Category Archives: High Peaks

State to Sell Lake Tear of the Clouds – Enraging Environmentalists

Albany, NY – Deep in the new NYS budget is a back-room deal to sell 518 acres surrounding Lake Tear Lake of the Clouds, located on the south side of Mount Marcy, to a downstate company for $3.15 million dollars.  Acid Rain Recovery, Inc. intends to harvest the unique “tears” from the lake, which has a retail market value of over $1.885 billion dollars per year.

Governor Cuomo applauded the project saying it will “Create thousands of jobs while reducing hydrogen [from acid rain] in streams, ponds and rivers of Upstate New York”.  Environmentalists disagree and say the tears should remain forever wild.

Tears

President of Acid Rain Recovery, Noah Rondeau, explained that the tears found in Lake Tear of the Clouds are a special blend of hydrogen and oxygen in a two to one ratio.  Latest scientific studies have shown that this ratio can be beneficial in human biology.  Beyond use as artificial tears, it has been shown to be useful additive for dieting and as a recovery formula following exercise.

This unusually cold and drawn out past winter, including the media-hyped polar vortices, has increased the rate of tears found in the lake due to the effect of seasonal (winter) depression on the clouds (see SAD).  In everyday language, the clouds were cold and SAD, and thus cried more tears than usual.  Scientifically, colder weather increases the likelihood of the tear generation within clouds, particularly when the air temperature lowers to reach the dew-point.

Tear Rejuvenation Program

Rondeau also explained the impact of over 100 years of acid rain on Lake Tear of the Clouds.  Coupled with the cold winder, the lake’s tear population was frozen solid and in dire need of rejuvenation.  He suggests importing new tears from a nearby spring. He says the spring is close, but most do not believe that the spring is near enough.

Refresh Optive
Refresh Optive be re-branded as “Adirondack Mist”

The cost of tear rejuvenation program will be funded by pharmaceutical company Allergan.  Allergan in exchange will recycle the tears removed from the lake for use in their artificial tear eye drops re-branded as “Adirondack Mist” (formerly Refresh Optive).

The site was chosen because of its unique near alpine elevation (4,293 ft) at the head of the Hudson River.  Further, removal of the excess hydrogen ions from acid rain in the lake will purify the entire Hudson River to New York City.  The DEC suggests that New York City will begin drawing drinking water directly from the Hudson in approximately 5 months.

Part of the program include damming all other streams entering the Hudson River all the way to NYC and redirecting the dam water to New Jersey.  Scientist think the dam idea is stupid, but do not have a better dam idea to offer.

The Bottom Eating Acid

A worse-case scenario discussed by the DEC is the impact of the acid rain on the lake bottom.  Continued exposure to the unfiltered acid has resulted in the degradation and erosion of the lake bottom.  Continued erosion has caused politicians to fear the lake bottom will erode all the way to China, causing the newly dammed Hudson River to dry up.

To counteract the problem, the DEC is recommending that hikers visiting the lake carry a rock up the trail and throw it into the pond while making a wish.  Rocks are available for free at the trailhead for transport, but you must sign a waiver saying that you will share 50% of your wish with the state.  Millionaires will have a 110% tax.

Pile of Rocks
Pile of Rocks – The state purchased the special granite rocks at a cost of $3,000 per pound.

Other Thoughts

Hiking and camping will not be impacted by the deal, but hikers should bring tissues to prevent tear contamination in the lake.   The DEC has mentioned spontaneous crying is a serious environmental concern.

While normally the land deal would require a constitutional approval, Cuomo said the constitution does not apply to his ideas and issued a message of necessity, making the deal effective immediately.

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Have a happy [and hopefully not gullible] first of April.  All above references are in jest only.  If you enjoyed a bit of light hearted fun, please pass this along to your friends.  Click your favorite social platform below to share.

Porter Mountain

The second easiest High Peak.

Porter Mountain is the  38th highest peak at 4,059 feet, with a 2.2 mile trail and 1,940 feet elevation gain to an open summit with 360-degree panoramic views of other High Peaks.

Trail

Trailhead (2.8 miles to summit – 2,000′ elevation gain) The trailhead begins just north of Upper Cascade Lake on Route 73.  From the road, the trail dips briefly before starting the ascent to the summit.

Once the trail begins climbing, the trail consistently gains elevation the entire hike up.  Just before the summit of Cascade Mountain (0.2 before the summit) there is a trail junction.  The left trail heads to the summit of Cascade and right trail heads to Porter.  Keep right for Porter’s summit.

The trail dips down before the final push to Porter’s summit.  Porter’s summit is narrow and long.  There is not a single place with 360-degree panoramic views, but multiple overlooks that offer great views.

