in 2009!


Bachelor Party Part I

     There were three of us that decided to climb Mount Marcy for a Bachelor party. Not your typical bachelor party but thought it would be a fun trip. Our hike started out nice with full packs. We parked at the ADK Loj and started out early in the morning. This was my third trip up to the high peak region and had two friends that had never attempted a high peak, though they were completely capable of the climb. We worked our way though the trail up to Marcy dam, where we spent some time looking out at the view. We later gathered our things and started back on the winding trail. At this point our group realized that we needed to find a camping ground to spend the night. As we gained elevation, a nice flat spot to pitch a tent was becoming difficult to find.  It was like this for some time and eventually a spot had to come along, but there seemed to be no place to camp other than if we turned around and headed back towards Marcy dam. We soon found our way to Indian Falls where the path finally leveled out. Because this area was over a certain elevation, it was illegal to camp. This did not seem to stop us from pitching our tent against the picturesque mountains. Indian Falls is not a campsite but we decided to pitch a tent off the trail anyway. This was too good of a spot with a view to not do so. I have to admit this was not a very smart decision.  The day was near end and the three of us spent the remainder of the daylight exploring the area around Indian Falls. 


Windy Wright Peak

On 28 December 2008 during a day of the 4th Annual Lake Placid Trip--organized by Burgess (Mis)Adventures--our group departed the cabin intending to do a short hike to Mt. Van Hoevenberg, which Jess and I had just climbed in October 2008 in quite wet conditions. Somewhere along Route 73 and Adirondack Loj Road this plan changed, with a group majority thinking High Peak. So we set off for Wright Peak, which 4/5 of our group had passed by in January 2007 when we ascended Algonquin Peak at the same time of year with a similar temperature.

Windy Wright Peak direct video link


21-hour Marathon Day

Grizzly Adams and I had a marathon day for our Winter climb of Allen Mountain on 26 February 2009. We departed Wayne County, New York at 0200, drove all the way to Upper Works, skied / snowshoed Allen Mountain, and returned to Wayne County at 2300. Best case, the drive from Wayne County to Upper Works takes five hours on the road. Ladies and gentlemen, proof exists that the Adirondack High Peak with the reputation of being the most difficult to do in a day can in fact be done in one day, with a start AND end in Western-Central New York State.

Allen Mountain in Winter direct video link

Allen's summit marked #17/46 for Grizzly Adams and #21/46 for myself.


Trip of a Lifetime

The Winter 2009 ski of Avalanche Pass to Lake Colden that Grizzly Adams and I did has brought back to mind the first time I skied that route, and how much of an eye-opener it was to some real, Adirondack-style skiing.

ADK 46R Mark L. DeCracker (#2290) of Lyons, New York led us on that Sunday 4 March 2007 ski that we came to know as A Trip of a Lifetime. The group included Mark, James, Eli, Jess, myself, and 3 others from the Rochester-area (Lindsey, Alicia, Theresa) whom we met at the Adirondack Loj the night before. From the first stay at the Loj itself for most of us (including fireside music and storytelling), to the Chickadees at Marcy Dam, to the hot pot of tea Lindsey made up for us at Beaver Point Lean-to on Lake Colden, it all formed a memorable adventure.

Part 1 (Trip of a Lifetime P1 direct video link):

Part 2 (Trip of a Lifetime P2 direct video link):

Exactly 2 years after A Trip of a Lifetime, tonight seemed a perfect opportunity to reminisce.


Avalanche Pass Ski to Lake Colden

Here is the video footage of two aspiring Adirondack 46ers doing a fullpack ski into Lake Colden via Avalanche Pass and spending a couple sub-zero nights in the Beaver Point Lean-to, highlighted by successful ascents of Mount Marcy (#1 highest) and Mount Skylight (#4 highest)...

Avalanche Pass Ski to Lake Colden - Mt. Marcy / Mt. Skylight (video) - direct link for any of you poor souls still browsing the web with Internet Explorer


Climbing Log: Allen Mtn.

