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aviarome
08-31-2004, 07:27 PM
I've been hiking up in the High Peaks for awhile now, but I'm trying to introduce my girlfriend to them. I brought her up Phelps last year and she HATED it. Now, she's fitter and leaner, but I was wondering what is the easiest peak to do with all things being equal and the weather fair, etc? We've been backpacking for many years, and she sprints down flat trails, but once there's a peak and a significant elevation gain, she hates it. I want her to get back on the peaks, but maybe I should start her off with the easiest peak and ease her in. This trip we would probably do an overnight, so any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks!

Bruce

sacco
08-31-2004, 07:57 PM
i thought cascade was easier than a few of the sub-3500 mts

mike1889
08-31-2004, 08:10 PM
Cascade is definitely easiest, and adding Porter doesn't add much to the difficulty. Phelps is the next easiest, with no real steep climbing and an easy approach from Adk Loj.

Dick
08-31-2004, 08:46 PM
I agree with others about Cascade being the easiest of the 46 peaks. However, if she has trouble on the high peaks, why not have her ease into climbing a bit more gradually with other lower mountains?

kwc
08-31-2004, 09:04 PM
Why not try something simple like Baxter Mtn near Keene Valley? A fairly short hike, not very strenuous, and you'll be rewarded with awesome views of the valley, the high peaks, etc. Try it when the leaves are changing, it's something not to be forgotten. There are plenty of bare rocks to sit and eat lunch or a snack, and enjoy the afternoon sunshine.
:)

Dick
08-31-2004, 09:38 PM
Perhaps the Brothers for a view of the valley in the fall? Noonmark? Or Giant Mt., but with the open ledges as a destination for a lunch, rather than the summit? Pitchoff?

lumberzac
08-31-2004, 10:23 PM
Hurricane Mountain is a nice climb as well with great views from the open summit and if you feel really adventurous try climbing up the fire tower. Keep in mind that the fire tower is in fairly rough shape.

Gandalf
09-01-2004, 08:45 AM
I agree that Cascade is the easiest of the 46 to climb, though the trail from the Loj to Wright Peak isn't much longer and only involves a few hundred more feet of elevation gain (the summit area is fairly steep, though).

As to other mountains, Hurricane would be a great choice. I would particularly recommend doing it from the north (Crow Clearing) as the birch forest is wonderful and the grades are easy practically the whole way.

Mavs00
09-01-2004, 10:22 AM
You've gotten some pretty good advice here so far. I would add, If she'll hated Phelps, then she'll only like Cascade marginally better (views are better though, IMO). Cascade is shorter, but the overall grade of the trail is steeper than Phelps. You're still climbing 2000' in 2.4 miles. That's pretty typical for most high peaks anyway. It's only easy cause it's short and has no real sustained steep secions. Phelps, Is almost as easy, it's just longer at 2000' in 4.2 miles. (the overall grade is actually easier).

My point is, They're both pretty easy and if she didn't like one, she may not enjoy the other that much either. Better views, which might help, but the climbs are comparable. You might want to stick to lowers elevations, until she digs it more. There are plenty of cool places to go. Take her to Indian Head, Fish Hawk Cliffs, or Lost lookout (all on the AMR). They involve a 3-4 miles level walk, plus a small climb (under 1000'). Plus, as someone noted, plenty of small hills in the area too (like those mentioned, and Ampersand to name another).

Forget backpacking in to "hike a mountain" for now. Most of the typical "backpack" freindly peaks she will likely not enjoy (you can cross Allen right off the list ;)). If you want to backpack, there are tons of cool spots ( like Lake Colden, Panther Grorge, Duck Hole, etc), it's just that the mountains that are in close proximity to those places are certainly not in the "Phelps-ish or easier" hike catagory.

Consider why she hated it too. If it's only cause she was "out of shape" and she is better now, than you have more options available to you. If its more of a effort>reward, that could be tough.

