Ascent of Giant Mountain on 1994-06-19

Climber: Alan Bangel

Others in Party:Don Shultz
Paul Wehrung
Date:Sunday, June 19, 1994
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Giant Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4626 ft / 1410 m

Ascent Trip Report

This is my forth hike report.
On June 18th and 19th, Don Shultz and I along with a new hiking partner, Paul Wehrung made the 6-mile trip up and down GIANT peak.
It was 9 months since my last climb and we three were all pretty excited about being on the trail again. Paul W. is another teacher like us; he had hiked Marcy twenty years earlier when he was a scout leader. Paul has had a difficult year due to back surgery
(Dec. ’93) but the possibility of testing himself and having a goal has really helped with his rehabilitation.

Since the last report of our hike of Colvin and Blake (Sept. ’93) I’ve endured some changes that have had some major impact on my life. Just one month after the last hike my wife, succumbed to a four and a half year battle with cancer. In my original hike reports I made no mention of personal information that was not part of the recording of the hikes. Since this is a re-visitation, some 15 years, after the original report I am taking some additional liberties in the telling of the story. In 1992 when I first started the Adirondack 46 I was on a mission to find a way to cope with the difficult times that I was living with. In 1989 at the age of 37 my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, after a lump became noticeable near her sternum. In 1992 the news was not good. Three years of chemotherapy and nothing was slowing the progression of the disease, it had moved from its original site through the blood stream and was now attacking my wife’s brain. Grand and petite mal seizures were her latest symptoms and we were beginning new courses in medication and radiation therapy to help control the seizures. During the summer of 1993 we visited with members of my wife’s family (living in California and Idaho), we knew at this time that those visits would be the last. My wife and daughter (16) flew out to California and my son (12) and I traveled by car across country. In Illinois, on the third day of our journey, my son ended up in the hospital for a week. Then in Colorado the van lost it’s transmission; yes, things can always get worse. On the return home, I traveled alone while my wife and children stayed with her brother in Boise. On October 10th 1993 my wife passed away at home.
Thinking about hiking and climbing, the planning of the endeavor gave me a link to cling to outside of the daily rituals that had become our lives.

Paul, Don and myself, took the shortest route up and down so as not to overdo this first experience. In hindsight, being the shortest did not make it the easiest.
The camaraderie and hiking has sparked a fair amount of interest among friends at our school. We have another hike planned for August 19th to climb Gothics. Twelve people have expressed an interest in making that climb. It will be interesting to see what happens.
On this trip we traveled to the Adirondacks on the 18th of June, had dinner at the Subway in Lake Placid and then stayed at the Adirondack Base Camp in Upper Jay. The four days preceding the climb had been the hottest of the summer, with temperatures into the 90’s. The evening of the 18th wasn’t much cooler and we didn’t get great nights sleep.
We spent quite a bit of time discussing our water needs for the hike and turned in late because it was so uncomfortable. The 19th turned out to be a beautiful -break in the weather- day, clear, low humidity, and temperatures reaching 80, it was great. Unfortunately the sleeping accommodations had not been able to adjust as the outside changes occurred, it was warm sticky and noisy for most of the night. With three of us the van was out of the question but after this, we will think about using a tent.
We started the climb at around 8:30 and were at the peak at around 11:30, about 1 hour ahead of our schedule. Paul had two bouts with calf cramps but everything else went great. By the way Paul is a science teacher and couldn’t resist telling us about the flora and fauna during the hike, so we picked on him at every chance we got, along the way.
Especially on the way down, since we had heard enough by that time.
At the summit we met several people, one fellow who was backpacking, and several other day hikers.
Our climb was by way of the Ridge Trail, both up and down. After the climb down we were so far ahead of schedule that we made an unscheduled stop so we could swim in Chapel Pond before heading home. It is a great feeling to become familiar with a wonderful area such as this. I’m already looking forward to the next trip.

Since I mentioned the backpacker I should also mention that we’ve started thinking about the peaks that are beyond reach on a single day hike. I purchased a copy of “The Complete Walker III” and have begun to review its contents. Backpacking could begin in ’95 perhaps one trip, anyway.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3200 ft / 976 m
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Great conditions for a hike
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:3200 ft / 976 m
    Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Route:Ridge Trail
    Trailhead:1426 ft / 434 m
Descent Statistics

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