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Ascent of Mount Greylock on 2010-07-15

Climber: Alan Barber

Date:Thursday, July 15, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:Car
Peak:Mount Greylock
    Location:USA-Massachusetts
    Elevation:3487 ft / 1062 m

Ascent Trip Report

After completing the highpoint of Connecticut I drove north into Massachusetts along the winding gravel road (Washington road which is East street in Massachusetts) until it turned to blacktop. It was difficult to get rapidly north. I eventually drove north on US 7 up to Pittsfield and then on to Lanesborough. There is a beautiful lake beside the road and the area seemed to be very popular with bikers. Lanesborough was having an open air festival of some sort.

Mount Greylock (3,491 feet) is the highest mountain in Massachusetts and located in the Berkshires. It really is a very scenic mountain and is said to be one of the most scenic in the Eastern United States. The story goes that Mt. Greylock's long, saddle-like shape inspired Herman Melville to write "Moby Dick". Melville evidently had a special observation deck built at his home (near Pittsfield) to be able to look at Mt. Greylock.

Mt. Greylock can be seen for miles and is impressive. If you drive to Adams, Massachusetts on the east it rises abruptly about 2,700 feet. Mt. Greylock is a Monadnock – a mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain. Internationally the term more commonly used is an "inselberg".

Driving north out of Lanesboro, there was a Mount Greylock Reservation and Visitor sign on the right side of Route 7 about two miles north of the town limits. This road took me up the mountain until I came to the visitor center on the right. There was a gate with a metal cross bar which was open. Evidently they close it at sunset. You can obtain maps and trail information at the visitor center but I did not see any cars there at 7 pm (sunset was at about 8:20 that day) and drove on past. The road (Rockwell Rd) continued for about 9 miles up to the summit.

The summit tower is a war memorial. I climbed the 64 (if I recall the count correctly) steps. The windows were cleaned instead of grimy as the web sites report, and the views out them were great. I walked around the summit a bit and the town of Adams was really spectacular.

It was near sunset and there was an American flag flying at half staff near the parking lot on the north west side of the summit.
There are no permits, fees, or parking passes required at the top of Mount Greylock. There was a sign indicating a $2.00 parking fee at the summit parking lot but I did not see anyone collecting it and did not see an “honor board” into which a payment should be placed. At the summit there is also the Bascom Lodge which is a hotel built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's.

There is also a topographical displace in bronze of the area at the start of the sidewalk which goes to the tower. Hiking trails (probably part of the Appalachian Trail) cross the road periodically and there are rumble bars on the road to alert drivers to this. The trail also goes across the summit. The weather was perfect and the views from the different sides of the summit spectacular. The drive to the top pf Mt. Greylock was a nice conclusion to the day especially after having to climb to the top of Mt. Frissell earlier that day.
Summary Total Data
    Grade/Class:1
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear



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