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Monday, August 25th 2014

7:08 PM

Snowy Mtn NY 8/24/14

     I had climbed Snowy before in 1997 but the fire tower was not usable then, because the bottom steps had been removed.  Later the fire tower was restored, and I had long planned to revisit the mountain as a result.  Since they predicted dry weather for August 23 and 24 for Indian Lake, I thought that the trail would have time to dry out from any rain that might have occurred earlier that week if I went there on August 24. 

     When I started hiking from the trailhead at 9:10 AM only one other car was there.  I soon found that the trail was very wet and muddy.  At the first crossing of Beaver Brook, the water was so high that I didn't know if I could cross it without falling in.  I went upstream and managed to get across okay.  At the next stream crossing two hikers caught up with me and we talked.  They were a man and woman from Potsdam and this was about as far south as they had hiked. 

     Shortly after that we met a man about 45 years old who looked like a camp counsellor in his baseball cap, shorts and T shirt.  He was accompanied by a girl about 13 years old.  They had been camping and were coming down.  They told us that it had rained lightly all Friday and that on Saturday morning there had been a big downpour.  This explained the copious mud on the trail. 

     Near a sluggish stream I found some flowering gentians.  The upper half of the trail was like ascending a waterfall.  The trail consisted of a number of parallel gullies or waterways filled with loose small stones and water or strewn with huge boulders with water flowing over them or around them.  There were up to four parallel choices for trails created by people who in the last 17 years since my earlier hike had tried to find easier and drier paths to ascend.  Today none of the choices were dry, but the newer ones did seem to be better than the more eroded ones.  Several groups of hikers in their 20's came up the trail and passed me as I ascended. 

     At 12:57 PM I arrived at the lookout near the summit of the mountain.  Here there were great views of Indian Lake down below and the mountains out to the east, including Gore, Kunjamuk, and Humphreys among others.  The view to the north was partially blocked by spruce trees.  After eating lunch and resting here, I went up to the fire tower. 

     Climbing to the top of the firetower I was happy to see that you could actually get into the room on the top of it.  There was no glass on the windows.  There was almost no breeze at all.  There were wonderful views of the High Peaks off to the north and I saw Santanoni, Algonquin, Colden, Marcy and Gothics, among others.  You could see up and down Indian Lake off to the east.  To the west I could see some high mountains that have no trails, the highest of which was nearby Panther Mtn.  Off to the south were some mountains that I couldn't identify. 

     I left the tower at 2:00 PM and began descending the mountain.  Many new hikers were now coming up and I talked briefly with them.  Near the end I spoke with two hikers coming down who had been camping nearby and we discussed various hiking experiences.  I was back at my car at 6:10 PM.  This is a beautiful mountain but if I ever hike it again it will be in a drought.   

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