Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hiking Hadley Mountain, Part 5

I was thinking, "Oh, no, another false summit" as we approached this scene. I could see the miniaturized trees above, indicative of high elevations and brutally cold weather, but I'd already crested enough rises on this hike to learn not to believe each one was the summit. So the dogs and I just kept trudging upward:

We hiked through a secluded pass with high rock walls, many of them covered with strange vegetation which I last year labeled as Liverwort. But I just recently learned of the lichen, Rock Tripe, and now don't know how to tell the difference. Well, it was one or the other:

We'd reached an altitude where there was still plenty of ice and snow. I passed a few other hikers on their way down the mountain and all of them, without exception, warned me that the summit was COLD!!!:

Keep climbing, guys. I'm right behind you:

"C'mon, Dad. Can't you hurry up?":

Eventually I reached the summit and this scenic panorama greeted my eyes:

It was not only scenic, but it was cold. I don't mean cold, I mean "COLD!!!" The winds were howling and the temperature was perhaps 20 or 30 degrees below what it had been coming up the mountain. That Balsam Fir on the right must be of an extra sturdy, hardy seed stock:

The two dogs hadn't had a haircut recently and it was a darn good thing in that wind and cold:

What few trees could grow in these abusive conditions were all somewhat miniaturized. Mostly it was Birches and Balsams:

That lake in the distance, I learned later, is the Great Sacandaga Lake. That steel cable on the left is a support wire keeping the fire tower in place, not an easy task in those winds, I'd imagine:

I saw Adirondack Mountains in most all directions, though I suspected that I was also seeing the Catskills from there. Well, I hadn't yet ascended the fire tower and was debating whether I could or should, considering the high winds. More on that tomorrow:

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