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.

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Anonymous said...

Why did you take someone up Seward in blue jeans in November?

Seth C. Burgess said...

That's a smart question.

I have my own philosophy when it comes to "mentoring" others in the ways of Wilderness Adventure. It is my experience that there are two ways to effectively convince someone that synthetics are the best material for hiking:

1) Buy gear and gift to the new hiker
2) Allow new hiker to learn "the hard way"

I have found that most will not invest $$$ on a new venture if they don't know whether or not it will be a continuing pursuit. I usually do recommend what key pieces of gear to bring on any hike, including such items as extra socks, warm layers, winter hat, gloves, water containers, etc.

So the whole answer is that I knew this new hiker, I knew our team, and from experience I know the "fine line" that can be drawn between ensuring safety and facilitating a certain sense of enjoyment for someone new to the Adirondack Mountains. As a side note, I personally always carry additional emergency gear that can be administered for use by our entire hiking party.

There's always a certain balance of safety and success when in the out-of-doors. A real issue with our new hiker in wet cotton jeans--such as a noticeable loss in body temp.--would certainly have trumped our other hiking concerns.

Thanks for visiting and for the intelligent question.

Yugoboy said...

This upcoming Summer (2013) I'm planning on doing all 4 peaks in the range on an overnight hike. I get that the trails aren't official or marked in conventional ways. How easy is it to be able to stay on the trails? How tough will it be to find the trails to the peaks?

What do you think I need to know?

(My hiking experience in the ADKs is relatively experienced. I did the Ampersand Trail in maybe 2 hours one time, and I pounded up the south access to Whiteface in a time that was described as "fast." I haven't done an overnight outside of a camper in 3 years, and that was in a tent at Rollins for 2 nights. We've done a number of easier hikes as well. I hike quite efficiently on my own, but I'm also planning on taking a significant number of pictures along the way.)

Seth C. Burgess said...

The trails are fairly easy to follow, so long as the hiker is paying attention. Do you have a National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map of the High Peaks? If not, I recommend obtaining one.

Map 742: Lake Placid / High Peaks 2nd Edition

Overnighting is a good idea. Some do hike all 4 in one day, as a generally circular route is possible without having to backtrack (except to Corey's Rd). But if you want to enjoy and take photos etc., I wouldn't recommend going for that.

What time do you think you'll hit the trail on the first day? Based on that I could make my recommendation for hitting all the Sewards over 2 days.

Yugoboy said...

Honestly, I don't know when I'll be hitting the trail. Probably "early" as I think I want to do the 3 northern ones on the first day and then do Seward by itself on the second.

We'll be staying at Rollins Pond for over a week, and I'm going to try to pick two dry days to do it while we're there. I'll be getting dropped off at the trailhead by my wife and then picked up the next day. I'm not sure when I'll have her come get me. I don't want her to wait, but I don't want to be waiting too long or giving myself enough time to walk back to Rollins on my own. My niece also wants to go up Marcy, but that's a different day, and that hike will include her and my wife (given how fast I hike and my ultimate desire to get all 46, I'll be doing Phelps Mt. on that hike as well, and then catching up to them).

If there is a way to do the Seward Range in a circuit instead of 2 separate out-&-backs from one of the lean-tos I'd be all about it. I don't have the NatGeo map, but we do have a couple copies of the Plinth, Quoin & Cornice ones (published in Keene Valley) for the "High Peaks Region" which is how I found these mountains in the first place.

As far as paying attention... when it comes to my personal safety, I'm pretty good at that. I tend to watch where I'm going anyway, so I don't misstep. I'm pretty goal-oriented, so I usually wait for the peak or someplace else obvious to stop and look around.

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