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Old 11-22-2015, 01:09 PM   #1
PeakGoat
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Tongue Mountain Range

I plan on checking out the Tongue Mountain Range tomorrow, have the snakes entered brumation or should I expect to see them slithering about in the fallen leaves?

Thanks.
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Old 11-22-2015, 01:44 PM   #2
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The snakes usually go into hiding in Sept., so nothing to worry about. Even during the "snake season", there is nothing to fear. Rattlesnakes are very timid creatures and want nothing to do with people.

I've been all over Tongue Mt for nearly 40 years and have seen 4 snakes. They rattle when you get close to them.

If someone gets bitten, it's because they tried to move the snake off the trail, harassed it, went climbing up ledges w/o looking where they were putting their hands or stepped over a log w/o looking first. If you see one, just walk around it. Leave them alone and they will leave you alone.

Many people who hate snakes do not realize that they are our friends. Many snakes eat mice, chipmunks and other small rodents. Theses rodents carry ticks. By having a healthy snake population, we cut down on the rodents.
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Old 11-22-2015, 06:15 PM   #3
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Thanks!

I am not really scared of snakes and I understand they are timid, just coming upon one would momentarily creep me out and I wouldn't want to inadvertently step on one.

Last edited by PeakGoat; 11-22-2015 at 10:47 PM..
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Old 11-22-2015, 09:03 PM   #4
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No snakes now...I've been up there three times in the last month and haven't seen any even bushwhacking.
Have a great trip...it's really nice!
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Old 11-22-2015, 10:51 PM   #5
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Cool -- I still must plan my trip. I don't expect to do the entire loop.
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Old 11-23-2015, 02:54 AM   #6
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Do you think French Mountain Point, out and back, starting and ending at Clay Meadow (going over Fifth Peak) will be a good idea? I plan on getting underway at 9am and I don't suspect I'll have enough time to do the entire loop
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:23 AM   #7
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I did the loop from Clay Meadows in 3:06 a few weeks ago...running the flats and downhills.
It's also easy to bushwhack off the ridge down to the trail along northwest bay to shorten the loop if you have those skills.
French Pt is my favorite spot on the ridge...but it's all nice!
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Old 11-24-2015, 08:44 AM   #8
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mt. runner - 3:06....that's motoring along. Way to smoke it!
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Old 11-24-2015, 09:18 PM   #9
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Thanks.
I run all over but tongue is close to home and I love that ridge!
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Old 11-24-2015, 11:23 PM   #10
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I got to Tongue yesterday. Regrettably, I started too late -- left the trailhead at 10:15-ish. I feared I would only have time for Fifth Peak. I got up there in a bit over an hour. The view was nice but nothing spectacular. It probably would have been nicer later in the day, the low angled Sun took the deep blue out of the lake. However, really neat place to camp out. I wended my way in the direction of French Point, vowing to set back at quarter after 1, regardless of where I was. This time, more or less, represented the halfway mark from when I started and sundown.

The trail got lovely on the unnamed peak directly below Fifth Peak. From this point, I really began to dig Tongue Mountain. The trail was rugged and in need of some work; blowdown galore. This marked trail made some herd paths I've done appear as well-kept as Joan Benet Ramsey.

I managed to make it to French Point at a quarter after 1 and boy was I glad I did. What a view! Best view I've yet seen in the Lake George area. I really wanted to continue the loop but I knew if I retreated I would get back in more than enough time and that is what I did.

Given it took me three hours to get to French Point (including the Fifth Peak detour which I may omit next time), how much longer do you expect it will take me to complete the loop (First Peak, Montcalm Point to Clay Meadows)?

Tongue Mountain may be my favorite hike outside the High Peaks. I can see why the snakes like it here so much.

http://i.imgur.com/LnZpTIf.jpg
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Old 11-25-2015, 07:22 AM   #11
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How much longer? Hard to say, but play it safe and plan on all day.
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Old 11-25-2015, 10:09 PM   #12
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Well, for you guys, what does French Point represent? Like, of the Lower Tongue Range loop, what percentage complete? Going clockwise of course.
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Old 11-26-2015, 01:20 PM   #13
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Milage wise maybe 30%. But the trail along the bay is a lot easier so when you hit the point the hard work is over. I almost always go counter clockwise...run the easy trail first then hike the ridge.
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:40 AM   #14
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The trail along Northwest Bay is gorgeous. There are hunters this time of year so I would advise caution and wear a light pullover neon-orange vest. Two years ago, when I brought a non-hiking friend along that trail, there a couple of hunters camps; one illegally on the trail itself. The tree branches were strewn with empty beer bottles. Not a good sign.

I think the trail along NW Bay is ~5+ miles and is flat. Those looking to crank the loop better be prepared a run/jog a 10K on this part.
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiiawiwb View Post

I think the trail along NW Bay is ~5+ miles and is flat. Those looking to crank the loop better be prepared a run/jog a 10K on this part.
Mostly. There is a nasty uphill pull as you reach the trail junction near Clay Meadow TH. All by itself it wouln't be bad, but after doing the whole range, it's a bit of a bugger.
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Old 11-27-2015, 08:12 PM   #16
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I do the bay trail 5.2 miles running in 60-65 minutes....
Then roughly another two hours for the rest of the loop.
But...some days I spend all day up there!
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Old 11-28-2015, 12:58 AM   #17
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The trail along the bay is easier, but it's still got a few ups and downs that can feel torturous at the end of a long day doing the full loop.

Clockwise is still the best way to go, though, IMO. You get to enjoy all of the views in front of you as you descend along the ridge from Fifth Peak. The trail gets relatively little use south of Fifth Peak, as you noticed.
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Old 11-28-2015, 08:19 PM   #18
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Thanks for the advice all! I plan on returning (earlier) this Monday to complete the loop. I will (likely) omit Fifth Peak in the interest of leaving myself enough time to get it done. I'm sure I will. Fifth Peak didn't really do anything for me, aside for discovering a cool place to camp out in the future. I will, however, stop at French Point for a while, that was awfully nice.

It'll probably take me two and half hours to get out to French Point from Clay Meadow. So you guys would guess the rest of the trip will take me like four and change? I hope the hunters abound up around Brown Mountain and let the Lower Tongue alone. It would make sense: a few years back there was a Class 2 Sasquatch sighting around there. No faster way to gain esteem among your hunting companions than to fell Sasquatch
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:54 PM   #19
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tent spots?

Adhering to the 150' off trail rule did you see many opportunities for tent camping? And I am thinking other than snow water is pretty much carry in with you?

Thanks - I camped on St Sacrament Island in Aug and spent the evening looking up at these peaks...
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:55 PM   #20
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There may be the occasional open ledge that might make for a good site, but I don't know of any offhand. Lots of these open spots are on a steep slope . There are two lean-tos on the range.

There is water (seasonal) about 20 min. north of Fivemile Mt. Lean-to.

There is a more reliable source at the trail jct. of the range trail and the one up from Clay Meadow. This is about 1/2 mile north of the lean-to at Fifth Peak.

As always, treat your water.
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