Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness 7/12/19-7/14/19
I do an ambitious trip to PLWA with two greenhorns, my wife and my sister. I needed never gone to PLWA but thought it would be a good place for newer hikers. I used to be wrong, and I used to be right, and vice versa . On thursday the 11th in Amsterdam We stayed at a hotel, driving from Buffalo.
Uneventful start, apart from a good bit of rainfall along the drive. We parked at the blue hill trailhead about 1030am; there is one other car there with a guy and his 2 dogs. Packs were adjusted Once, we were off. The trail meandered until we can to your first boggy pond.
We stopped to take a photo therefore starts the ASSAULT. The bugs throughout this trip resided up to everything I’ve ever read here and highpeaksforums. We made by soaking our clothes in Permethrin, as well as wear 40% deet cream, and experienced bug nets. This didnt stop them from biting thru my trekking underwear and slacks, shirts, and constantly hovering around our minds.
I had good occasions with insects, and occasions where I had been going mad. We were still in a position to enjoy other areas of the trail, including newts, many stream crossings, beaver dams, and hemlock forests. We surely got to crane pond and my first thought was thank god Im not keeping here as someone was owning a generator.
Good lord. Im viewing my wife, especially, laboring with her pack and I start to nervously look at my watch. We come to crab pond and I use the map and begin calculating miles; after deliberation, we decided getting to pharaoh lake from the connector trail at crab pond would be best.
Trails continued surprise me as I went. Where will be the severe origins and rocks? Wheres the mud with each one of these ponds? Whats with all these paper birch trees and shrubs blown down EVERYWHERE? In general, there is more blow down on the trail than i’m used to. We made it to pharaoh lake around 615 and were able to properly setup camp.
We saw one person at oxshoe earlier in the day and no one since. For the night We gather firewood to combat the bugs and settle in. We get going (too late for me personally) the next morning by 930am; goal for the day is to hike Pharaoh mountain. For those who havent hiked, the trail has a very distinct 3 levels coming from the lakeside. At first they have some moderate exercises of switchbacks; I see some familiarity with the stones and roots showing up. I hear lots of grumbling and sucking wind from my party.
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The trail gets into its 2nd level and starts to level out; I see light thru the trees and shrubs and we look like going around the hill; Im sense good and spirits are up. We are run into by 4-5 trail athletes with day hydration packs; I ask where we are with regards to the top.
Dude, you there are almost. Maybe 30 mins tops. With this great scouting, we are eager to get to the top. Well let me tell you, people operating down hill with nothing on their backs are not to be respected with mileage or time. We had a significant stretch still, and worse, I start to see cliff climbs and some technical stuff to do with full packs slightly. I spend all my energy keeping spirits and helping my wife to concentrate on digging deep up, drinking lots of water, and taking breaks.