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Old 06-04-2013, 01:59 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Clifton Park, NY
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Question Haystack & Skylight Suggestions

Hello All!

I am planning an overnight trip for this upcoming weekend to hike Haystack and Skylight. I always like to consult the forum to see if anyone has any suggestions or input that could enhance the trip. We were thinking of adding another mountain but not sure which one. We would like to avoid Marcy as we have already done it and are attempting to complete our 46 this summer. Any input on camp sites, trails, ect is greatley appreciated.

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Old 06-04-2013, 03:26 PM   #2
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You might want to consider camping in Panther Gorge, which will provide pretty good access to both Haystack and Skylight. Hike in from Elk Lake Road. And if time permits, that's not a bad route to climb Blake as well.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:52 PM   #3
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Gray Peak is pretty close to Skylight.

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Old 06-04-2013, 06:31 PM   #4
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If you only have one night, I would go in at upper works, carry packs to 4 corners, climb Skylight, pick up your packs and head to panther gorge. Then the next day climb Haystack and go out either to Elk Lake or back over 4 corners and out upper works. You could also start the trip from ADK loj and get to 4 corners via Lake Arnold, I think it's about the same.

Elk Lake to panther is a pretty long walk, not my favorite.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:43 PM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Gray Peak will be an awesome addition, thanks Steve! I Think I will pass on Blake, only because it seems like a good potential day hike to do with Colvin.

We were considering starting at ADK Loj, I had not considered Upper works as of yet. I will have to do some comparing mileage wise. Much appreciated all!
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:55 PM   #6
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For me, doing those two peaks when only having one overnight, would be burdensome. Perhaps you could do one of them, and one or two others with the one you pick? You don't mention what you've climbed already... I.e., as someone mentioned, Gray is an easy pair with Skylight -- and you could climb Redfield and/or Cliff on the same trip if you're energetic (this would be camping at Uphill or Feldspar). Or you could camp somewhere in the Johns Brook drainage, and if you haven't done Basin and/or Saddleback, combine them with Haystack.

Of course Haystack/Marcy/Skylight is an amazing loop but doing that the same day as hiking in to either Panther Gorge or Feldspar, or the same day as hiking out, is more than I'd want to do. I'm sure many people have done it, though (some of the TRs on these forums make it look easy). (Which last comment made me realize: maybe this question would do better on the High Peaks forum?)
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:15 PM   #7
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I know it is a little too early to say for sure but Friday and Saturday are looking like rain, so this may turn into a day trip for Sunday. Thanks to rickhart, I am now very interested in Basin and Saddleback! From what I have read these seem fairly strenuous and due to the scrambling required, should make for a good day hike.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:04 AM   #8
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A very commonly hiked trio of peaks is Haystack-Basin-Saddleback, or HaBaSa as it is commonly referred to.

People often do it as a dayhike so backpacking in from the Garden, setting up a camp somewhere in Johns Brook valley and doing the peaks should be easy. My guess is that the extra time required to hike in with backpacks, find a site and get all set up plus the time required to prepare and eat dinner, settle in etc. after the hike would be pretty close to the time required to do the entire hike with daypacks in and out from the Garden.

As for Haystack/Sky as an overnight: RT from Elk Lake and sleep at Panther Gorge would be my first choice. Beware the speed bump: Pinnacle Ridge. It's a killer on the way out! 600 feet up to the ridge and then several ups and downs until you descend off of it.
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