Ascent of Haystack Mountain on 2014-07-14

Climber: Dan Quinlan

Others in Party:Gudi Quinlan -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Kaerstin Quinlan -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Monday, July 14, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Haystack Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:2874 ft / 875 m

Ascent Trip Report

Haystack Mtn and Mt McKenzie
Via McKenzie trail, Haystack trail, herd path, McKenzie Pond, McKenzie trail
Kaerstin, Gudrun and I started from an empty parking lot on this clear day with a plan to visit Haystack and then on to McKenzie. At 9:50 am we reached the Haystack Mtn trail. So far the trail has been pretty much down, which is weird. We seemed to have followed parallel to the road for awhile and all the time the trail had a slight descent to it. It is pretty humid and looks like it rained the night before as it is quite wet in the woods. Lots of toad movement today, we have seen 8 toads and one frog so far. There is a nice brook with small water falls just before the Haystack trail Jct where we stopped to take some nice pictures.
Gudrun didn’t stay for the pictures and so when Kaerstin and I finally started hiking again it took us most of the way to catch her. She is doing very well hiking this year. After doing easy flat to down prior to the junction, after the junction the climbing really began. There was a small section of hand grabbing steep stuff. But at 10:35 am we reached a very quiet peak with great views under partly cloudy skies.
After enjoying a quick lunch and taking some pictures we continued our trek toward McKenzie at 10:55am via a herd path that heads north off of Haystack. This is a pretty easy to follow path and it cuts out a lot of down and back up if we went back down the Haystack trail. We hit the McKenzie Pond trail at 11:10am which was a quick and easy 10 minute descent to the junction of the main McKenzie trail where we once again headed north and toward McKenzie Mtn. There is a section about 1000 meters from the summit that is just hand over hand straight up climbing. Certainly challenging and Gudrun does a great job attacking this section. This lasts about 300 - 400 meters or so. This hike has a couple ‘false peaks’ that we were not aware of. At 900 meters (crow flies) from the summit there is a wonderful rock outcropping where you get a wonderful view of the summit. Although is was great to see the summit, there is also another deep col between us and the summit!
We reached the summit at 1:05 pm. This is a very challenging hike with some wonderful views as a reward. This is certainly the toughest of the Saranac Lake 6ers tough as many of the 46ers we have done. There are several points to see great views, it is a bit hazy today but also a nice view to cool us down. After eating a second lunch, enjoying the views and some time to just relax, we head back down at 1:30. It is pretty tricky coming down the steep stuff, but we made it just fine and we were at the Haystack/McKenzie trail junction at 3:25pm. Now we just had the ‘easier’ yet somewhat uphill section left and at 4:25pm we were back at the car. This is indeed a tough but great hike with great views at the 2 summits.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3600 ft / 1097 m
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
A great summer day, blue sky
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3600 ft / 1097 m
    Distance:10.7 mi / 17.3 km
    Route:Via McKenzie trail, Haystack trail
    Start Trailhead:RT 86  -726 ft / -221 m
    Time:7 Hours 50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Haystack_McKenzie

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Haystack Mountain2014-07-14 a3600 ft / 1097 m
2McKenzie Mountain2014-07-14 b 
Total Trip Gain: 3600 ft / 1097 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Dan Quinlan
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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