Colvin and Blake
After a three week hiatus due to achy knees and perhaps a touch of burnout, yesterday was a beautiful return to the mountains with a visit to Colvin and Blake. In addition to just being a lovely day in the woods for the usual reasons, I was joined by four fellow hikers via the high peaks forum and the ADK whose company made the trek even more enjoyable.
Our group set out from the St. Huberts lot at 6:30 a.m. under mostly cloudy skies. There was rain in the forecast but it held off, and we even got a few peeks of sun up on the summits and ridgeline. We walked up the Lake Road and passed the first Gill Brook trail marker, opting for a slightly longer road walk and taking the Gill Brook cutoff trail farther ahead.
The trail to Colvin was mostly soft and earthy, with some occasional patches of rocks. It was so nice to have a relatively dry hike with little mud for a change. Lots of scrambles on the way up, and I found the one just under the summit to live up to it’s daunting reputation. It was quite difficult to get both up and down that last rocky pitch, and it definitely helped to be with others for boosting purposes. Colvin had some pretty views from the summit, as did the ridgeline walk between the two mountains. By far the most draining part of the day was having to re-climb Colvin to get back to the Gill Brook trail, after a lot of miles and scrambling.
A lot of people seem to list Blake among their least liked mountain on the list, but I enjoyed the hike of both peaks. Blake’s view-less summit wasn’t the best part of the hike, but the scrambles on the way up the mountain were challenging and fun. I really enjoyed just about all of the hike, though I suspect it would have been a lot tougher in wet conditions. We really lucked out in the weather department.
I was bad about looking at my watch throughout the day, but it took us under 11 hours and we clocked in with a mileage of under 15. That included a few stops for snacks/fresh moleskin applications and a couple of leisurely summit breaks. We had set no time goal for the day; only a goal to enjoy the climbs and company. My knees held up well and our pace was pretty moderate for most of the day until perhaps the last third, when they started really hurting during the descent from Colvin to the Lake Road. 42 down and 4 to go…