Saturday, August 26, 2017

Climbing Scarface

Two friends and I are working on the "Saranac 6" challenge, climbing designated 6 mountains near Saranac Lake, NY. We are all retired and are 46ers from years past. this challenge is more our speed these days (especially mine, they are 10 years younger). I refuse to be 'over the hill' so I have dubbed us "OMG", the Over the Mountain Gang.

This past Thursday we tackled Scarface near Ray Brook, NY. It was an interesting hike on what is the most moss covered mountain I can recall climbing. We found the two overlooks the guidebook mentioned and according to book we were not required to go to the actual viewless summit but we did because the guidebook said the trail to the summit was an "unmaintained path" but we kept seeing trail markers so we went all the way. The guidebook was correct about the summit being viewless but it was along a ridge through some interesting woods so it was no hardship.

We turned around and returned to an open area we had passed to take a lunch break before heading back down. There was no view there either but there were rocks to sit on. That was more appealing than damp forest floor. Thanks to a lot of conversation, stops for photography and the fact that I don't hike very fast these days, we took just over 9 hours, but it was a fun day and that was the point.

Dave Allen at the first overlook we came to

A tree with pine cones at the first overlook.

Dave (unintentionally) managed to get in this shot too. I didn't notice at the time.


Trail. I am standing in front of a step up. the camera is about 8" above the rock. My old knees won't do steps that high. I found a way around.

OMG at the summit.

A pair of trees at our lunch break site. They had blown over, apparently long enough ago that moss and grass were growing in the remaining dirt under where they had stood. In spite of that, they had new growth (the light yellow tips) on their branches. The roots on the downside are still feeding them. That is Rick Reed's pole and pack.

Dave and Rick having lunch.

This old yellow birch is nearly 4 feet across at the bottom. A beautiful tree.

Dave and Rick on the bridge near the trailhead. We also saw a lot of fungi/mushrooms. Here are a selection of those I stopped to photograph. A couple of them were varieties I had never seen before. And one autumn leaf photo. Yes, a few leaves had turned already.

That last one looks like pizza but I would be hesitant to eat it.

Postscript: This is part of the trail too but I didn't take that root.
(Sorry about the pun. I couldn't help it. It was too good to pass up.)

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