Mountains Climbed: Allen Mtn. (4,340')
Date of Hike: Thursday, February 26th, 2009
Hikers: Seth C. Burgess, Adam C. Chapin

Trail Conditions: Layer of powder on hardpack, transitioning to wetpack

Comments: This long dayhike was a spur of the moment idea. At 2152 on 25 Feb 09, I sent my climbing partner, Grizzly Adams, a Gmail Chat message declaring Allen Mtn. as the destination. He replied, "give me an hour". We were on the road from Wayne County, NY at 0200 and on the trail in Upper Works at 0805.


Climbing Log: Mt. Marcy & Mt. Skylight

Mountains Climbed: Mt. Marcy & Mt. Skylight 
Date of Hike: Friday, February 6th, 2009
Hikers: Seth C. Burgess, Adam C. Chapin

Trail Conditions: Crud & Powder, absolutely great for skiing & snowshoeing

Comments: Started out from ADK Loj parking area a little after 1300 on Thurs. 5 Feb 09. We skied with full packs to the Beaver Point Lean-to on the south end of Lake Colden via Avalanche Pass--a challenging task with quite a bit of uphill climb prior to reaching the Pass. We met about 5-7 others on the trail, no one seeming to have attempted any summits that day.

Fullpack skiing across Marcy Pond


Adirondacks in Winter

Thought I'd share this video montage of the Adirondacks in Winter, taken from my stock footage and edited and put to music by Videomark.

The song is We Belong to the Mountains by Peggy Lynn--it's one of our favorites!

Scenes in the video include our ascent of Algonquin Peak in January 2007, the trip up Street & Nye in March 2007, and an amazing ski of Avalanche Pass to the end of Lake Colden--also in March 2007.

Adirondacks in Winter direct video link for any of you poor souls still browsing the Web with Internet Explorer


Lower Great Range

On 30 June 2008 Adam, James, and I had our biggest multi-peak day so far. Four Adirondack High Peaks in one dayhike included Upper and Lower Wolfjaws, Armstrong Mountain, and Gothics.

Lower Great Range (video) - direct link for any of you poor souls still browsing the web with Internet Explorer


Is that a Saké Smile

A late arrival at the WhiteFace Mt. KOA confined Seth, James, Chris Joyce and I to the smaller of the two Lean-to's at site LT4 while Jess Burgess, Cara Benedict and Lacie Urban lapped it up in the Jumbo model. Some how we got The Mountain Dog Tanner crammed in there too. Early the next morning everyone was pumped and ready to go. Taking two vehicles we left KOA heading through Wilmington arriving at the Reservoir parking lot area. Having two New eager beavers(Cara & Chris) psyched about the hike ahead seemed to elevate the mood all around. Starting at the trail head around 7:00-7:30 we geared up, signed in and set out. The pace was set by Chris a.k.a Ironman Joyce periodically taken over by Cara. 4.7 miles plus 770ft of steep elevation gain seemed to fly past. We hit up Marble Mt. then summited Esther Mountain in only about 2hrs, 09:30.

#10 Esther Mt. July 26,08

Only 3.1 miles to go. Once we hit the retaining wall for Whiteface Memorial Highway a view of the Observation Tower was clear the rest of the way. Being WhiteFace Mountain its circumstances are unique. This is the only High Peak that you can drive. Crowds were gathered all around. Knowing that most of them knew we had just actually hiked the entire mountain made this one extra satisfying. We seemed to have a kind of right to the summit, a definite sense of honor.

#11 WhiteFace Mt. July 26,08

From 10:30 to a little after 11 we soaked up the sun and enjoyed the view. 467 ft down the meandering stairs to get some much needed food and drink at Whiteface Castle. Here we stayed much longer than any other peak, funny to see and I guess be part of the tourist attraction.

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The hike/run down Whiteface Memorial Highway was a long cut, but worth the millage. Great views on every bend. I was amazed at all the work that must have been put into the Construction of this Highway. Cara was easy on me, little did I know at the time that she ran almost everyday. It was getting pretty nasty with rain so we broke out the ponchos, even still some tourist in a van kept on passing us trying to find the Reservoir, wanting to climb Esther. Hiking in the dark can be interesting, but if you don't know the trail better off having an early start.

