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ADK - Great Range Help...
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Nathan Baker
(Slvravn) - MLife

Locale: East Coast - Mid Atlantic
ADK - Great Range Help... on 07/24/2009 06:24:24 MDT Print View

Howdy,

I was planning on doing a traverse of the Great Range at the end of August and was wondering if anyone could answer a few questions for me? I was thinking of doing this as a 3 day 2 night with my cousin and since I have not been up there I was curious about a few things. I picked up the ADK guide for the high peaks, but it still does not answer everything.
Our intended route is to start off at the Rt73 lot and go over Rooster Comb, Hedgehog, LWJ, UWJ, Armstrong, Gothics, Saddleback, Basin, Little Haystack, Haystack, a possible stop at Skylight, Marcy and then a possible trek over Big Slide and the Brothers while ending up at the Garden parking lot.
- First off, what is the best way to get from the garden parking lot to the rt 73 lot?
- What has been the availability of water so far this season?
- I am still trying to calculate mileage and was not sure where to set up camp for the 2 nights. I was thinking about the first night somwhere around Panther Gorge and the second somewhere around the JBL. Any suggestions?

If anyone can give me a hand with any of the above it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

ferris jrf
(ferrisjrf) - F

Locale: New England
tough itinerary on 07/24/2009 07:18:28 MDT Print View

>>First off, what is the best way to get from the garden parking lot to the rt 73 lot?<<

Hitch or walk.

>>What has been the availability of water so far this season?<<

So far, very good. But by the end of August, I wouldn't count on any water on the Range Trail. Chances are, you'll need to drop down off the ridge at least a few hundred feet to obtain water. The first spot that I'd say water would be VERY likely will be in the Basin/Haystack col.

>>I am still trying to calculate mileage and was not sure where to set up camp for the 2 nights. I was thinking about the first night somwhere around Panther Gorge and the second somewhere around the JBL. Any suggestions?<<

It depends what kind of shape you're in (and how much you're carrying), but unless you're really fit, you may find it difficult to make it over the whole range and down to Panther Gorge in one day. The mileage is decieving. That trail is one of the toughest in the northeast. Lots of ladders and scrambling.

The direction you're talking about going (clockwise) is generally considered tougher than counter-clockwise. You'll be heading down the cables on Gothics, down the Saddleback cliffs, down the steepest side of Basin...down the steepest side of Haystack. I've done the traverse in both directions (a few times each), and definitely prefer going the other way.

If you're in excellent shape (able to do 25+ mile days in the Adirondacks or Whites), then your plan is fine. Panther Gorge is a nice area, and there are good spots for a tent/tarp not far from the lean-to. And there's a tent site near JBL as well. If you're going clockwise, it's just past the Interior Outpost register on the "Number 1" trail...on the left.

You may also want to check out this site for more info: http://forums.adkhighpeaks.com/

Dave .
(Ramapo) - F - M
ADK - Great Range Help... on 07/24/2009 07:34:10 MDT Print View

Whatever you do, don't listen to this Ferris guy. Mad as a hatter, that fellow.

Nathan Baker
(Slvravn) - MLife

Locale: East Coast - Mid Atlantic
Re: tough itinerary on 07/24/2009 08:10:51 MDT Print View

Ferris thanks for the insight. I thought that going to Panther might be a bit of a stretch and I think that staying between Basin and Little haystack might be a better option. We could still stay near the JBL on the second night though. While I condsider myself somewhat fit I had no intention of of coming even close to the 25+ miles per day. Roughly I came up with about 10 miles from 73 to Basin so I think that might work a little better.

I know that we are going the touger direction, but I am still up in the air about going UP the steepest sides or DOWN the steepest sides. Either way is sure to be interesting. BTW if it decides to rain while we are up there then I would think that counter would probably be better.

ferris jrf
(ferrisjrf) - F

Locale: New England
re: Daks, Great Range on 07/24/2009 09:17:07 MDT Print View

>>I thought that going to Panther might be a bit of a stretch and I think that staying between Basin and Little haystack might be a better option...I had no intention of of coming even close to the 25+ miles per day. Roughly I came up with about 10 miles from 73 to Basin...<<

You're right about the mileage. My comment about the 25+ miles was more in relation to the fact that the walk over the Range to Panther Gorge generally feels more like 25 miles than the true (much lesser) mileage.

FYI: In the High Peaks Wilderness area, camping between 3500ft and 4000ft is only allowed in designated areas...and no camping at all allowed above 4000ft. The Basin/Haystack col sits at about 3850ft...and there's no designated site. Just wanted to make you aware.

This website has the best info on the latest regulations.
http://www.adirondack-park.net/issues/high.peaks.ump.html

But like Dave says, I'm mad, so... ;-)

Nathan Baker
(Slvravn) - MLife

Locale: East Coast - Mid Atlantic
Great Range on 07/24/2009 09:43:57 MDT Print View

"FYI: In the High Peaks Wilderness area, camping between 3500ft and 4000ft is only allowed in designated areas...and no camping at all allowed above 4000ft. The Basin/Haystack col sits at about 3850ft...and there's no designated site. Just wanted to make you aware."

The map I have from the ADK Mountain Club shows a campsite around the col (right by the intersection of the state range trail and the haystack brook trail). Do you know if it is there anymore or is it a mistake?

edit: sp

Edited by Slvravn on 07/24/2009 09:44:43 MDT.

ferris jrf
(ferrisjrf) - F

Locale: New England
snobird campsite on 07/24/2009 11:45:19 MDT Print View

>>The map I have from the ADK Mountain Club shows a campsite around the col (right by the intersection of the state range trail and the haystack brook trail). Do you know if it is there anymore or is it a mistake?<<

I just did a little research, and this site (the site of the old Snobird Lean-To) is still listed as a "designated" site...so you'd be within the regs camping there. As far as I know, that's the only "designated" site left on the ridge.

Edited by ferrisjrf on 07/24/2009 11:46:45 MDT.