Drove up to Keene on Friday and setup camp so we could get a decent start the next morning. We spent the night around the fire and fell asleep to the sounds of waterfalls. Awoke the next morning to discover the place we decided to camp was really nice. Had a great swimming hole behind it.
The morning go off to a slow start. It took a while for the group to get going. Mike and I went into Keene and grabbed some coffee at Noonmark Diner and then went over to The Mountaineer. Sadly they didn’t have any good deals on gear. We then headed to the trailhead to see if the rest of our group had started off. Got there and discovered that everyone had already started up the mountain. Mike and I started off and ran into a couple of people along the way. We discovered that we were not too far behind the rest of our group. Ran into the rest of the group after a trail junction for a campsite at a lake that the trail went past.
The group stopped at the lean-to for a break. Another group had already claimed the leanto so we decided to grab one of the campsites near by. The area had a treasure chest that was made for an Eagle project for a scout from a local troop. Lunch was made at back at the lean-to, which was along side of a small stream. We had a potato, cheese, and summer sausage dish. It ended up being a little bit soupy but still tasted great. Rich and Matt decided they wanted to set up a tent because it looked like there might be some impending rain on the horizon. Mike, Jenna, Matt’s friend Amy, and I decided to start heading up the trail instead.
Part of the way up the mountain the trail opened up to a large smooth rock that had a little water flowing down it. We met a group of people resting on the rock, they turned out to be the group who had gotten the lean-to. They were an outing group from a college in Vermont going on their first event for the semester. We decided to stop and take a break for a little while and talked with them. We lost Matt’s friend, but while waiting Rich and Nick caught up to us. They informed us that Matt was hiking with Amy.
From the outing club we learned that the rock paralleled the trail for a while up the mountain. Most of us decided to take the rock up. Nick choose to take the trail. We used this to help us keep track of where the trail was. When the rock started narrowing and it was getting harder to stay in touch with Nick we broke right from the rock. This ended up being a great spot to head back to the trail as it wasn’t too far away and it was starting to turn more right. The trail was slightly worse for going upwards than the rock. At one point while hiking up, I felt a sharp pain on my calf. At first I though it was just a pointy stick, but then looked down and discovered that I had been stung by a wasp. Looking around I found the wasp nest was a hole in the base of a stump in the middle of the trail. Warned the rest of the group about its existence.
Jenna and I had broken away from the group and eventually got to a trail junction. The trees had begun to thin and it was starting to become windy. We waited for Mike to catch up with us and then for Rich and Nick. Tried to get Rich to head down the wrong trail to the other side of the mountain, but he didn’t fall for it. Took advantage of the stop to put on some warmer clothes in preparation for the windy summit. Once ready we headed out, but we decided to not wait for Matt and Amy.
Knew that we were getting near the summit, due to the thinning trees and the fact that we passes some signs about entering an alpine zone. The top was covered in very short trees and some boulders. We were afforded some nice views of the surrounding Adirondacks. We could see Elk lake and the other mountains in the Dix range that we did on the snowshoe from hell. Celebrations begun once we got to the large rock outcropping that had a survey marker on top of it.
Rich had carried up two bottles of champagne. One quickly ended up poured all over him, but it was hard to tell how much got on him and how much was blown away in the wind. The second bottle was passed around and shared among the group. A couple had also hiked up to the top and we included them in our festivities. The bottle of honey whiskey was then broken out and we took turns taking shots. Mike commented that Rich started out his quest for the 46 with the weather in similar conditions. He started with Cascade and the wind was strong enough you could lean into it and use it to support one’s self. The conditions on top of Dix were similar this day and Rich completed his quest by leaning into the wind. Plenty of photos were taken as we romped around the rocky summit and took shelter behind it. Mike started reminiscing about how he conquered the 46 and started pointing out different mountains and stories were shared.
After a good deal of time on the top once everyone started getting cold (and half the bottle of whiskey was gone) we decided to start heading down. The hope was we might finish our decent before sunset. We found Matt and Amy when we got to the edge of the summit, surprised they made it to the summit. Jenna and I broke away from the group and made our way down quickly. We got to the lean-to before dark and found the outing club preparing their dinner. I sat down in the clearing in front of the lean-to and started to make some quesadillas while waiting for the others. Rich, Nick, and Mike showed up around a half hour to 45 minutes after we got to the lean-to, just as it was starting to get dark.
Prepared them some quesadillas while Rich and Mike started preparing dinner. We had mac and cheese with onions and summer sausage. For desert Jenna had brought some delicious oreo brownies that she had made. We were very surprised that the outing club had already headed to sleep in their lean-to. After dinner, Jenna, Mike, and I decided to hike out because of obligations in the morning. Got in a nice night hike out to the cars back on the main road.