saddleback and basin.

after completing my jury service, catching up at work and having a disappointing wedding photographer issue, a multi-day walk in the woods was a welcome escape.
leaving crosbi at home, adam and i left from the garden trailhead on friday morning.  a short walk later, we arrived at the ore bed camping area.  although no one was in the lean to, we chose to set up our tent up the hill for privacy.  the lean to and tent sites are adjacent to a small slide at the base of upper wolf jaw.  we spent much of the first day exploring the slide, it's trickling stream of water and mossy rock waterfalls.  it was reminiscent of a japanese garden.
the next morning we left camp at 8:30 to hike saddleback and basin mountains.  after two hours of steep climbing up the ore bed trail, we summitted saddleback around 10:30. 
i had anticipated and mentally prepared for a grueling day as the common lore says the hike between saddleback and basin is more of a sketchy climb than a hike.  i can honestly tell you that the "sketchy" part is very small, perhaps about 175 yards.  i was ready to be "climbing" for the whole mile in between the two mountains, when in actuality the climbing portion is only a little stretch immediately after descending the summit of saddleback.  it is certainly a climb and not a hike, and we were glad to have left the dog home.  crosbi is nimble, but at 5 foot 4 inches tall, i had to stretch for hand and foot holds in places.
after the short scramble, we hiked the beautiful trail on the col between the mountains, somewhere along the way losing adam's sunglasses and summitted basin around 11:45.  the views from basin are spectacular as you can see all of the adirondack high peak royalty close up; haystack, marcy, colden and algonquin.
we rested for almost an hour, eating lunch and snapping pictures.  on the return hike to saddleback, adam found his sunglasses hanging from a tree and i suffered some elbow scrapes after not having an appropriate foot hold climbing down a rock face.  we covered the mile in about an hour and after another short break on the summit of saddleback, we were back at camp around 3:30.
this was probably the most rewarding trip and the best weather we have had on an adirondack backpack this season, if not in the last few years.  not a drop of rain, allowing us to sleep without the rain fly both nights.  there were few to no bugs and almost no mud on the trails.  even more surprising, no one else camped at the ore bed site the whole weekend, leaving us to have the area to ourselves.  an all around perfect trip.
38 high peaks down, 8 more to go!


  1. I had viewed your pictures earlier on flikr and found them to be captivating! Your report of the climb makes me wonder why I have stressed so much about these two mountains. The scenery is beautiful and the camping must have been so relaxing! I got a little teary eyed at the thought of you guys closing in on the home stretch :)

  2. i was pleasantly surprised by the climbing portion. it was actually fun; sort of like figuring out a puzzle. i would highly recommend the hike between saddleback and basin, there are many, many beautiful portions of the trail.
    i still think the southwestern descent of gothics was the scariest hike i've ever done...

  3. I did this climb many years ago from the Slant Rock lean-to area, and in the pouring, miserable rain. I don't have a single picture from the trip because it was too wet to take the camera out and am envious of your beautiful photos. Looks like a wonderful trip, I'm surprised to hear there weren't any other campers sharing your spot for the weekend.

  4. Wow! Great pictures! Thanks for sharing. :)


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