Trailhead: Adirondack Loj
Date of climb: May 13, 2012
#16: Wright, 4580 ft.
I recently joined a high peaks hiking group on meetup.com, and Sunday was my first group hike. Actually, I was the only meetup person to show; it was a joint hike with the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), and I became a member this morning. I suspect the members of ADK are slightly more committed…
It was really great meeting others from the area who like to hike, and such a nice group of people. Many were also working on their 46 and always looking for others to hike with, so I’m hoping we can stay in contact. I enjoyed the social aspect of hiking with the group, but I also realized how much I like hiking alone. It’s nice having the freedom to stop when I want to stop, cruise when I’m feeling a burst of energy and take photos easily without worrying about slowing people down. But, I suppose mountain climbing alone in the high peaks probably isn’t a totally smart thing to do, especially in the more remote spots. I’ll definitely continue to do the groups, but will hopefully meet individuals through ADK to hike with on the off-weekends. My ideal would be hiking with just 1 or 2 others.
Unfortunately, the weather was really wonky yesterday. It felt hot and humid when we started the ascent. I was totally unprepared for the insects, and I hadn’t thought to bring a short sleeved shirt, as two weeks ago I was hiking in winter. I was absolutely sweltering, even after stripping down to my base layer. So, I learned yet another valuable lesson – pack for 4 seasons when hiking in the Adirondacks.
The trail was very pretty. I loved the birch tree forest and the waterfalls we maneuvered across. There were signs of spring everywhere; little bits of green popping out of the brown landscape.As we got closer to the peak, the warm temps, sun and humidity (along with the insects, thankfully) disappeared. There had to have been a drop in temperature of at least 20 degrees – I had all my warm clothes back on, along with a hat and gloves. It was also really foggy by the time we reached the summit, which was a bummer for visibility – Wright has a bald, rocky summit with a 360 degree view, and would have probably been absolutely gorgeous on a clear day.
An interesting side note about Wright: in 1962 an air force bomber jet crashed into the mountain, and there is still debris scattered around from the crash. There’s a plaque on the summit honoring the 4 soldiers who died. Here’s an article about it.