Ascent of Haystack Mountain on 2017-08-02

Climber: Alan Bangel

Others in Party:alone
Date:Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Haystack Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:2874 ft / 875 m

Ascent Trip Report

One down. Chris says enjoy stay longer if needed. OK
Now I need to eat, clean-up, and locate a place for the night. This time I head over to the Price Chopper in Lake Placid. Just a stones throw from the Whiteface Inn Road. There I buy a Turkey wrap and some drinks. Driving into Saranac Lake I pull into a boat launch area along Flower Lake and a woman is there walking her dog, a black lab. The dog is running in and out of the lake cooling off so when he comes up to me I say "your a lucky fellow, being in the water" and I ask the owner about her knowledge of a public swimming area in Saranac. She gives me some directions, North, outside of town, not to far, and I'm off. With some errors in understanding (not finding the Lake) and additional help from the locals I finally locate Colby Lake. It's about 5:20 when I get there, consume the first half of the turkey wrap, don swim suit and in the water, and at 5:50 they announce that the lake is closing.
Lake washed and clean clothes on I head out to Meadowbrook DEC public camping, next to Tail-o-the-Pup in Ray Brook. I had checked the area out in the AM before the hike and already knew what to expect. The office was closed and open sites were labeled on a chart hung on the office door. I wrote down some site numbers and then went into the campground to look them over to see if they were still available and to see if they were suited to van camping. Site 47 was my pick. I set things up and decided to loosen the legs up by going for a short walk. On my walk I bought some additional drinks and stopped at Tail-o-the-Pup for supper. They got my order wrong, serving my a larger platter, but I finished dinner it and then headed back to the car, saving the other half of my turkey wrap for breakfast before the Haystack hike. Unfortunately the site I chose faced some security lights of an adjoining business. by the time I realized the problem I was in no mood to search out another place to camp. Another night of somewhat restless sleep.
Haystack Trail-head was just a few miles from the campground. I was packed and out at 7:55 and not feeling to sore after yesterdays adventures. At 8:30 I was ready to leave the car and hike but then nature called. I decided to make a beeline to a clean restroom at Price Chopper instead of making like a bear. At 9:00 I was on the trail. Matt and I had already done this first 2.3 miles, when high water at the dam turned us around. After a short 3/4 mile I met two young women who had been dropped off early for the Haystack hike. They warned me that they had seen a bear cub a short distance down the trail and it had started to climb a tree. Warned I continued down the trail whistling, and singing, and bee-bopping, and clicking my walking pole in an attempt to let any bears in the area know I was coming and that they might consider leaving me alone. I took a break at an old foundation 2.01 miles at 10:14. At 10:26 I was at the dam. Crossing was easy and at 10:46 I took a brief break at 2241' as the trail was going steeper. (NO BEARS) At 11:20, 2865' 3.08 miles I reached the summit of Haystack. I rested talked with several other hikers, specifically a lone woman in her late 50's who was showing me several apps, topographic and otherwise, that she uses to negotiate her hiking. In all about 5 people joined me as I spent just over an hour at the summit. All single hikers but one a father and son, later the mother joined the two, but she had stopped short of the summit due to some difficult scrambling that she was unwilling to negotiate. They spoke German and our paths crossed several times as we kept similar pace on the hike out. I had left the summit at 12:42.
By 2:50 I was back at the car.
On the summit a hiker had warned those he met that weather was changing and a 2:00 Thundershower was expected. On the trail down a couple I met indicated that the thunder storm was not expected to hit until 3:00 and perhaps as late as 4. They asked if they should continue hiking (I must have looked like some kind of expert to them)( they looked like they belonged at a Starbucks instead of hiking in the woods, though the fellow did have a small backpack)and I told them that they might be more comfortable hiking in the rain than in the humidity, (thinking about the hike of Ampersand w/Matt where the rain was not a turn off) I could hear the thunder in the distance and was concerned that swimming might be off the list should the storm really move in.
I started to think about how to spend the rest of my day. Heading into Saranac I decided to call Matt and ring the Saranac-6er bell for him. After that I headed up to Colby Lake and there waiting for an additional 20 minutes since the last thunder heard. (the swim area was closed and the lifeguards were playing cards) I opted for a cold shower thinking the beach area might not open with clouds building in the West, I soaped up and suffered through. and after showering and going back to the car for a Frappuccino the beach opened.
OK, I'm going swimming.
Clean clothes and somewhat refreshed I headed down route 3 towards Tupper Lake. I had decided to try the trail-heads of the next two hikes for camping the night. There would be no lights and if they were sufficiently tucked away I would be hidden from public sight. I would also be close enough to other camping sites North of Tupper and Rollins Park if necessary if(the trail-heads were not conducive to safety or the mosquitoes were to prevalent). Plan made, time to think about dinner.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1302 ft / 396 m
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
low 80's, humid
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1302 ft / 396 m
    Distance:6.6 mi / 10.6 km
    Route:DEC Trail from Route 86
    Start Trailhead:Trail-head along Route 86  1572 ft / 479 m
Descent Statistics

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