WhiteFace Castle-Wilmington Reservoir

We made it back to KOA around 6 o'clock to clean up for some sushi/saké at Kento Japanese Steak House. Thanks to the D.D's we made it back to the lean-to's in one piece where everyone continued to enjoy some refreshments by the campfire. I slept like a baby, this was odd considering there was a huge thunder storm right over us that night. At sunrise with a small headache it was time for Christmas in July. My first real encounter of this Idea was good, some breakfast with Santa seem nice at the KOA lodge. Later re-entering the Town of North Pole a real dread of disorder came over me when an Amusement park call Santa's Workshop came into view. This in not my forte, the Concept brings consumerism to a gut wrenching mockery of true Christmas spirit. Thank God the price seem just a bit two much for our tastes that day. On to the Flume. This was a great place to end the trip. Before we left we had to hunt down Cara, she decided to hike one more small peak on her own. True 46er material. Once you've had one you'll always want more.

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Photo's taken by Seth C. Burgess


What about Crampons?

Elie Bijou on the use of crampons in the mountain ranges of New York State:
Safest placement? Leave them in the bag in your car and pick up a pair of Stabilicers or Microspikes (Kahtoola)...Sorry.
An accurate assessment of the necessity of traditional crampons while hiking in the Catskills and Adirondacks, including the High Peaks. I would extend the same sentiment to ice axes. The creature that is the ice-climber is really the only person who would find legitimate use for these items.


Five miles of Heaven Baby

Time is always on your side, because in the end either you get busy livin or you get busy dyin. There will always be days where you're on such a mental high that all you want to do is top it or create a feeling equal to if not surpassing a moment of peace. In attaining harmony through physical strain your body feeds the mind. A level once know is now there to pass. This was a good day. Gothics is #1 on the list of favorites. Seen here at end of clip.


The Good, The Bad & The Great

You really never know how a trip is going to turn out. Sometimes everything goes as planned and other times the %@#! hits the fan. Seth, James and I started on an early note getting to Lake Placid around mid afternoon. The day was looking great, the sun was shining making it perfect for some High Peaking. Just off Route 73 a short 2.2 miles ahead Porter Mountain loomed overhead. A smooth yet Buggy 2,000 vertical accent to the top, clean and quick. Just 1.5 miles away is the Summit of Cascade Mountain , being so close you have to catch it as well. Afterwards we headed towards Lake Harris Camp Site #1 to meet up with Jess and Colleen. We all enjoyed the Wegmans Burgers minus Colleen who slept peacefully in the car. The next morning MRE's were on the menu, being my first Made Ready to Eat meal it was a good one of scrambled eggs and home fries.

#4&5 Porter & Cascade June 27, 08

Day 2 was the flipside of the first,"If the Santanonis are Hell, then Bradley Pond Lean-to must be Purgatory." This seems to say it all. The grueling pace of dripping wet body's was complemented by echoing birds over Bradley Pond. Standing in Panther Brook while surrounded by mist with a crack of lightning close over head makes you feel alive. If the risk out weighs the reward, no matter how much pride you have sometimes you just need to turn around. The Santanonis(Nemesis) won this one, all the sweater the next time through. From Bradley Pond Lean-to five miles of Heaven awaited us in heading back. Good food is always key after a hard hike so we stopped at the Adirondack Hotel for some burgers and beers. Across the way Helms Aero Service temped our sense for satisfaction. That plane ride was probably the best 30 dollars I've spent.

Colleen and Jess had enough with all the bad weather and headed back home with the Mountain dog Tanner while Seth, James and I went back to Lake Placid for round 3. What better than a room at the Econo Lodge, jumping into the hot tub to sooth sore muscles and the anchovies and cheese pizza, well lets just say that's the first and last time I'll be eating that. The storm past clearing a path to the Lower Range. From Lake Placid through Keene Valley to the Garden Trail head. This hike was by far the best. Over many streams and brooks, passing waterfalls and climbing steep rock walls, exploring caves on Gothics will make this my favorite thus far. Upper Wolfjaw to Armstrong, from Gothics back over to Lower Wolfjaw. Having to hit up Armstrong and Upper Wolfjaw twice made it all the better.

