Mount Adams, Fire Tower Series

In my latest trek, my friend Adam and I decided to take on Mount Adams in the Adirondacks. This is part of the fire tower challenge and needless to say, it’s quite steep. I’ve never been too fond of getting off at Exit 29 for any sort of hike. They’ve either concluded in extremely long days or falling in a river. Yes, that actually happened three miles into a hike. Although, I haven’t had the best memories, it’s always incredible to see the history there.

The Tahawus

A society that once belonged to the Adirondacks is now far gone. Each time we go anywhere near the Santonini Range or Allen Mountain, there’s such an eerie presence. There’s one home that still stands and oddly enough, the mailbox there looks like one from today. There’s also a massive furnace with trees growing off its sides and scattered fireplaces that used to warm people. Next to all of these abandoned structures, trails for many High Peaks and other hikes begin. Mount Adams is part of the fire tower challenge and is much shorter than hikes I’ve been on. Enjoy the abandoned shots, and let’s get into this hike!

The Start

Near the abandoned furnace is where the hike starts to Mount Adams. It’s on the same trail as Allen Mountain too. Before the split to climb Mount Adams, there’s a lot to enjoy. Near the beginning, you’ll cross a suspension bridge and make sure to cross one at a time. I say this because it seems quite old and doesn’t sound too stable. Later on, you’ll have to go around a body of water where you’ll see a floating bridge that was broken during some point in time. Afterwards, there’s two abandoned cabins that you’ll see which I’m certain would be terrifying to pass in the dark if you went for a sunrise hike. Once you pass all of this, the trail splits and you’ll see the sign for Mount Adams on the left.

1,700 Feet

According to AllTrails, in the 1.6 mile climb to the summit, the hike itself gains 1,700 feet. It begins as a gradual climb and we passed an oil can from what seemed to be centuries ago, as it was completely decayed. From here on out, this trail was quite relentless. We took a few stops and put on bug spray because most of the Adirondacks and NY in general, are notorious for mosquitoes in the summer. There were many slippery areas on this hike from rock slabs as well, so be careful during winter or summer. After what feels like a very long steep climb, you’ll reach the base of the fire tower.

Mount Adams Summit

Climbing up the fire tower from the dense forest to sweeping views of the Adirondacks was incredible. On a clear day, the table map indicates you can see Crane Mountain from the summit. Looking out once you enter the tower, you’ll see Marcy and Colden. Surprisingly, from this perspective, they look very intimidating. It’s as if they just decided to put a fire tower in the middle of some of the most outstanding high peaks to make people fall in love with the wilderness. If you want to try and get someone into hiking, I highly recommend this trail. Just get ready for the pain on your legs from the relentless climb!

Thank You!

For anyone who took the time to read this, I truly appreciate it. I will have a few more coming out as well from older hikes that I never got to. I wanted to complete this first since it was fresh in my mind. If there’s any suggestions for blogs you’d like me to cover, feel free to reach out. If you’d like to, demolish that like button, follow for more treks, and drop a comment. Until next time, keep on adventuring!

For details on this hike:

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/new-york/mount-adams-trail

Jay Peak: A challenging icy ridge

My close friend Cole and I decided the day after Christmas that we’d hike Jay Peak. We knew this mountain had a ridge and desired to climb it since this summer. Considering we were both busy, we never really had the time to do it. Hiking in the winter has its challenges and it was well represented throughout this one. Here’s to my last hike of 2019 and let’s get right into it!

Does the trail head exist?

I think part of this has to deal with my friend and I both on about 3 hours of sleep. We always use AllTrails to find directions to our hikes but it kept taking us to the right of where it was. We didn’t realize this until 20 minutes later. The positive about this was the fact that it brought us down a windy road to a huge open field. It was a bunch of farm land and the sky was lit in pink which created a wild scene. Once we found the trailhead, we jumped out of the car and started as soon as we could.

Trailhead for Jay Mountain

Before the ridge

I found this part of the hike very easy and my friend did as well. Although icy, it wasn’t too bad for a climb. It was a gradual incline and there were multiple switchbacks. Without the use of my Kahtoola, I fell a handful of times. I specifically remember an area on the trail that had a dropoff to the right with a little coverage of trees. I had fell right next to it from the ice and I’m happy to say I fell where I could catch myself away from that dropoff. Adrenaline shot through me but in the end it’s a risk that could happen through any winter hike. There were many falls after that as well, but they were in locations without the potential of any dangerous injury. It became even more interesting once we reached the first false summit.

Rock scrambling

Reaching the first false summit, my friend and I had to navigate a very narrow area of the trail. We began climbing up the side of the trail adjacent to another drop off but clung to the wall for safety. We both look after each other so we made sure nothing would occur that we were actually putting ourselves in danger. One of the last false summits was even tougher due to more ice and snow. We continued to rock scramble a bit and when we reached the last false summit it appears to be the highest point. I must admit that it felt a bit demoralizing. Once we hit the top though…we were very happy to complete a new mountain.

