Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hadley Should Be Called "Not Too Hardley"

Hadley is listed as an "easy" family hike in many guide books, sure Hadley is a mere 2 miles, but it's steep. Vertically steep? No, actually not a single section of the trail can be categorized as a scramble., You never have to use your hands but it is constantly steep with an average 7% grade over the 2 miles.

Is it hard? Not at all, the footing is excellent for the most part on the ascent, but the descent can be a bit slippery in bad weather. Hadley is one of those deceptively more difficult peaks being  a 2600 foot peak that gains 1500 feet en route to the summit. Of course that can be said about many of the hikes in the northeast where trail heads can start out as low as sea level and climb as high as 6000ft.

Caney and I headed up to Hadley via route 9 by way of Wilton off the Northway, which much to my dismay is only 34 miles. Yes folks, Hadley is closer than Glens Falls, which means I was driving excessively far to get there. Probably 10 more miles going through Glens Falls. Going to short route sometimes takes longer, but aside from the annoying speed zones, it was actually a fast drive.

We got on the trail at 7pm sharp and hauled up the summit in some rain showers, I was hoping the weather would be much like it had been all week a mix of nasty storms and clearing blue skies. Great rainbow weather, and great weather potential for a great sunset. We did the 2 miles and 1500ft in 50 minutes.

Under the summer tree canopy unless the rain is constant and hard you really don't tend to get very wet. When we reached the summit at 7:50pm it had mostly stopped raining, and was just very lightly drizzling. I pulled my camera gear out of my LowePro Primus AW, which several months after buying it remains the best photo bag I have ever owned.

I set up my panoramic head, leveled everything and set my K10D to f/9 at 1/4th second, ISO 100, using a cable release and 2 second MLU. The resulting image is about 65MP at full size, from eight 10MP images.

We retreated off the summit after watching the beautiful lightening show in the distance, that eventually was overhead striking the fire tower (luckily we were already off the summit). The hike down took slightly longer than the trip up, and was a lot more wet.

Despite the weather it was a beautiful day in the mountains.

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