#6,7,8&9 Upper Wolfjaw, Armstrong, Gothics & Lower Wolfjaw June 30,08


Scenic Flights by Helms Aero Service

On 29 June 2008 following our failed attempt at the Santanoni Range of the ADK High Peaks, we consoled ourselves by jumping onto Rt. 30 and grabbing a meal at the Adirondack Hotel on Long Lake. It was just what the doctor ordered.

Afterwards Jess, Colleen, James, Adam, and I investigated the small office across the road for Helms Aero Service. The thought of being in a tight, enclosed cockpit with 4 others plus a pilot was not appealing to me. I succumbed to peer pressure, though. The flight we took over Long Lake turned into one of my best Adirondack memories!

Helms Aero Service - Long Lake, NY - direct link for any of you poor souls still browsing the web with Internet Explorer


Don't call me a Peak Bagger

Depending on how much of a relation you can be aware of without loosing the true meaning of the Goal. On all the Hike's I have been lucky enough to be apart of I can recall almost every detail down to the number of socks I put on. These are times to reflect and take in your surroundings. Loosing yourself in the wilderness means becoming part of the environment.

I'm sure the term Peak Bagger is all in good fun, yet if your only ambition is to get to the top remember its not the destination, its the journey.


Are we there yet

Sometimes just getting to the Adirondacks is an adventure in its self. One car crash including James Zeger and Mark DeCracker delayed us a little. To any other man that would be that, but not if your a true 46er. In fact within the next few hours a new Vehicle was added to the pack, brand new(new to Mark anyways) from the dealer no less. Seth was riding rail to Amsterdam where Jess and I were waiting, oh right we actually found him sometime later walking down the road. Tired of waiting and anxious for the trip ahead he started, thanks to the homing beacon we located him eventually. Prior Mark and James picked up Colleen at her Collage. Later we arrived at The Cabin to meet two of Marks friends and last the new car and its crew joined us. With drink and introduction we ended the night of a very eventful day.

The late start after a bite of breakfast in Lake Placid seemed acceptable considering we even made it that far. In the normal fashion we headed to the ADK Information Center (Adirondack Loj) where we geared up for the ski ahead. On Van Hoevenberg trail at Marcy Dam(2.3 miles in) we dawned our Skins and soaked up the view. Many chickadees accompanied us for a snack while onlookers watch from the bridge.

Marcy Dam

At the 3.6 mile mark we took a short trail to Indian Falls. Running out of time we decided to get at least one High Peak that day. Heading towards Table Top we lost the skies, being a herd path it was tight on the way up.

Indian Falls

Although the view wasn't the greatest on the summit, build up from snow gave us plenty of scenery. The ski down was a blur. Fast and sometimes dangerous, I seemed to learn how to butt slide better than actually skiing. Getting back just around 7:00pm it was about a 6hr round trip. Just in time for a Presentation by the Genesee Chapter of the ADK mountain club.

#3 Table Top Feb 23, 08


Mountain Dog: A Profile

Mountain Dog was born 31 October 2007 in Malta, New York and is of the prestigious Maple Grove Golden Retrievers' bloodline. Formally named Tanner Weeny Burgess, Mountain Dog made his mark on the New York State mountainscape in his first year on this Earth. His list of 2008 accomplishments include:

ADK High Peaks
  1. Porter Mountain
  2. Cascade Mountain
  3. Mount Esther
  4. Whiteface Mountain
  5. Mount Donaldson
  6. Mount Emmons
Catskill High Peaks
  1. Wittenberg Mountain
  2. Cornell Mountain
  3. Slide Mountain
Adirondack Incidentals
  1. Marble Mountain (Wilmington)
  2. Lookout Mountain (Wilmington)
Not bad for a start, eh?


Santanoni Range: A Rainy, Muddy Mess

After climbing Cascade and Porter on 27 June 2008, us boys headed to the Lake Harris Campground outside of Newcomb, NY where we met up with the girls and tented for the night, following the grilling of some Wegmans' prepared burgers!

