End: Keene Valley, NY
Peaks Climbed: Lower Wolf Jaw, Upper Wolf Jaw, Armstrong, Gothics, Pyramid, Sawteeth
I came out of the woods today, a few days sooner than I had planned. All the climbing (and, even more so, the descending) with a full pack was rough on my knees. After I went over six peaks today, I decided to change my plans and hike out to a town. I'm hoping to do some day hikes in the nexy few days. But my knees were really hurting from hiking with a full pack, and I decided it would be best not to push them too hard.
Other than that, today was great. I climbed over the Lower Range and saw some amazing views. The climbing was tough, but the views were spectacular. Each peak had a steep ascent and descent. Gothics and Pyramid had some of the best views. And, they both looked the coolest from other peaks. It's kind of hard to describe, but their mountain faces were just a wall of bare rock, dropping hundreds of feet.
I climbed up to Sawteeth by noon. At that point, I could've continued and done Blake and Colvin, but my knees had been hurting for most of the morning and I decided to take a break and head into town early.
I descended to Lower Ausable Lake and a large parcel of private land that is owned by the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. The AMR originally bought up tens of thouands of acres in the Adirondacks to protect the land from logging. Now, the state has bought much of that land, but the AMR still owns a large chunk in the high peaks area. The lake is only open to members, and there is a dirt road along the lake that is similarly only open to members' vehicles. The public is allowed access to the trails, but under special rules (no dogs, no hunting, no camping). At the end of the dirt road, there is a security guard, as well as private homes, a golf course.
From there, I walked a few miles up the road to Keene Valley, a small town where there is a hiker hostel. I haven't met the owners yet, but they have a self-registration system (take a bed, put money in envelope). The hostel is in a simple building next to their house. There is a kitchen and bathrooms downstairs, and the beds are all upstairs.
There are two girls staying here tonight as well. They're on a two-week road trip. They're from Florida, and first went to Iowa to go biking for a week. Then they were going to go to the White Mountains in New Hampshire to do some hiking but decided to stop at the Adirondacks instead.
I'm hoping to do some day hikes in the next few days. On Sunday, I go back into the woods for a final week of climbing peaks, and will be joined by my friend Andrew.