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Old 04-25-2017, 04:52 PM   #1
altijay93
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Lower Ausable River to Upper Ausable Lake

Is it possible to hike from Beaver Meadow Falls along the Lower Ausable River to Upper Ausable Lake? There I would hike North up to the Elk Lake Marcy Trail.
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Old 04-25-2017, 04:58 PM   #2
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In a word, "no". There is no trail along the shore of the Lower Ausable Lake, and public hikers are not permitted to bushwhack off trail on the private land. You can hike over either Sawteeth or Colvin and reach the north end of the Upper Ausable Lake, but again there is no legal route along the Upper Ausable Lake to connect with the Elk Lake-Marcy Trail. Best connection would be Colvin, Blake, Pinnacle, and then the Elk Lake-Marcy Trail.
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:24 PM   #3
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Okay, Thanks. I was just curious because I'm in the process of making a route (preferably a loop) along the Great Ridge that starts and finishes on the Elk Lake-Marcy trail. Ideally I want to backpack starting at the Elf Lake trail head up to Marcy, but instead turn right and hit Haystack, Saddleback and Gothics then head down to the Ausable River. I will then probably have to hike back up to Gothics via Pyramid Peak and head West to Marcy. This would a four day hike. What do you think?
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:55 PM   #4
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Your autocorrect is out of control! It changed Great Range to Great Ridge, Elk Lake to Elf Lake, and deleted Basin from Haystack, Basin, Saddleback and Gothics.



If you're adamant about starting from Elk Lake, have a look at this itinerary:

Day 1: Elk Lake to Sno-Bird.

Hike to Panther Gorge, ascend Haystack (a very steep route but with decent footing), continue over Little Haystack and descend to the designated campsite (site of former lean-to called Sno-Bird) in the saddle (between Little Haystack and Basin). Camp here for the night. It's only one of two legal places to camp in the High Peaks at an elevation of ~4000 feet.

Day 2: Sno-Bird to Johns Brook Lodge.
Ascend Basin and then up Saddleback's steep southern "cliff". So you know what you're getting involved with, here's a video of my friend ascending the initial portion of this "trail". https://vimeo.com/77180020
Continue over Saddleback and descend to the saddle. Drop your main pack and just take essentials with you up to Gothics along the "cable route". The cable isn't there because the trail is insanely steep .. although it's far from flat. The cable serves as a handhold to keep people on the rocky trail and off the flanking vegetation. After checking out Gothics' summit, return to collect your pack and continue your descent to the DEC designated campsites southwest of Johns Brook Lodge. Alternately, if you're pooped, camp at Orebed Brook Lean-to.

Day 3: Johns Brook Lodge to Panther Gorge.
Continue along the Phelps Trail and ascend Marcy. Descend Marcy's southern face to "Four Corners". If you have energy left, leave your main pack here and do the half-hour hike up to Skylight (it's well worth the effort). Proceed east from Four Corners and head down, down, down to Panther Gorge. Camp here.

Day 4: Panther Gorge to Elk Lake.
Hike back to Elk Lake.

You should know that this is a challenging route. Day one has plenty of mileage and ascent. Days two and three have less mileage but they compensate with elevation gain and/or challenging terrain.

http://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=44.12...189&z=13&b=mbt
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:57 PM   #5
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These days I am probably wasting my words on "old fashioned" advice, but I would recommend that you buy the ADK High Peaks Guidebook and the associated map (tgoodwin, above, is the author). A couple hours of study will answer all these questions and more. The short story: know the terrain; know where it's legal to camp; know the DEC rules. Then it's just a matter of fitness, judgment, and the right gear.

On the fitness side, most people try to avoid carrying a camping pack over the summits of high peaks. The trails are steep and rugged, and unless you are packing very light, it's not fun.
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:58 PM   #6
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^^^^
What TCD said.
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Trail Boss View Post
It's only one of two legal places to camp in the High Peaks at an elevation of ~4000 feet.
Out of curiosity, what's the other legal spot?
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:52 PM   #8
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I got a bite!