The next day we drove out to Upper Works and headed in for our first attempt at the Santanoni Range of the ADK High Peaks. It was a failure. We hiked in to Bradley Pond Lean-to by sludging our way through some deepish, wet mud and rain showers. Dropping our full packs there, we back-tracked just a bit to locate the famous sway-backed rock which marks the trail up Panther Brook. We made it almost all the way up Panther Brook when the flooding waterbed and frequent flashes of lightning finally dictated that we turn back. It was quite a tough climb up Panther Brook for Tanner the Golden Retriever as well. Would've been nice to start a drying fire, but no, too wet! Tanner shared his collected mud with all of us that night in the lean-to, making sure to spent some time laying on each of our sleeping bags. Two others who did complete the range over the same time period pitched their personal tents nearby.

Santanoni Range: A Rainy, Muddy Mess - direct link for any of you poor souls still browsing the web with Internet Explorer


Summit Cheeseburgers

I just received a discussion thread through the Catskill 3500 Club distro that points to a website with a new hiking goal: to consume a cheeseburger on every named peak on the planet. Here's the weblink:

To date, it appears that cheeseburgers have been eaten (and recorded on the site) atop only  3 ADK peaks, to include Mt. Marcy.


Climbing Log: Wright Peak

Mountains Climbed: Wright Peak
Date of Hike: Sunday, December 28th, 2008
Hikers: Seth C. Burgess, Jessica L. Burgess, Adam C. Chapin, Joseph P. Burgess, Brendan Eckner

Trail Conditions: Icy, extreme wind on summit

Comments: Started out from ADK Loj around 1130 and made fast progress on the iced trail. Donned Stabilicers at the trailhead and never switched out for the rest of the hike. Fairly warm air for December, with mid-40s at the bottom ranging into the low-30s as we ascended toward the junction to Wright. The waterfall was running strong with all the snowmelt caused by the past few days' rain.

Grizzly Adams in front of waterfall


The Ultimate StairMaster

Almost a year to the day has past from my first High Peak. Another Moon lit weekend of Adirondack Adventures lay in wait. The group(Joe, Seth & Jessica Burgess, Stacey VanOoyen, Colleen DeCracker, James Zeger(JZ), Mike Frey and Brendan Eckner) arranged by Seth met up at good old South Meadow Farms to begin gear up. Again Snow Shoes courtesy of Cascade Cross Country Ski Center. There will definitely be a pattern here during the winter season. Getting a good start the Entire groups set out to the trail head off RT. 73. South from St-Huberts about a mile in Roaring Brook Trail would be a more difficult Accent yet due to heavy cloud cover the longer and scenic perks of Ridge Trail didn't seem to matter. Vertical Gains of 3,374 ft were felt early due to the grueling pace set by James and Colleen (The Animal) DeCracker as I called her that day anyway. I think only One member of the team had to turn back because of Asthma issues, but once one goes you loose a few more. The remaining(Joe, James, Colleen, Mike and I) continued.

Taken by Joe Burgess Jan 5,08

My legs began to feel like the rigor mortis set in due to bad cramps, thank God James had some Ibuprofen. After 4 hour of what seemed like extreme elevation gain we worked our way into the mist. Although the summit was enveloped by cloud cover, satisfaction flooded the senses all the same. Time at the top of Giant Mt. was short and sweat.

#2 Giant Jan 5, 08


Porter & Cascade

Grizzly Adams, James Zeger, Tanner, and I climbed Porter and Cascade Mtns. on 27 June 2008. Check out the video! It was the 2nd ascent of both for me, now I've done them in both winter (2005) and summer.

Porter Mtn & Cascade Mtn - direct link for any of you poor souls still browsing the web with Internet Explorer


Report Card

After nearly 4 years in the High Peaks, this is the list of the mountains I have climbed so far:
  1. Cascade Mountain
  2. Porter Mountain
  3. Phelps Mountain
  4. Saddleback Mountain
  5. Gothics
  6. Dix Mountain
  7. Algonquin Peak
  8. Nye Mountain
  9. Street Mountain
  10. Big Slide Mountain
  11. Tabletop Mountain
  12. Upper Wolfjaw
  13. Armstrong Mountain
  14. Lower Wolfjaw
  15. Esther Mountain
  16. Whiteface Mountain
  17. Mount Donaldson
  18. Mount Emmons
18/46 = 39%