Ascent of Rocky Peak Ridge on 1995-10-07

Climber: Alan Bangel

Others in Party:Matt Bangel (son)
Tobey Shelp (son's friend)
Date:Saturday, October 7, 1995
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Rocky Peak Ridge
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4390 ft / 1338 m

Ascent Trip Report

This is my eleventh hike report. (October 7th, 1995 hike (originally written on January 28 1996), this report entered February 21st 2010)

On October 7th, 1995 I planned to climb, and did. Jim Herbert was planning his hunting trip to the Adirondacks for the next weekend so he decided that he would skip this single peak hike. This time I took my son and a friend of his who happens to love any activity that takes place outdoors. Tobey Shelp is his name. My new approach to the hike involved going to sleep at 8:00PM and waking up at 1:00AM to make the drive up. Five to Six hours is what I normally sleep, but not so for the boys. It took us until almost 2:00 to get rolling and even with the back of the van set up for them to sleep, they didn’t, not until about an hour before we reached the trailhead. On the road trip up there were deer everywhere, at one point we counted as many as 20 on one small slope. Many of them were right down on the roadway shoulders so traveling quickly was out of the question. Rain was also part of the forecast and it started to come down about 1/2 hour before we reached our starting point. We did bring rain gear and I was not anticipating going home without finishing another peak. We planned to take the Ridge Trail up Giant and then over to Rocky Peak Ridge. Then on the return we would finish the trek up Giant to get that great view of Keene Valley. (Some of that was not to be.)
The weather had other ideas. It was cold, and wet the leaves were 90% down by this time. My son had an ingrown toenail and a fear of climbing over rock face. The last time I had climbed Giant it was a great trip. This one turned into a tough haul. Visibility varied but from the first outcropping along the trail that overlooks Rte 73 we could barely see the roadway and from that point on it just got worse. Distances of thirty and forty feet became nothing but haze. In some ways this was good because my son was unable to see some of the more precarious areas we were traveling but it also made it impossible to see what was about to come our way.
The kids were ravenous and ate during the entire trip, or at least that’s the way it seemed to me. The weather was nasty; they were ornery, tired and hurting. We did manage to make Rock Peak Ridge. I took several pictures to document the occasion. At a distance of 20 to 25 feet, the kids were standing in the mist, the wind so strong that my poncho was blowing at a right angle to my body when I unstrapped it so I could get a shot. After the picture we wandered over the trail past the summit but the wind and temp. was so inhospitable that the kids and I wanted to get into the protection of the trees. As we headed back the trail was very slippery and we finally saw other hikers (the first of that day).
When we reached the junction where the trail joins the Ridge Trail on Giant the kids were in no condition to complete the second peak. I tried to convince them that the worst was over and the distance was short, but they insisted that down was the only direction they wished to go. By this time the Ridge Trail was full of people. I was surprised to see the numbers on such a gloomy day; the trail really took a beating.
We got down to the van just before dark and headed over to McDonalds for something warm to eat and a chance to clean up. After the break we began the long trip home; again, without the aid of daylight. I do not recall if the boys were awake for any part of the return trip.
Driving 10 – 11 hours wasn’t easy, combining that with the hike made this something I was not going to try again, soon. But when you plan and look forward to doing something it’s tough to change your mind. It would be interesting to know how the boys remember that trip now that so many years have gone by.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3700 ft / 1128 m
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Drizzle, Cool, Very Windy, Low Clouds
20 -30 ft visability, miserable conditions.
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:3700 ft / 1128 m
    Trailhead:690 ft / 210 m
Descent Statistics

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