Haystack, Saddleback, & Basin
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
We drove up Friday night via the thruway, we were worried about getting a spot at the Garden but we had a back up plan if we couldn't. When we arrived we met a car coming down from the lot (we figured the lot was full), but when they stopped they mentioned that there was 3-5 spots left. We arrived in the lot, packed up, and began our hike. The hike in was uneventful, and went quickly as always. Eventually we arrived at the DEC outpost register; here we signed in and continued. We stopped at the slide brook leanto (if it was open we would have stayed there). At the leanto there was a group of 2 with their tent setup inside. I let them know that we would be moving on, but it was against the rules to set a tent up inside a leanto.|
We hiked up to the JBL and visited Nate the caretaker to let him know of our plans. After chatting for a little while we filled our water at the spigot and then continued to the campsite a few hundred yards up the trail.
The campsite was incredibly nice and easily had room for up to 4 groups of tents (as long as you didn't mind having your neighbors within 20 feet). We setup our tents and went to bed. As usual I slept terribly and soon it was morning. We woke up, cooked up some oatmeal for a hearty breakfast and then began our hike.
The trail up to Bushnell Falls was pretty nice and gradual. At Bushnell falls we poked around a bit to see where the leantos and campsites were. As we continued the trail got more rugged but it still wasn't too steep. The leaves on the ground made the footing somewhat tricky because you couldn't see exactly what you were putting your feet onto. Eventually we arrived at slant rock. Nate followed the trail to the new leanto which is apparently quite a ways off the trail. I couldn't immagine hiking in to that leanto with the late starts we typically get.
At Slant Rock we met up with Neil and Randomscooter from adkhighpeaks. They were doing some crazy bushwhack / slide climb / hike up the face of Haystack. After a nice break we continued our climb.
From slant rock the trail got steeper and more rugged, I feel like every time we hit a trail junction (shoreys, range trail, etc...) the trail got steeper. As we climbed the valley views of Marcy opened up to our right, but we couldn't see haystack. Finally after a long climb we crested a hill and could see our first objective for the day. Unfortunately between us and it was a descent, then a climb of little haystack, then a descent, then finally the climb of haystack. As we started to climb down I got pretty tired as I hadn't been eating enough. The climb up Haystack tired me out pretty badly but the summit was awesome. The views were incredible. I never realized that the back side of Marcy is so steep, I was used to seeing it from the other side where it is more cone shaped.
The Good and The Bad
Rough trails all over the place (up Haystack, and across Basin)
|Took the thruway for a change, which bit us in the ass because we hit traffic|