A walk in the clouds. Giant Mountain and Rocky Peak Ridge.

In July of 2018 my co-worker (and climbing partner) and I were sent to Quebec City Canada for a work conference. We made plans to stop in the Adk Park and hike Giant Mt and Rocky Peak Ridge (RPR) along the way home so we packed our gear and took it with us. On July 26th we arrived at the Chapel Pond trail-head at the crack of dawn and got to it. The forecast was for “passing showers” during the morning hours giving way to sun and clouds.

From Chapel Pond the “out and back” distance is about 8 miles. Approx 3 miles to Giant then another mile to RPR (more or less). 4419 feet of elevation gain according to AllTrails.com.

There was just a light intermittent shower when we started and it was pretty warm. Under the trees the trail was still mostly dry.

trailhead

I zipped the legs off of my pants and went to shorts in fairly short order.
The trail was the typical Adirondack Mountain fare. Rock strewn and fairly steep most the way. From the trail register its up. up. up. for about .7 miles where you will find the Giant Washbowl, a scenic pond with Lilly Pads and croaking frogs.

From the washbowl there is a good mile to mile and a half of ascending on mostly wooded switchbacks which are mildly steep; but not as steep as a straight ascent would have been. Occasionally the trail crosses over exposed slabs of rock which provide some beautiful views. We were fortunate that between 2500′ and 3500′ that we were beneath the ceiling and were able to take in some stunning scenery.

washbowlabove

Giant Washbowl from above.

peaks2

Pictures cant do it justice.

Between the 3700′ and 4000′ mark the clouds began closing in and the rain began picking up. It was still relatively warm so the soaking wasn’t all too oppressive at this point. The trail began to produce increasing sections of slab rock, some of which were challenging when wet. There was a section where a sign was posted pointing out a route “over the bump” and “around the bump”. The Bump is a rocky scenic overlook that I took and didn’t see much from except cloud. On a rainy day take my advice and go around. There was also a privy up around the 3800′ mark.

ascent

Near the summit of Giant there was considerably more slab walking to do that had running water coming down it. Once over that there was a short level jog to the peak. The only thing marring the experience was having to pick up someones trash that they left behind.

marker

giantnoview

Not the most scenic day, but an accomplishment nonetheless.

trash.jpg

Don’t be an @$$hole. Take your trash with you. This is why we can’t have nice things.
Go back to the trail-marker you passed on the way up to the summit to find the trail to RPR.

sign2

From here it’s only 1.2 miles to the summit of RPR, but the descent from Giant into the Col/Saddle between them is pretty steep with a lot of wet slabs. The rain really started picking up on us at this point and I have few pictures from this part of our hike. The ascent up RPR after reaching the bottom of the Col was actually the easiest part of the day in terms of steepness and difficulty. However, by the time I reached the summit of RPR I was soaked and it was cold and windy. We didn’t stay there long.

wetrpr

From here there was not much more to it except to reverse course and head back. Once again, once we got to the 3600′-3500′ mark we got below the cloud ceiling which was (now…of course) starting to break up and we got some scenery to reward our efforts.

descent

For me ascending is much more pleasant than descending. I’m pretty “Mountain Goat” going up. My rock climbing experience in my youth having left over some benefits in terms of speed walking up even wet slabs of rock. For some reason though I have a tendency to slip on the descents when I step onto muddy patches. I fell on my ass a few times going back down and was a muddy mess from the waist down before I returned to Chapel Pond LOL!

Once back to our vehicle I walked down to Chapel Pond and walked right in fully clothed up to my waist and washed the mud off of me. A change into dry clothes and it was time to hit the road for home.

All things going as planned we should be back in late August to attempt Phelps, Wright, Iroquois, Algonquin and Tabletop. Stay Tuned!

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