Return the same way.  Hiking Time: 2-3 hours due to the elevation gain.  Less if you are comfortable hiking at such a steep grade.

Cascade and Porter Mountain Map (west)
Cascade and Porter Mountain Map (Download PDF)

Other notes:

  • Consider taking the side trip to Cascade Mountain.  It is only an extra 0.4 miles, and you are already near 4,000 feet, so there is little elevation gain.
  • No camping or fires allowed above 4,000 feet.

See also

Trailhead Directions

From South: Take State Route 73 through Keene/Keene Valley towards Lake Placid.  Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes will be on your left near the summit of the four-mile uphill drive out of Keene.  Just past Upper Cascade Lake the trailhead is on your left.

From East/North East: Take 9N towards Keene, then head north on Route 73 (Keene) from  towards Lake Placid.  Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes will be on your left near the summit of the four-mile uphill drive out of Keene.  Just past Upper Cascade Lake the trailhead is on your left.

From West (Lake Placid):  Take Route 73 out of Lake Placid towards Keene.  You can follow signs for Mount Van Hoevenberg.  The trailhead is 1.3 miles after the main entrance to Mount Van Hoevenberg on the right.  If you reach Upper Cascade Lake you went too far.

GPS Address: Latitude: 44.218, Longitude: -73.887

Camping

No designated sites along the trail or on summit.  Create a legal site in the woods if you wish to spend the night (150 feet from trail and water).

Kids

The hike is reasonably long and steep, but has few difficult scrambles and cliffs.  Most active kids should make it to the top if taken slowly.

Pets

Bring them. It is a moderate hike with few cliffs and scrambles.  Please leash your dog for this one, particularly on a popular weekend day.  Expect to see other people and dogs.

What to bring

Water, lunch and a jacket for the summit.

Winter Concerns

The summit is very exposed.  Extra wind protection and crampons are suggested.

If you have anything to add, please leave it below.  Feel free to ask a question too.  Happy Journeys!

Cascade Mountain

The easiest of the high peaks – a great starter peak.

Cascade Mountain is the  36th highest peak at 4,098 feet, with a 2.2 mile trail and 1,940 feet elevation gain to an open summit with 360-degree panoramic views of other High Peaks.

Trail

Trailhead (2.2 miles to summit –1,940′ elevation gain) The trailhead begins just north of Upper Cascade Lake on Route 73.  From the road, the trail dips briefly before starting the ascent to the summit.

Once the trail begins climbing, the trail consistently gains elevation the entire hike up.  Just before the summit (0.2 before the summit) there is a trail junction, with a trail heading to the right for Porter Mountain.  Keep left for Cascade’s summit.

The final push to the summit is on exposed rock.  The summit was originally wooded but one of the massive fires of 1903 burned much of the area and the soil eroded away.

Return the same way.  Hiking Time: 2-3 hours due to the elevation gain.  Less if you are comfortable hiking at such a steep grade.

Cascade and Porter Mountain Map (west)
Cascade and Porter Mountain Map (Download PDF)

Other notes:

  • Consider taking the side trip to the less-visited Porter Mountain.  It is an extra 1.4 miles roundtrip, but you are already near 4,000 feet, so the elevation gain is much less.
  • No camping or fires allowed above 4,000 feet.

See also

Trailhead Directions

From South: Take State Route 73 through Keene/Keene Valley towards Lake Placid.  Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes will be on your left near the summit of the four-mile uphill drive out of Keene.  Just past Upper Cascade Lake the trailhead is on your left.

From East/North East: Take 9N towards Keene, then head north on Route 73 (Keene) from  towards Lake Placid.  Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes will be on your left near the summit of the four-mile uphill drive out of Keene.  Just past Upper Cascade Lake the trailhead is on your left.

From West (Lake Placid):  Take Route 73 out of Lake Placid towards Keene.  You can follow signs for Mount Van Hoevenberg.  The trailhead is 1.3 miles after the main entrance to Mount Van Hoevenberg on the right.  If you reach Upper Cascade Lake you went too far.

GPS Address: Latitude: 44.218, Longitude: -73.887

Camping

No designated sites along the trail or on summit.  Create a legal site in the woods if you wish to spend the night (150 feet from trail and water).

Kids

The hike is reasonably long and steep, but has few difficult scrambles and cliffs.  Most active kids should make it to the top if taken slowly.

Pets

Bring them. It is a moderate hike with few cliffs and scrambles.  Please leash your dog for this one, particularly on a popular weekend day.  Expect to see other people and dogs.

What to bring

Water, lunch and a jacket for the summit.

Winter Concerns

The summit is very exposed.  Extra wind protection and crampons are suggested.

If you have anything to add, please leave it below.  Feel free to ask a question too.  Happy Journeys!