If Summitpost gave a prize for most longed after mountain to climb then Everest would win, if they gave one for the hardest to climb then Nanga Parbat would win, if they gave one to the climb the got you the most respect for other climbers then the N face or the Eiger would win, if they gave a prize for the most useless peak that is only climbed because it is on some arbitrary list made up by a bunch of guys 75 years ago then Blake baby! you would win!
It is the forty-third highest peak on the 46ers list and that is all that this miserable peak has going for it and even that is only a half measure. Like the other fallen sisters Cliff, Nye , and Couchaschraga this peak was lowed to below 4000 feet and now sits at about forty-fifth place in order of height.
It sits at a backwater of the park and the only reason why most people even climb it is because it sits quite near Colvin and if you have and hour to spare why not. This is also the normal route to this summit but be careful as it is tricky to find the summit since it is quite overgrown and if you do manage to stop at the summit unlike the bear you will not see the other side of the mountain. Perhaps if you are lucky you will see a bear looking for the other side but most likely you will just see trees and the occasional chipmunk.
The other route approaches from Elk Lake over a very steep but unrewarding climb of Pinnacle and then an equally uninspiring walk along a ridge to the summit of Blake.
If you are like me and enjoy suffering a lot, do not like meeting people along the way and enjoy wet conditions then this is the route to go. The hike in is quite a few miles over some very soggy ground and then up and over an equally soggy ridge and all this before one is even allowed to camp.
Hikers or climbers approaching any of the peaks that branch off the Lake Road should be aware of the parking restrictions in the area.
The designated hikers’ parking lot is just off rt. 73 opposite the parking lot for the Roaring Brook Trail. This spot is 3 mi. S of the High Peaks sign in Keen or 5.9 mi N of the junction of Rts. 9 nd 73. From here it is about 0.5 of a mile hike W along the gravel road and past the golf course to the start of the Lake Road and the trialhead.
There is room for about 30-40 cars but on busy weekends it does fill early and there is no parking allowed anywhere else in the area except at designated sites.
Please remember that for most of the approach to any of the peaks in this area is through the Adirondack Mountain Reserve which is private land please see the red tape section for further details.
Check out the post on Dial for directions to Elk Lake.
Apart form the normal restrictions for the Adirondacks the following applies;
Adirondack Mountain Reserve despite its name is not public land but a private club on which we hikers and climbers enjoy the privileged to cross. Over the years these rights have come and gone but fortunately in 1978 the State of New York bought the high land surrounding the Club and with it got a permanent public easements for foot travel over some of the trails on AMR land. However, as our part of the deal while on or within 100m of ARM land the following rules apply
1) No camping, fishing or hunting
2) No off-trail travel including rock climbing or bushwhacking along the shores of the Lower Ausable Lake.
3) No boating or swimming, including portable boats brought by the public
4) NO DOGS or other pets are permitted
There is also no dropping off of hikers at the club all non club members must begin their trip at a designated hikers' parking lot.
Rumor has it there is a gate troll who is very rough on hikers. My suggestion is to approach with caution, bearing a highly salted snack treat to appease it.
As of June 30th, 2001 all parties regardless of size in the Eastern Zone (High Peaks) of the Park must fill in and possess a self-issuing "trip ticket," which may be obtained at the trailhead. People have been fined and turned around for not having one and at the more popular trailheads the Ranger on duty will not let you pass without one. This can cause some delays in getting onto the trail.
Check out the Red tape section of the post on Dial for some more details on red tape at Elk Lake.
When To Climb
I guess in fall the leaves are great but that is about it.
Except as noted in the Red tape section the same rules as all the other Adirondack peaks apply.
1) No Camping above 4,000 feet
2) No camping withing 150 feet of a stream or other water source except at a designated campsite.
3) No soap or washing withing 150 feet of water
4) Pack it in Pack it out is the rule for garbage
5) Only dead and down wood can be used for fires and set in a proper fire pit. ( local etiquette is to use a stove and not a fire)
some good sites
Adirondack Hiking Portal
Whats in a name
The peak honours Mills Blake, Verplanck Colvin’s chief assistant during the Adirondack Survey and his close personal friend. The two worked and lived together for over forty-eight years until Colvin’s death in 1920. This is one of the more fitting names in the area as these partners in life and work now sit as partners in the mountains forevermore.
Funny that these two never married?