Armstrong & Gothics (ADK VFTT BBQ Weekend)
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
We had the pleasure of attending the ADK gathering at Spence's house this past weekend. We arrived Friday night set up camp in the field and began making plans for Saturday. We talked to a lot of people who were tired from the Nippletop and Dial bushwack so we couldn't find anyone looking to do a high peak. Nicole suggested we do Armstrong & Gothics so I aggreed. Saturday morning we were up early and went to breakfast with Paradox (from VFTT). After breakfast we headed down to the St. Huberts trailhead to begin the hike. We aggreed on heading up Beaver Meadows Trail getting Armstrong and Gothics and then heading back down the way we came. I was trying to break in new boots so I wore sneakers for the lake road portion of the hike and then changed into my boots when the trail got rough.|
We enjoyed a break at the base of the falls and I changed into my boots once I saw the ladder that started the trail up to the col. We began the climb steeply up the ladder until we reached the section near the brook. After this it leveled out for a little while before climbing again. The climb up to the col was fairly gradual until you reached the wolfjaws side of armstrong. This section of the trail was definitely getting our hopes up. We thought we were almost to the col when the trail started getting pretty steep and involved some scrambling. Little did we know that we had to traverse all the way around Armstrong to get to the col. My one piece of advice for this section is that you're not getting close until you start down-climbing ladders to get into the col.
At the col we took a break for lunch and to cool off a bit. After a little while we began our climb up Armstrong. At the top of the first bump (where there's that tricky rock section) we saw the other bump of Armstrong and conferred with another hiker that we had to hike over to there. At the real summit of Armstrong we were treated to spectacular views and nice clear skies. As we were enjoying the views, taking pictures, and getting a snack a bunch of dark clouds blew in. Some of them were even low enough to sock in the summit of Marcy. It started to get really windy on the summit of Armstrong so we decided to go back to the col for another snack before going after Gothics.
At the col we had our snack and I took my feet out of the boots for a little while, so far my feet were holding up pretty well. The climb up Gothics was as pleasant as the climb of Armstrong. After a few small scrambling spots we were at the summit. Surprisingly at 1pm on a Saturday we had the summit all to ourselves for about 10 minutes. We soaked in the views while I rested my feet outside of the boots. This was the first hike we've been on where we had camping accomodations for us after the hike (we usually drove home) so I enjoyed the prospect of lying down and napping on the summit. After enjoying the summit for what seemed like forever we began our descent.
The climb down was fairly uneventful, although navigating the ladders was a bit of a pain. We climbed back down to the falls and took some pictures. The hike out to the road was uneventful. At the road I stopped and changed back into sneakers (my feet were pretty sore at this point). Nicole and I did a great job of cranking back to the car making great time.
Saturday night we had a great time at the BBQ getting to meet a bunch of great people that we'll hopefully be able to hike with some time.
The Good and The Bad