OR, BETTER YET.

Leave her home . :evil:

Muddler Mike
09-01-2004, 10:03 PM
although the grade over distance to Phelps is technically less, you make up the greatest part of the climb at the last mile - that makes for a much steeper final approach than with Cascade. Plus, Cascade's summit is much more pleasing and climatic. Every new hiker I've taken up to the high peaks area gets to climb Cascade first and it always gets them wanting more.

Cascade :thumbs: :thumbs:

Muddy

Martin
09-01-2004, 11:04 PM
Cascade= Short, easy and sweet.

Mavs00
09-02-2004, 09:22 AM
although the grade over distance to Phelps is technically less, you make up the greatest part of the climb at the last mile - that makes for a much steeper final approach than with Cascade. Plus, Cascade's summit is much more pleasing and climatic. Every new hiker I've taken up to the high peaks area gets to climb Cascade first and it always gets them wanting more.

Cascade :thumbs: :thumbs:

Muddy

I agree on the thumbs up for Cascade. but not the "much steeper" bit.

Cascade = 1980' in 2.1 miles is 942'/mile or 17.8% grade (typical)

Phelps (last mile) = is 1100' in about 1.1 miles is 1000'/mile or 19.4% grade(only marginally steeper).

Of course, you've got to walk almost 3.4 (mostly level) miles before you get there. For some, that makes it harder, but I call that "a nice warm-up". I'd rate Phelps about the same as far as difficulty as a Cascade/Porter hike.

The point of my post was;

The original poster was asking for "easier" peaks than Phelps. Cascade is a bit easier, but IT IS still a high peak (with almost 2000' of climbing) and (IMHO) only marginally easier than Phelps, and probably not ANY easier if you throw Porter into the mix. If his girlfriend HATED Phelps, simply going up Cascade might not work any better. Not everyone enjoys hiking high peaks. I have a SiL that's been up Cascade, Phelps and Big Slide. While she didn't hate it, she was less than inspired. She'd much rather stroll out to Marcy Dam (go figure :rolleyes: ). My brother stopped asking her to hike peaks with him. She shops in LP while we hike, it's just the way it is.

Depends WHY and HOW MUCH she hated it. Me, for now I'd stick with stuff I'd know she'll get a lot of enjoyment from , rather than risk turning her off altogether. Who knows, maybe that doesn't make sense.

NukedRocket
09-02-2004, 11:29 AM
My wife and I have done Cascade and Porter, as well as Whiteface and Esther. She seems to think that Whiteface was EASIER than Cascade!

Her point was "yeah, it's taller and longer, but there's more "flatland" in between from base to summit. It's nice to get a break from the climbing along the way".

Seems to make sense to me? :D

lumberzac
09-02-2004, 11:32 AM
My wife and I have done Cascade and Porter, as well as Whiteface and Esther. She seems to think that Whiteface was EASIER than Cascade!

Her point was "yeah, it's taller and longer, but there's more "flatland" in between from base to summit. It's nice to get a break from the climbing along the way".

Seems to make sense to me? :D


I didn't think Whiteface and Esther were all that hard when I climbed them. Of course I had just hiked the Santanoni Range the weekend before.

percious
09-02-2004, 01:56 PM
I'm surprised no one mentioned Rooster Comb. Isn't this a popular beginner hike? Also, I think the brothers would be too demanding for a beginner. Up-down-Up-down tends to be tough for them. If you were going at this time of year, I would recommend Bald Peak, which is on the way up to RPR. Blueberries Galore, and a great view to boot. Alpine zone at low altitudes, gotta love it. I agree, staying away from 46ers might be a good idea.

Other ideas...
Pharoah Mtn. 6 miles round trip. Impecable views with numerous summit points. (we once saw a fire helicopter working from this point). Mt. Adams is supposed to have good views, with a renovated fire tower.

I took my wife (a beginner) up Cascade. She did have a hard time coming down with all of the rocks, but she enjoyed it. It is probably the most do-able 46er for a beginnner.

