The IdeaMy family lives in Connecticut, one of the states where growing up as a climber is hard. The only mountains here are packed with visitors everyday, and since they are owned by the state climbing is prohibited in the winter. To add on to it, I am the only one basically in my town who likes climbing other than my friend. We share a lot of the same interests and he is only 2 years older than me too so I look forward to climbing with him as we get older.
Anyways, my dad had just come out of "The Boot", or a nice big whatever you want to call which goes from his knee to his toes. He had gotten foot surgery so climbed was almost out of the question for him, but I thought other wise and persuaded him to go.
I told my dad that over the summer I wanted to climb all of the highest peaks in each state. He told me that it was possible but I would have to pitch in every other state peak we traveled (A very good deal in my opinion, although I barely get 100 dollars a year).
Our first summit would be Mount Greylock, MA.
The RideWe got all of our stuff ready in the morning and left at around 9 a.m. The forecast was rain and thunderstorms, but the weather outside was warm so we brought along sweatshirts just in case.
This was no normal ride. We went to the visitors center to find out how to get to the Thunderbolt Trail and then took off with our directions.
About 1/8 into your ride you hit a dirt road the brings you criss-crossing through the most scenic road you have ever seen. (Tip: If another car comes threw the opposite way, there's only a very small pull over spots. The are about the size of a grown man laying down. In other words; you're screwed.)
After getting out of that you hit a road that is pretty bumpy. It's about another 25 minutes of driving until you reach the trail head. (Tip: The street that you turn into is not named what you think it is. Turn in there or you'll end up driving another 5 minutes until you finally realize that your not on the right route.)
After turning on to the street keep going straight until you reach the very last lot. Make sure you take the right route; there are at least three of them there. The middle one is the one you want to take.
The HikeOnce we got on the trail, we noticed how many bugs there were. (Tip: Bring lots of bug spray... lots.) There is a stream nearby, so we knew we were on the right route. It always remained close by on the first part of the trail.
On the side of the trail I noticed a steep incline that leads straight down to the stream. I wouldn't try climbing it because the soil is loose and if you lose your grip you will defiantly break something if you fall. Of course it looked like of fun but it won't be when you fall.
We stayed on the nice groomed trail for I think about a half an hour. Then we hit out first kind of semi-steep section of the trail
After that we continued along the trail with lots of amazing scenery. Then we hit a steep incline. We started up it. At the top we hit a small resting place but continued on because we could see the sky darkening. We hit another steep section. We made it up in a pretty decent time considering my dad's ankle.
Next we walked about another 300 yards and then hit the auto road. It was still in the progress of being made, so we took our time and took two or three photos.
After about another 100 yards up a small rocky path we hit the Appalachian Trail and followed that path about another twenty yards to the memorial at the summit. I refused to summit on the path, so I took the liberty of jumping over it. I didn't want to feel that I had taken the equivalent of an auto road to the top.
We spent about 5 minutes at the summit. I looked down another path to see a cliff at the end of it, but my dad didn't want me to go any further because the grass was wet from the rain that was beginning to fall and he didn't want me slipping off the edge.
DescendingWe slipped on our sweatshirts and headed back down the trail. I should have brought some thin gloves because it cot pretty cold up there with all the rain.
The trail was just like a stream. We made it to the first steep section and began the hike down. It was bad against my dad's ankle and I slipped a few times because I was using flat-bottom Adidas tennis shoes. We made it down the steeper section of the trail in about 20 minutes, which was pretty good considering the weather
We made it down the path a lot faster than we did going up, which was about 1.5 hours from the summit. It was pouring by the time we reached our car.
I would defiantly recommend this hike to anyone. Anyone should be able to do it with a little physical ability and a good night sleep. It was lots of fun!