The tenth highest mountain in the Adirondacks and one that offer the most challenging “climb” in that there are large fixed cables as well as ladders at strategic points on the mountain. I myself had a lovely 20m slide over bare rock one rainy day. So please use them as I do now.
The peak itself can best be described as the most dramatic in the Adirondacks after Marcy and Whiteface. There are at least five areas of open rock surrounding the peak giving it a somewhat alpine look. If it only had a pointy top them it could almost pass as a horn.
It has three distinct summit bumps along its summit ridge the highest being the last. There is also a very distinct cirque between it and the nearby Panther Peak.
There are also a number of great slide and slab climbs around it some even surpassing the YDS 4 range.
There are a number of great routes to the top of the peak all offer great a trip.
Supposedly it has a great view of the other mountains in the Adirondacks I would not know since all four time times I have been up it the weather has been poor.
Because it is more isolated than Marcy and Algonquin there are usually only a few people on top in good weather.
Gothics sits in the middle of the great range so it is accessible from either Adirondack Loj or Keen Valley. Parking is avaiable at both trail heads but the Keen Valley lot is small and fills up quickly.
There is a shuttle bus from Keen Valley airport that has been running over the past few years.
Other options include the parking lot on rt 73 or Roster Comb or an approach from the Ausable Lake side of Gothics.
Same as for all Adirondack mountians except
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.
When To Climb
Any season is good but can be a rough trip with heavy backpacks and in eary spring high water levels make the trials very wet and slippery. Some trails are also impassable during the spring.
Same as for all Adirondack mountians.
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)
John Brooks Lodge has a few spaces avaiable during the summer as well as meals, but don't count on getting in.
Adirondack loj also has avialble all year round but is usally always fully booked.
Whats in a Name
According to local folklore “Gothics” with is the triple crested arched peaks, slab sides and large areas of exposed rock conjured up thoughts a grand gothic cathedral to Frederic Perkins and Old Mountain Phelps as they sat looking at it from Mount Marcy one summer day in 1857. Recent evidence suggests that the name was used in a poem written by a minister as early as 1850.