-percious

Muddler Mike
09-03-2004, 11:29 AM
hmm.....well Mavs, according to my book (ADK HPR 12th edition) the assent to Cascade is 1940ft in 2.4 miles, which may alter the figures a bit but whose counting anyway, right? From a woman's perspective, my step daughter and wife have done both hikes and found Phelps to be the greater in difficulty and the lesser inspiring to them. I'd have to agree with them - at least on the difficulty part, not that it's a tough hike compared to others.

Oh well, you either love 'em or you hate 'em. For most of us (I'm assuming) the a-dacks are a part of our soul. Granted a good first impression helps, but everyone I know that loves the HPR loves it for it's nastiness as well as its beauty.

Muddy

Mavs00
09-03-2004, 12:00 PM
hmm.....well Mavs, according to my book (ADK HPR 12th edition) the assent to Cascade is 1940ft in 2.4 miles, which may alter the figures a bit but whose counting anyway, right? From a woman's perspective, my step daughter and wife have done both hikes and found Phelps to be the greater in difficulty and the lesser inspiring to them. I'd have to agree with them - at least on the difficulty part, not that it's a tough hike compared to others.

Oh well, you either love 'em or you hate 'em. For most of us (I'm assuming) the a-dacks are a part of our soul. Granted a good first impression helps, but everyone I know that loves the HPR loves it for it's nastiness as well as its beauty.

Muddy

This is NOT a pissing contact, you think Cascade is a lot easier, I don't. This (or any) forum is about different perspectives, I responded with MINE. Also, My wife and daughter have hiked both multiple times and find Phelps no more difficult Cascade. But hey, they also found Cliff harder than Allen, to which I disagree, but thats what they THINK, so maybe they are crazy. To the original poster, take (or ignore) the information anyway you like.

To correct the earlier info:

-----------------

Cascade = 1940' in 2.4 miles is 808'/mile or 15.3% grade

Phelps (last mile) = is 1100' in about 1.1 miles is 1000'/mile or 19.4% grade(and about 4% for the rest of the walk).

-----------------

My apologies for the earlier error :rolleyes:

Dick
09-03-2004, 12:22 PM
Another aspect to consider when making a comparison of difficulty, in addition to elevation change, is the condition of the trail itself (muddy, rocky, roots, blowdown, ledges, etc.). It's been a while since I've hiked Phelps so my recollection is fuzzy, but I seem to recall that, steepness aside, it was a rougher trail than Cascade. Perhaps that's no longer the case.

Muddler Mike
09-04-2004, 06:33 PM
now - now, Mavs. There's no reason to get testy. I agree, this wasn't ment to be a pissing contest but if you're going to throw figures out there to prove a point, then you must expect someone to call you on it if it's inaccurate. The point is that you mentioned in your first post that the grade of the Cascade trail is steeper than Phelps. It is not as the revised figures in your last post proves, and I was only intending to clarify it for Bruce. I'm terrible at math, so my hat off to you for knowing how to calculate it in the first place! If his girlfriend doesn't like the steepness as he mentioned, then she might find Cascade a little easier due to the lesser grade.

Dick brought up a good point about the trail conditions in the previous post. That plus the steeper grade in the last mile may be why many of us feel Phelps might be a harder climb for someone new to hiking in the HPR. Still, you hike at a mildly steep grade over a longer distance on the Cascade trail (2.4mi of mildy steep as opposed to the last 1mi mild-moderate steep on Phelps) so that may be why it feels easier to you and your family. Hopefully Bruce will be able show his girlfriend a better time with this next hike.

Peace, brother.

Mike

turquoise
09-05-2004, 07:53 PM
If you mean 4000s, Cascade over to Porter is breezy. You can easily hike these two in a morning. The viwes on Cascade are 360 degrees. I hope your girlfriend enjoys hiking! - Turq :)