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Old 08-03-2019, 06:52 PM   #1
Cpswing555
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Blue mtn. Vs. McKenzie mtn.

How do the two compare besides McKenzie Mountain being longer. My son who’s 9 and I did Blue mtn the other day. We were considering starting the Saranac 6. Thought or input welcomed

Thanks
CP
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Old 08-04-2019, 06:47 AM   #2
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Hi - assuming parking past the lodges and using the Jack Rabbit trailhead (as opposed to 86) - while Blue is fairly constant slope, McK has the easy walk in, then the 800' vertical in half a mile or so, then a couple false summits. Blue is easy to follow, and while McK is easy as well, it does have a few turns so bring map / compass and be aware where you are.

If he can do Blue without issues, he can do McK. I prefer McK, less people, better views, no tower and industrial stuff. Different, maybe a bit harder, and probably the next step after Blue, go for it, and enjoy!

McK is the hardest of the S6. No issues with the others if he can do Blue.
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Old 08-04-2019, 01:02 PM   #3
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That’s what we were hoping to hear. Thanks Hoser. We appreciate the input. Worst part of Blue was coming down lol.
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Old 08-05-2019, 12:40 AM   #4
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I agree about the compatibilty. The McKenzie trail is very messy & eroded in the steep sections (unless it's been redone recently), but it shouldn't be any worse than all those slippery ledges on the upper part of the Blue Mt trail.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:26 AM   #5
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If you go via JackRabbit and it's a weekend I suggest starting early: very limited parking on the roadside at the trailhead. It's a great hike!
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Old 08-05-2019, 11:44 PM   #6
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We will do it this week if possible. Our schedule got messed up. How do I get to the jack rabbit trail from FishCreek? Thanks again for the tips,and yes we will be at the trail by 6:40 if I can find it.
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Old 08-06-2019, 07:51 AM   #7
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Turn Left out of Fish Creek onto Route 30.
Follow 30 to 186. (Keep going straight at the jct of 30 and 186 in Lake Clear)
Turn Right at Route 86.
Follow 86 through Village of Saranac Lake; thru Ray Brook.
Approaching Lake Placid, turn Left at Whiteface Lodge (just beyond the Price Chopper).
Trail PA will be on the left.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:17 AM   #8
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I will add that the Jackrabbit trail parking is a little hard to spot, and the signs are small (although an improved sign was added recently).

It's here:

http://www.adirondackrock.com/map.ht...00711417198182

just before the road makes a big right turn to the east by the tennis courts.
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Old 08-06-2019, 01:05 PM   #9
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It makes an interesting loop to continue down the other side of McKenzie via the SOA trails and return to your car via the LakeShore Trail. Albeit the SOA trails are not as well maintained or easy to follow as the approach from the south.
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Old 08-06-2019, 02:44 PM   #10
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We did Ampersand today. It was a nice hike. We plan to take tomorrow off then go for it. Thank you all so much for your help, directions, and patience. It is greatly ay. My son and I have had a great time and you havr helped to make a lot of it possible.
Thanks again
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Old 08-07-2019, 03:28 AM   #11
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I agree with the other posters that if your son did Blue without issues he can certainly also do McKenzie. A few additional comments, though:

Hoser mentions the false summits- these are definitely worth emphasizing if for no other reason than mental preparedness. McKenzie does have a hilarious number of false summits. The final false summit is somewhat prominent in its own right- and easy to confuse for the true summit on a cloudy, low-visibility day as the trail drops steeply off the back side of the false summit before starting the climb up to the true summit.

I'll also add that if your son is up for it, it's worth considering doing Haystack on the same day, as this peak is also part of the Saranac 6 and is located adjacent to McKenzie. The easiest way to add on Haystack is to park at the Route 86 trailhead rather than either of the trailheads for the Jackrabbit Trail, and to take the side trail to the summit of Haystack either on the ascent to or the descent from McKenzie. If you save it for the descent from McKenzie, you can wait and see how you both are feeling before making a "go/no go" decision about whether to actually add on Haystack also. Plus, there is also plenty of parking at the Route 86 trailhead and it's usually not likely to fill completely to capacity even on a Summer weekend day.

(If you're comfortable with bushwhacking you can save on some distance and elevation gain while climbing both peaks by bushwhacking between the summit of Haystack and the Jackrabbit Trail (or vice versa)- this is a relatively short bushwhack and the forest along the route tends to be somewhat open. Obviously, this may or may not be within your ability/comfort level so I'm not suggesting it as a definite option, but felt that it was worth mentioning if you do possess the requisite navigational skill- i.e., are competent at navigating off trail with a topographic map and compass.)
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:55 PM   #12
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From the summit of Haystack there is a herd path that leads to the Jackrabbit Trail.
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:27 PM   #13
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Well we did it. Only McKenzie though. It was rough going, especially down. Wet and slick. Wore me out coming down. There were some nice views, but all those false summits did suck. Thanks again for all the support information and ideas. He was tired but happy.
Thanks again
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:44 PM   #14
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Kudos to both of you! Assume the rest of the S6 on your radar, then look at some of the FireTowers.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:42 PM   #15
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unfortunately we had to return home to Pennsylvania. Next year we will finish the S6, and begin the P9, and add a few fire towers to our list. Once again thank you all for your advice, input, and knowledge. You helped to make our trip a success and my son was very proud to make it to the top. his quote, "they weren't kidding about false summits, jeeze"
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:43 PM   #16
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ps, he wants to start with hurricane next year (get the biggest out of the road first. lol
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpswing555 View Post
ps, he wants to start with hurricane next year (get the biggest out of the road first. lol
If you do Hurricane, consider taking the north trail from Crow Clearing in Keene. It's a bit longer, but much less crowded and a beautiful hike.

Congratulations on McKenzie. Even the false summits are fun, once you accept the idea....
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:41 PM   #18
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I'd rank Hurricane as a little bit harder than average for the fire tower peaks, but it's definitely not the hardest.

Snowy is higher than Hurricane (it misses being a High Peak by a mere 100 feet).

Despite having relatively little elevation gain, Woodhull is the most remote fire tower peak and accordingly has the longest hike (14 miles round trip, although you can easily bike much of it if you have access to mountain bikes).

Gore Mountain also is a longer hike than Hurricane, and has more elevation gain (despite being a smaller peak than Hurricane).

One of the really nice things about the Fire Tower Challenge is that it's spread out over a wide area. Working on it will get you to corners of the Adirondack Park (and the Catskill Park) that you'd likely never end up visiting otherwise.
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