Over the past year, a schism has occurred among my friends. Some have decided to marry, settle down. Others decided to get serious about jobs, while a third group continues adventuring, guiding full-time or moving out west.
After taking quite a bit of grief about my last few climbing trips and biting off more than I can chew, I connected for an outing with my friend and former lead guide for Brooklyn Outfitters.
Stetson, like me, fits into the middle group that’s getting “serious” about life, and jobs. Neither of us have the freedom to get out like we did when we were guiding every weekend and exploring during the week.
Garnet mining is an important part of the history of the Gore Mountain region. And, right in our neighborhood, is an old abandoned garnet mine; the Hooper Mine on Garnet Hill.
The garnet from this area was (and is) prized for the way it fractures, making it very valuable for abrasives like sandpaper. In 1878 the Barton family began mining on the backside of Gore Mountain.
Twenty years later Frank Hooper started his mining operation near Balm of Gilead Mountain. Hooper’s mine wasn’t as rich as Barton’s, but to some extent, he made up for it with ingenuity.
The name Vanderwhacker first came onto my radar when I realized that the state land crossed by the Raymond Brook Ski Trail was part of the Vanderwhacker Wild Forest.
The Vanderwhacker Wild Forest is a diverse and discontinuous DEC construct, the center piece of which is Vanderwhacker Mountain and the Fire Tower.
With 1700 feet of elevation gain in two and a half miles I figured my wife, our daughter and I could handle it, even with a late start.