Blue Mountain Fire Tower
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
Nicole and I decided to hike this weekend, something fun and not too hard. We picked Blue to get another peak for the fire tower challenge. Unfortunately this was going to be one of those trips where we drive longer than we hike, but sometimes that is the nature of the beast. We left Syracuse in the early morning hours and arrived at the trailhead after an uneventful drive at approximately 8:30-8:45. We got our packs together and donned snowshoes for the climb. We registered and began climbing by 9. The initial climb was a little tricky as there were a few unfrozen streams and puddles, we wanted to avoid icing up the snowshoes so we had to do some fancy footwork to keep the shoes dry. The climb begins gently so we were able to keep a good pace. We took a quick break for layering and snacks and then continued into the steeper section. |
We were the first group out so we ended up breaking trail on 4-12\" of snow (someone had barebooted prior to us before the latest snow so there was a track to follow). As we gained elevation the snow covered more of the obstacles so our pace improved a bit. Eventually we reached the steeper section (Although I found it moderate, I only used the televators for a little while). Throughout the climb we got little peeks of views, once we gained the summit ridge we were stuck in the trees again. The summit ridge goes on for a surprisingly long time after the steep climb ends but eventually we caught a glimpse of the tower in the distance.
After arriving at the summit we climbed the tower and enjoyed spectacular views of the surrounding area. After soaking in the views we had some snacks and began the descent. I commented at the summit how surprised I was that we didn\'t see any other parties thus far (especially because we were breaking trail, I expected to be caught any minute). About five minutes after making that comment we ran into a group of 4. On the descent we enjoyed the fruits of our labors and had racetrack conditions. Overall we saw 3 parties (4,2, and solo) climbing, so the trail is in great condition right now. It took us a little over 2 hours for the ascent and about 1 hour for the descent (3.5 hours total including summit time). Another great day in the Adirondacks with great views. I highly recommend this hike to anyone who wants great views without a ton of effort.
On the ride home we enjoyed an awesome lunch at a diner called Walt\'s in Old Forge (I was surprised to find a cheap, quality lunch in a tourist trap). I highly recommend this to anyone who likes good food.
The Good and The Bad
I gave myself a blister on the hike down because I was too lazy to re-tie my boots for the descent.
|5 hours driving for 3.5 hours hiking. Although we did find a great diner in Old Forge called Walt\'s (right on Main St.)|