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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Hour Pond Mountain(Adirondacks)

Met up early Tuesday morning at the 13th Lake trail head in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness with my buddy Jim Hopson and Spencer Morrissey.  This was my first hike with Spencer, who is an Adirondack legend, having hiked 937 Adirondack peaks prior to today.  A 46er 5 times over, and only the second person ever to bushwhack all 46 high peaks, I was really excited to do this part trail/ part bushwhack hike and perhaps gain some knowledge from him.  Overcast skies greeted us as we arrived at the shore of frozen, snow covered Thirteenth Lake.
 We were all impressed by the impressive icicles that we passed along the lake portion of the trail.  Jim checking them out.
 Spencer stopping by to grab a photo as well.
 We soon turned right on the trail, leaving the lake behind and followed the trail towards Peaked Mountain, uphill to the west.  This hike brought us past several wetlands, with pleasant views.  Really enjoyed this window of a view towards nearby Slide Mountain through a passing snow squall.
 There were a couple of brook crossings that are probably no problem in the summer, but a bit tricky under a blanket of snow and spotty ice.
 Another view of Slide Mountain from a lowland marsh.
 After about 2.5 miles, we left the trail and began to bushwhack up the slopes of Hour Pond Mountain.  As we ascended, some screened views back towards Peaked Mountain and Slide Mountain began to open up.
 Jim and Spencer bushwhacking through a pleasant, open forest as skies began to clear out.
 Heading up the ridge to the summit we finally encountered some thick spruce, weighed down by a heavy snow.
 Spencer and I at the summit of 2848 foot summit of Hour Pond Mountain.
We went in search of some views from a ledge that we had read about, but we couldn't locate them.  Fortunately, we had some very nice peek a boo views as we began our descent off the southeast side of the mountain down towards an unnamed pond.
 Southeast views through the trees.
 View towards Little Thirteenth Lake Mountain.
 We made a fairly quick descent, dropping nearly 400 feet in a quarter mile, even butt sliding in a couple of steeper areas.  On our way back out, we passed by the same view of Slide Mountain from the trail, this time minus the snow squalls.
 Arriving back at Thirteenth Lake, under thickening clouds again.
Hiked about 8 miles RT on this trail/ bushwhack combo.  Can't wait to get back over to this area to hit some of these open peaks that surround 13th Lake.  Overall a great day in the woods.

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