The Crooked Canes Journal


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Vanderwhacker Mt. Hike ~ Jun 16, 2016

Journal entry by Wanderer



Vanderwhacker Mt – a remote mountain with beautiful, panoramic views from atop its fire tower.  These views don’t come easy however, they must be earned.  For those of you who don’t know where Vanderwhacker Mt is just do a search of “nowhere” in your vehicle’s navigator and head for the middle of it – that will get you close.

The weather forecast for the Newcomb area called for partly to mostly cloudy skies but once our hike began we were treated to blue skies and bright sun for the entire day.  Our eleven hikers were ready to go after finally reaching the trailhead.  It is a little over an hour-long drive from the WCMC to the turnoff from 28N on to Moose Pond Club Rd., then a 2.5 mile ride on a single lane graveled road to the parking area just big enough for 3-4 cars.  About two-thirds of the way on the gravel road we were treated to a rare sight – a whitetail deer fawn was curled up in the middle of a plank bridge, sunning itself.  Despite an effort to get to my camera it took off - startling a nearby camper who had been watching it.

The trail is completely a wood’s walk.  The first mile is relatively flat, gaining only 500’ – lulling you into thinking that this is how the hike to the top will be.  We follow a brook for a portion of the way, pass by a couple of wetlands created by ambitious beavers in the past but now appearing deserted, until we reach the abandoned fire observer’s cabin.  Despite being in disrepair Kurt checked it out thoroughly for a possible sleep-over with Diane in the fall.  It comes equipped with a Coleman camp stove, a refrigerator, cot and a wood stove – I guess Diane will have to think of a way to supply the electric to power the fridge.  After a brief stop to reapply some bug repellent (the deer flies were hungry but no other bugs) we began the real climb!

From the cabin it is a steady, moderately steep climb almost the entire remaining 1.5 miles to the tower, flattening out a little closer to the top, gaining 1,200’.  Vanderwhacker is not known for its wildflowers but to our surprise there was a rather large patch of clintonias in full bloom in one of the sunny areas.  Reaching the base of the fire tower still doesn’t reward your efforts.  There is a small overlook area on the north side that allows a stunning view of the High Peaks but you must climb the tower to enjoy the 360 degree, spectacular view.  From the tower’s cab the view north is dominated by the highest peaks of the Adirondacks – Algonquin, Colden, Marcy and Colden with views of Giant Mt and the Dix Range slightly NE.  To the west you see Goodnow Flow and the Essex Chain Lakes, as well as Blue Mountain, and Snowy Mt to the SW.  Moxham Mt can be seen due south and many more, unidentified peaks on the horizon.

You never spend enough time on top of a mountain but it is a long journey back to the WCMC so once again we begin another descent.  The hike down is much easier than on the way up and we make good time.  Some of us had to go directly back but a few had time to stop at the Stewart’s at exit 25 – a great day to be hiking for sure!

Peter

6/20/16 - Wanderer . added 15 photos.

8/10/16 - Wanderer . added 1 photo.

15 photos



The Crew - added by Wanderer



Abandoned beaver pond - added by Wanderer



Trailside wetland - added by Wanderer



So how do you like our new camp Diane? (our first visitors Paula and Ed) - added by Wanderer



I told you it had a fridge .... - added by Wanderer



.... and an outhouse too! - added by Wanderer



A trail with stairs - added by Wanderer



View of the High Peaks from the fire tower cab - L to R - Algonquin, Colden and Marcy dominating - added by Wanderer



View looking west/southwest from the cab - Goodnow Flow (off center), Essex Chain Lakes (far left) with Blue Mt above. (Black flies added for perspective - not a dirty lens) - added by Wanderer



New growth on a spruce tree - added by Wanderer



Just relaxin - Barbara, Scott, Kurt and Denis #3 - added by Wanderer



High Peaks from the overlook - you don't have to climb the tower for a great view! (darn those black flies) - added by Wanderer



Lunch is over - time to pack it up - added by Wanderer



Headed down - Shelly, Paula, Ed - added by Wanderer



Clintonia - added by Wanderer




Attendees:  Lori, Ed, Paula (newcomer), Kurt, Barbara, Denis, Katie, Linda P, Scott, Shelly, Peter

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