1.18.2011

Big snow on a relatively little mountain: Noonmark

On the list of the 100 highest mountains in the Adirondacks... Noonmark in Keene Valley sits in the exalted spot of #86, being about 3500 feet high.

Being number #86 does not mean, however that climbing Noonmark is an easy hike that can be casually knocked off in an afternoon, especially in winter conditions.

Red disks supposedly mark the trail -- if one can find them. Our small group spent at least an hour foundering around this trail junction, vainly trying to discern which way to go.

By mere chance, and higher up on the shoulder of the mountain, we finally found the trail, well marked and broken by an earlier hiking party.

By the time we found the trail and headed in the direction which we needed to go it was early afternoon and snow was falling steadily. We thought we were approaching the summit only to emerge out on a rocky ridgeline with some breaks in the trees.

In an opening we could make out the summit dimly looming over us in the snow, still a ways a way and with quite a bit of altitude gain remaining. So this became a hike where the journey was more important than the destination, as we decided to turn back.

Making the quick trip over to Keene Valley -- including the Rooster Comb trailhead, where I launched my first ever (and almost fatal) solo winter Adirondack hike -- made me think about the places I have been and the experiences I have had (bear encounters, hikes in the rain, mountains at sunset, etc.).

For better or worse in this solipsistic, narcissistic age previous Adirondack themed posts can be read here.

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