I thought about heading to the Catskills so I could get closer to that new years goal, but ultimately my desire to complete my 46 won out and I decided to head north. I spoke with my uncle for about a half hour to decide on which peak to conquer. My initial goal was Saddleback, Basin, and Haystack and it was requested that I wait until I wasn't hiking solo to complete those, as it can be quite challenging. And quite honestly, after Ragnar, my body is still tired and I only wanted to hike one mountain.
It was suggested that I knock off Sawteeth, since it is out on its own, it is often left behind. (although someone could definitely do Sawteeh, Gothics, etc but it would be a very long day) Also that the mountain didn't have anything super technical and could be summited alone safely.
Plus, now I'm motivated to finish all of the hikes that start from St. Huberts.
|ya'll are in luck - only selfie I'll torture you with. rock n roll.|
Because of a race in my neighborhood, I had to move by car by 6am, so for the first time I was on the road at the planned time. I made it up north and signed in by 8:30 on the nose. I had prepared for the long boring walk on Lake Dr so I popped in my headphones and started to enjoy Kasey Musgraves album. Within the first 3 songs a fellow hiker caught up to me and we started chatting, he too was heading to Sawteeth for his 45th peak. We ended up walking the 3 miles together at a good clip, trading trail stories. We reached the lake and actual trail at 9:30.
I decided to take the "non" scenic route (it as still beautiful but didn't have the offical name of being the scenic trail). I took a quick stop that overlooked Rainbow Falls to ditch my long sleeve and obviously take a few pictures.
From here, I kept walking up. The trail was a continuous incline, not as steep as Esther was, but not as switchback-y as Lower Wolf Jaw. It was cool, but humid and I was powering through water like a champion. My hiking pal and I had separated for the majority of the hike, but he was always within sight (in front of me, naturally) As we hit the final ascent, I caught up to him and we hiked the rest of the way together.
I'm not entirely sure what time we hit the summit, but I think it was about 11:15 or so. Roughly 3 hours since start time and 6+ miles. It has taken nearly this whole year of hiking, but I am finally at a pace that I consider acceptable!
We enjoyed a long lunch and chatting as we had the summit to ourselves. Unfortunately the clouds didn't break and I didn't see any of the alleged wonderful views. We snapped photos for each other and parted ways. I decided to take the same route down while he decided to check out the scenic route.
|high peak 27!|
The hike down was quite uneventful. A handful of people were still ascending and one man tried to teach me how to whistle. (the attention getting style with fingers) I practiced for a bit, but no luck yet.
|massive guy I moved to the side of the trail|
I made it back down to the Lake at 1:30, I had considered checking out rainbow falls, but had lost some motivation since I saw a handful of people going in that direction. I headed onward and out towards Lake Rd for the long walk to my car.
My feet had revolted against me on the road after Nippletop & Dial, so I came a bit more prepared, I packed my lightest pair of sneakers and switched into them about halfway through. It was amazing. It was worth carrying the extra weight to give my feet a break while trekking away on the road.
|ohh sneaker. best choice all day.|
I also popped back in my headphones and enjoyed some music to keep me busy while walking on the long boring road. It definitely helped and I think I'm ready to tackle lake road for a final time to complete Colvin & Blake in November.
Sawteeth Mountain - Rank 35th at 4100 Feet
Peak Number 27!
Elevation Climbed: 2,975
Miles: 14 miles (ish)