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Saddleback via Orebed


Submitted By Michael Virdone

The Mountains & Stats

14 miles with 3000 feet of gain
  • Saddleback (4515 Feet, NY) globe Mountain

People On The Trip

Trip Report

     Nicole and I wanted to go on an easier trip to make sure my ankle is getting back to full strength. We arrived at the garden around 9pm and were on the trail by 9:30. The trail in from the garden was the same old trail and we were quickly at the JBL property. We crossed the johns brook and Orebed brook and climbed to the leanto. The entire trail (with the exception of the pointless up and down on the JBL property) was at an easy grade and was no problem with a full pack. When we arrived at the leanto we were pleasantly surprised to find it completely empty (most people were probably scared off by the bugs and the questionable forecast). We unpacked and went to bed for the night.

      We woke up the next morning and for the first time ever in the Adirondacks I wasn't cold when I woke up (usually I layer up until I get moving). We got dressed, ate some breakfast and began our hike. The initial climb up the Orebed continues at a nice easy grade until you reach the remnants of an old slide. From here the trail turns uphill and climbs steeply. In a few sections there were ladders to navigate the rock slabs, in other sections you hiked in a stream bed. Some of the footing was tricky so we ducked into the woods for a little way.

      It was at the steep climb that the bugs decided to come out in force and swarm us. Fortunately Nicole and I both had our bug nets and long sleeves so we were spared the worst of it. The climb was pretty tough all the way to the col, but we were pleasantly surprised when we saw the trail junction. From the col we climbed the first bump on Saddleback (there were a few small tricky sections that involved scrambling). At the top of the first bump it was nice to see that the saddle wasn't that deep nor was the summit very far away.

      Eventually we arrived to find a strong breeze at the summit which was nice enough to keep the bugs at bay. We removed our bug netting and enjoyed the views and some food. All of the sudden the breeze stopped and the bugs came swarming back again. Nicole and I got back into our bug nets ASAP and waited around until the next breeze took over. When the breeze finally died down again we began our descent.

      The climb back down Saddleback was uneventful, but the Orebed trail was tricky in spots. We took the descent quite slow to avoid re-injuring my ankle. Once we arrived back at the leanto the bugs had subsided enough that we could take off our nets and long sleeve clothes. We picked up some litter around the leanto, packed our bags, and headed out. The nicer grades of the lower trail were a nice contrast to our hiking earlier in the day. We once again crossed over to the JBL (maybe we should take the southside trail next time to avoid the hills on the ADK property). At the JBL I found Nate the caretaker and he was able to point me to my work gloves (which I had accidentally left there on work weekend). After the slight climb up from the interior outpost Nicole and I cruised back to the parking lot.

      The times for the trip was as follows:

      Leanto to summit : 2 hrs

      Summit to leanto : 1.5 hrs

      Leanto to garden : 2-2.5 hrs

The Good and The Bad

The Good:

The views on saddleback
The break in bugs we got on the summit
Having our own leanto for the night
Getting my work gloves back

The Bad:


The Drive

Uneventful, except Nicole got a speeding ticket, and I had to take a power nap on the drive home to stay awake


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