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