Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cliff and Redfield and Then Some

Finally back to the High Peaks! Saturday morning was crisp and clear as we started out from Upper Works. On the menu - Cliff and Redfield. It's been a while since I paired these two in the same day. Today I remember why. It might be efficient, but my body hurts.

We were on the trail for only about 5 minutes when two gentlemen came on by, quickly bouncing from rock to rock avoiding the mud and water. It was Todd Jennings and his support staff/photographer Frederic. Todd was on Day 1 of 8 of his 315-mile run.Todd is running the entire length of the Hudson River to raise awareness for the Hudson and as a fund raiser for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. (Check out Todd and Frederic were on their way to Lake Tear of the Clouds, the headwaters for the Hudson River. These guys are in fantastic shape. My hiking partner Tim could keep up, but I was having a hard time. I don't think I've ever hiked to Uphill Lean-to so fast!

Frederico and Todd
Todd and Tim on Lake Colden dam
Lake Colden from dam
Favorite view of Lake Colden from Flowed Lands
The hideous snow spines started on the trail to Uphill Lean-to. Sometimes it was supportive and mushy, sometimes it was a post-holing nightmare, and sometimes it was just plain icy. Footing was definitely challenging at times.

Flume on the Opalescent
Snow spine on way to Uphill Lean-to
Cliff was first. The start to the herd path was wet and muddy as usual. We were worried about ice and snow on the cliffs, but they were nice and dry. The weather was perfect as we snacked on the summit. Nice breeze, warm sunshine, and the best part - no bugs. I think the cool overnight temperatures killed off the latest batch of blackflies.

There really are views from Cliff
More views from Cliff
Cliff herd path - yuck...
Embrace the mud!
More snow
Back to the herd path junction and up towards Redfield. As soon as we started to hit snow, I hit a wall. I was hungry and thirsty, and spent way too much energy getting to Uphill Lean-to at supersonic speeds (at least for me anyway!). The summit of Redfield was scenic as usual. Lunch and a rest helped me regain my energy. Still challenging on the descent with the footing, but at least it was downhill! Finally lost the snow and it was easy going on the way back to the trailhead.

Views from Redfield
Allen from Redfield

Opalescent River

 The beginning of the trail to Flowed Lands got a major reroute. The first two bridges over Calamity Brook were apparently casualties of Tropical Storm Irene. It looks like the trail relocation will be permanent.It's a pleasant walk next to the brook with open meadow views.

Herbert Brook also received a new bridge. In the morning when we arrived, there was no bridge, but we could see the bridge deck on the other side. In the afternoon, the bridge was installed. Kudos to the trail crew for nice job!
Brand new bridge over Herbert Brook
Flowed land in the afternoon

Calamity Brook from relocated trail

Rerouted trail
Casualty of Irene