Saturday, May 2, 2015

Nice Cat

The beautiful weather on Thursday took me up Catamount Mountain (3166 ft.), which pretty much stands alone right above the lean to on Taylor Pond where I camped in March--and not all that far away from the lean to on Cooper Kiln Pond where we camped in December.

As you can see, Catamount has two summits: the lower, southern summit (to the right) and the true, northern summit (to the left).  Both are pretty open and rocky, resulting in some amazing views...and some very interesting climbing.

"Climbing" most mountains in the Adirondacks is actually simply hiking uphill, but Catamount changes things up quite a bit.  As you approach the south summit, you come to a "chimney": a narrow crevice in the rock...which is also your path upward.  It got so narrow at the top I had to take my pack off to squeeze through, and there wasn't much of a margin for error down the side.

The trail is not only up, over, and around a whole lot of rock...

...but it's not maintained by the state, so you must often depend on rock cairns left by your predecessors to help you find the best way to the top.

In my book, that all translates into a great deal of fun!

From the south summit you get some daunting views of the north one...

...and from the true summit, you not only get a good look at the south summit below...

...but almost a 360 degree perspective, including a great look at still-snow-covered Whiteface Mountain and--on that very clear afternoon--distant Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains of Vermont.

It was a perfect day to scratch this big cat's back.

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