It's next to Lake Mary-Louise along the East Trail to Rocky Peak Ridge (a.k.a. Marie-Louise Pond).
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:01 PM   #9
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Much Appreciated

Wow! Thank you so much for taking your time to help me. Really great stuff! I just purchased the ADK Club High Peaks Trails map. The lean-to info is great to know. As for the typing errors, I've been on the computer researching this stuff all day and getting weary eyes

I hear the Elk-Lake-Marcy Trail to Panther Gorge is well worth it, more secluded than the trails to the North and East. I like a good challenge and don't mind getting a messy either. I like uniqueness in my adventures, even if it gets the best of me sometimes. I'm up to the task of scrambling, though I will probably have a bigger pack on me as I will be camping with a tent.
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:20 PM   #10
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Okay, Thanks. I was just curious because I'm in the process of making a route (preferably a loop) along the Great Ridge that starts and finishes on the Elk Lake-Marcy trail. Ideally I want to backpack starting at the Elf Lake trail head up to Marcy, but instead turn right and hit Haystack, Saddleback and Gothics then head down to the Ausable River. I will then probably have to hike back up to Gothics via Pyramid Peak and head West to Marcy. This would a four day hike. What do you think?
TY! I just purchased the map that you're referring to and will study religiously. This will be my first hike in the Adirondacks. I have hiked in the Cat Skills, Green Mountains and Central Pennsylvania's West Rim. I am aware this is much more difficult than those regions. Though Vermont was a flooded swamp last Summer.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:35 AM   #11
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There's actually a third legal campsite above 3,500 feet at Lake Arnold.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:38 AM   #12
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Yes indeed! In solid third place and about 300 feet below Sno-Bird:
  1. Sno-Bird: 4040'
  2. Lake Mary-Louise: 3920'
  3. Lake Arnold: 3750'

FWIW, most other "high" designated campsites lie in the 3200-3300' range, like Feldspar and Panther Gorge. As for lean-tos, I believe Slant Rock Lean-to is the highest one, sitting at 3380'.
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Old 04-26-2017, 11:26 AM   #13
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You will probably find this info in the book, but just FYI: dogs must be leashed on trails and campsites and whoever people gather, no fires in the area you're going to, must be 150' away from road, water and other trails before you camp or find a designated site, and a bear can is required.
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:00 PM   #14
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You will probably find this info in the book, but just FYI: dogs must be leashed on trails and campsites and whoever people gather, no fires in the area you're going to, must be 150' away from road, water and other trails before you camp or find a designated site, and a bear can is required.
TY! No dogs. I got the "no-fires" that's sort of a pity, but I understand the reasoning behind it. I have a compact stove to cook with. Looking to do this hike at the end of July. Can't wait!
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:08 PM   #15
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Here's a concise, categorized, and eminently readable, compilation of the DEC's regulations and guidelines for the High Peaks Wilderness Area (particularly the more regulated Eastern half).

http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=23488

(Ought to be posted as a "sticky" on this forum.)
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Old 04-27-2017, 08:02 AM   #16
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"no-fires" that's sort of a pity"

Not the same for sure but I was recently given a candle lantern. At first I thought it was a bit big to carry (diameter of a Red Bull can but not as tall). Brought it out last time and we really enjoyed it. Gave our tarp a nice warm glow with much more "personality" than an LED.

And I have not had my coffee yet - I did in fact Google the elusive "Elf" lake trail head. Thought there was a hidden magical door to the wilderness.

PS we have the guidebook & map and love it
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Old 04-27-2017, 08:40 AM   #17
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Another loop for the hard-core is Elk Lake-Pinnacle Ridge-Blake-Colvin-Nippletop-Dial-Gravestone Brook (easy bushwhack)-Dix range-Elk Lake.

You would have to figure out where you would want to camp (legally).
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:37 PM   #18
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Not a bad touch! I travel light and I have a small LED flashlight that can be pulled out to make more of a lamp light source. It has a little loop that you can hang from the top of tent.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:57 PM   #19
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...I was recently given a candle lantern. ... Gave our tarp a nice warm glow with much more "personality" than an LED. ...
Haha! Talk about old school! I have two of 'em but they're several decades old ... when battery-hungry incandescent bulbs made candles a practical alternative for camp-lighting.

Nowadays, LED lighting is more practical but, I agree, candles provide a warm ambiance and a bit of heat in a closed tent.

Speaking of heat, I suspect you've already discovered just how hot these things can get. Careful handling is needed to avoid creating unwanted skylights in tents and new entrances in sleeping bags!
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:25 AM   #20
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Careful handling

Yes, I would not use it in a tent. Our hammock tarp is floor-less and actually has about 12" of clearance around the edges. I had it handing over snow/bare earth from a tilted hiking pole. Only lit for the ambiance before we went to sleep. It was nice hanging in a lean to as well on a previous trip. I thought about including it in day bag as back up lighting and a heat source.
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