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Old 07-24-2019, 07:40 PM   #16
DSettahr
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Join Date: May 2007
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"Conservation easement" is the phrase you're looking for- because that's exactly what the AMR is. The State purchased some of the rights to the AMR lands from the Ausable Club years ago (including development rights as well as the right for the public to access certain designated trails).

And yes, it's basically a given that if you're overnighting while doing a Great Range traverse, you'll have to drop down off the ridge to camp (except for the Snobird tent sites, these are located along the Great Range Trail). Again, this is a good reason for picking up the ADK High Peaks Map- it shows the locations of designated tent sites and is fairly accurate in doing so.

A quick summary of your tenting options:

On the west side of the Upper/Lower Wolfjaws col, you've got the Wolfjaws Lean-to and at least 1 designated tent site. Note that this lean-to has been relocated recently- it's no longer uphill of the junction between Trails 4 and 6, but downhill some distance along Trail 4.

On the east side of the Upper/Lower Wolfjaws col, there is a single designated tent site on Wedge Brook.

North of the Gothics/Saddleback col, there's the lean-to and tent site on Ore Bed Brook.

The Snobird tent sites are located directly along the Great Range Trail between Basin and Haystack- there's 2 designated tent sites here and a fairly reliable water source nearby.

North of the Haystack/Marcy col is the Slant Rock lean-to, with 4 tent sites in the vicinity.

When I did the GRT, I started and ended at the Garden. Yes, this meant that I missed Rooster Comb and Hedgehog Mountain, but it made the logistics a lot easier (and neither of those peaks are High Peaks anyways, so there is some debate as to whether they comprise an integral part of the Great Range or not). I hiked into Johns Brook and then up to the Wolfjaws Lean-to, where I camped for night #1. The next day, I climbed Lower Wolfjaw, Upper Wolfjaw, Armstrong, Gothics, Saddleback, and Basin in order, then camped at the Snobird tent site for night #2. On the third day, I climbed Haystack and then Marcy, then hiked back out to the Garden by way of Slant Rock.

Day #2 (with 6 consecutive High Peaks) was particularly challenging, but it was doable with a relatively light overnight pack, an early start, and a steady pace throughout the day. The one thing I will say is that hiking the Great Range trail "uphill" (north to south) means that you end up descending the Saddleback cliffs- and this can be a bit of a technical challenge with a full overnight pack (even a relatively lightweight one).
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