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Old 10-14-2019, 01:25 PM   #1
Eddie Fournier
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Rocky Peak Ridge 10/13

A stone’s throw away from the Parking Hell that has become Route 73 is a trailhead in the hamlet of New Russia with no such problem yet giving access in the most spectacular way to a High Peak (and even two, should you do include Mt. Giant).

I wanted to make this a sunrise hike, so I left home ludicrously early. On Route 9, I stopped to let two deer cross the road and thought about it being hunting season and not having anything orange to wear.

Of course, I was first to sign in at 5:25. I quickly removed a layer and hiked in summer clothes for the entire day, except on top of RPR. Hiking in the dark with my headlamp, I heard no other noise than the leaves falling. I jumped once as a huge spider came into focus only a foot away from my face.

The ground was soft, earthy and covered by pine needles. I reflected that this would be nice footing at the end of the day. On the other hand, it’s not the best type of forest for fall colors. But after 30 minutes or so, deciduous trees became prominent and the trail became a bit harder to follow with all the leaves on the ground.

My objective was to get to Blueberry Cobbles for sunrise and that was easily accomplished. Up to this first summit, the trail is gradual, in excellent condition (no blowdown nor mud) and free of slabs. Highly recommendable for a family hike. However, this summit is south-facing, so I could not grab a picture of the rising sun. I still got some great shots of daybreak on the Eastern Adirondacks. The orange tint of the rising sun combined with all the orange leaves in the valley made for a rare spectacle. I thought that wearing orange this day would be like wearing camo any other day.



Getting to the next summit, Bald Peak, is more strenuous and involves some slabs that could be a challenge in wet conditions, but not today. Aside from that, the trail remains in better condition than almost every other trail I’ve seen in the Dacks this summer. There are view points along the way that preview the next bump. Bald Peak itself has a huge summit separated by some wooded areas. Rocky Peak, Giant and the Dix range are all there to contemplate.



Great job, Sisyphus!


Getting to Rocky Peak (not Rocky Peak Ridge yet) involves going down almost 300’ into a col. From this summit, RPR can finally be seen, next to Giant. Any prospective 46er who turns away here is making more than one mistake since the short descent into the next col offers a great reward, almost worth the trip in itself: Lake Mary Louise (RPR is in the middle).



The next part up the ridge is fantastic with 360o views along the way. Yet, another reward awaits the determined hiker: almost all of the High Peaks are now visible, including the Great Range in all its glory, the Macs and Whiteface.



The return trip is much the same, but a bypass of Blueberry Cobbles allows to skip some of the elevation. I hiked the last part with two nice ladies from Vermont and the conversation really helped take my mind off my aching feet.
Total time: 10hrs including short breaks.

Last edited by Eddie Fournier; 10-14-2019 at 08:43 PM..
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:32 PM   #2
JohnnyVirgil
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Looks like you had a gorgeous day! Great pictures. Assume you mean sunrise hike? I think you said sunset in the 2nd paragraph.
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:04 PM   #3
ILikeRocks
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Great report and pics, I had RPR planned for a leaf peeping trip a week and a half ago but threw out my back, hoping to get there in another week.
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:34 PM   #4
Eddie Fournier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyVirgil View Post
Looks like you had a gorgeous day! Great pictures. Assume you mean sunrise hike? I think you said sunset in the 2nd paragraph.
Thanks for the catch!
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:24 AM   #5
tenderfoot
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Ooh. If I squint real hard I think I can see myself on Haystack on same day!

We did RPR from New Russia in Summer. A great crowd dodger for sure. One of our favorite hikes. Thanks for sharing.

Also, duh, what a great idea. I often think of catching sunset or sunrise from a "high" peak but the ascents before dawn have proven challenging for us. There are sooo many non-high peaks with killer views.
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