Looking at Jay Mountain from the last false summit

A quick stop

We didn’t stay at the summit for too long since my friend had to get back in time for work. I ate the amazing PB & J sandwich from Stewart’s, took some photos, and began to head down shortly afterwards. Understanding that we had to go up and over a couple false summits was definitely discouraging. We took our time and once we kept descending, we took frequent breaks to hydrate. When we were near the car I had to sign us out and I realized all of the destinations said “Jay Range”. I didn’t realize it was considered a range before we went, but I’m glad we did it. It’s one of those adventures that I’m sure both of us won’t forget any time soon.

View of Adirondack Mountains from Jay Mountain
Clouds rolling over below the ADK mountains
Looking at Whiteface Mountain from the summit

Thanks!

I really hope you enjoyed this blog and maybe found some parts useful for your own reference. I always put in mistakes that have occurred without certain gear to emphasize in a way that it is useful. Especially crampons. These adventures and photos mean everything to me and I can’t to see what’s in store for 2020. I’ll be going away soon and I’ll be covering a blog on that as well! To everyone out there, keep adventuring as we get closer to 2020!

-Alex

Reflecting on 2019

I must admit, 2019 was a year of triumph and tragedy. There wasn’t much in between for me. But if I had to go back, I’d do it all again. Why? Because it was something that made me grow as an individual and I think tough times are vital for anyone’s life. But the adventures…they made me realize I was just getting started.

Acadia National Park

One of the highlights this past summer was going to Bar Harbor, Maine. Visiting my first National Park was really special to me and I created one of my “many” favorite photos there. Entering the park with my brother, I was ecstatic to climb the Beehive Trail. It’s a trail that features a handful of ladder rungs and exposed areas while climbing. In my opinion, it’s a bit different from a casual hike and I wouldn’t call it family friendly. My other great adventure was taken on the famous Cadillac Mountain. During the hike, a thunderstorm was taking place over the ocean. You can guess that…yes, we got nailed with rain at the summit. Moments afterward, the sky opened up and revealed a beautiful scene. This is one that I’ll always remember.

Egg Rock Lighthouse
Rainbow after storm near Cadillac Mountain

Creativity

A little different from an adventure but, near the end of 2019 I realized that my creativity began to soar at a level I’ve never seen before. I invested a lot of my time into photography and learning new perspectives. Putting myself in a chat with other creators inspired me too. When you put yourself among others with similar aspirations, they will help you grow. I opened up my own print shop and had someone help me with creating shirt designs. Making a logo for this website was exciting as well but nothing beats Polaroid recognizing my work. I have many goals within the photography realm for 2020 and I can’t wait to see where it leads me.

Winter vibes from my first snow day
Polaroid photo that I had recognized!

New Hampshire

My brother and I decided this year we were going to tag one of our most sought after peaks in the Northeast. Standing at 6,288 feet, Mount Washington awaited us in New Hampshire. This would be our first “real” mountain together. What I mean by that, is the fact that this hike was deadly and it was a new challenge that faced us. The prominence on Washington is almost near the height that it stands at. I remember waking up with excitement but made sure I was focused, especially for the icy areas. Although nothing happened, Washington made it apparent to us why so many fatal injuries have occurred. Out of 365 days a year, 65 of those days are clear views on the mountain. We were blessed to experience one of these days and I’ll always remember it. Going to bed that night, I knew I achieved something great for myself and can’t wait to see what’s up next.

Views from Hermit Lake Shelter
Mount Washington summit

The Adirondacks

For this year, I didn’t bag as many High Peaks, but I did a lot of hikes throughout the changing of seasons. I was able to see the peak foliage in the Adirondacks with close friends on Hurricane Mountain. I started getting into winter hiking after my brother and I tagged Esther Mountain. My all time favorite though, is hiking a range. Being out in the wilderness throughout the entire day is something special. I didn’t really hit any ranges this year except for Jay Range. It was one of the tougher hikes in the Adirondacks in my opinion, at least in the winter. I’m excited to see where this year takes me in the ADK’s and hopefully I’ll tag many high peaks! My brother and I plan to become 46er’s this year and well…we might need to grab more mountains in New Hampshire.

My brother and I near Phelps Mountain
Beautiful scenery from summit of Jay Mountain

As for 2020

There’s a lot of goals that I have for 2020 and I’m stoked to keep pursuing my dreams. For photography, I’ve always hoped to be published in a magazine so I’ll keep contacting them until I get one yes because perseverance is key! I’d like to to create more beautiful photos for everyone and hang up some work in public. Creating a small shop for this website would be very cool as well. My brother and I are considering a lot of hikes when we’re in Washington and I can’t wait for all of the new stories to blog to you about!

Thank you

The support in 2019 is just the beginning but I’m very grateful for each and every one of you. If you have any recommendations on blogs you’d like to see, feel free to reach me at travelersandhikers@gmail.com. I can tell you that there’s many exciting things coming in 2020 and I’m happy to share them with you!

-Alex