The Other Side of Hunter Mountain

For me, summer has become the ski season “of the mind” — going on exploratory missions, trimming brush, and researching deals for the next year. But something happened a few years ago and I actually began to enjoy the summer, and the mountains, for being what they are.

View from Hunter Mountain Firetower
Hunter Mountain Ski Area from Firetower

I can trace the origin of this feeling to a specific camping trip to Mt. Greylock many summers ago. Although I went to the mountain with an ulterior motive — scouting out the legendary Thunderbolt — the trip was far more memorable for everything else that happened.

I think it was sleeping in a field under a tree, at the base of the mountain, watching the stars and meeting a charismatic AT thru-hiker named Caterpillar, that really left an impression. Or maybe it was the dip I took in the 45-degree water at the falls. Either way, getting after it during the summer means more to me now, then just collecting data or clearing brush for the upcoming ski season.

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Thirteenth Lake Hike, NY

I woke at 5 am today and spent the morning stacking wood and getting ready for next season. By the early afternoon I was ready for a break and decided to check out the “new” trail that connects Peaked Mountain Brook to the Hour Pond trail on the western side of Thirteenth Lake.

View of Thirteenth Lake from NY state campsite

I’ve been thinking a lot about Thirteenth Lake lately — it just seemed appropriate to hike the newest trail in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness and complete a loop around the lake.

There has been so much rain that the trail was being drenched by “streams” that have sprung from the steep slopes of the lake’s western shore. Peaked Brook was raging. I followed the red trail up to the bridge that now crosses the brook and made my way along the new trail.

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