This was my first true experience on a mountain of any size and proved to be a fantastic introduction.. and a great place to put into practice all that I had picked up playing in the La Cloche range in Killarney provincial park. The hike took my friend Adam and I about 2 hours and 20 minutes... the only people on that day who were quicker was a group of triathletes in training.
It was wonderful when the mountain finally came into out sights. Thoroughly enjoyed the view from the summit and had a fantastic 3 hour nap on some terrifically spongy moss. Great mountain... the mighty cloud splitter!
Van Hovenburg....the trail that never seems to end. This was my first non-White Mountain climb, and it didn't seem nearly as rugged. This was my brother's (see MacRaider4's log) first climb up a mountain, and really wasn't in very good shape. However, we plodded along at his pace, and we made it to the summit in about 6 hours. Since it was mid May, the summit was a little chilly, and we ate some half frozen Clif bars and Power bars and sat behind the summit "rock" which formed a wall blocking the 30-40 mph winds. The views were impressive, and being my brothers' first jaunt above treeline, he was having a good time even though he was in quite a bit of pain. Unfortunately, my waterproof boots didn't seem to be waterproof anymore, and some of the stream crossings proved to be rather annoying....particularly the last one on the descent before Marcy dam. Got my feet absolutely soaked after plunging both feet into the river, and had to walk the 2 1/2 miles back to the car with the freezing water sloshing around in my boots. The walking pace picked up a little at that point :).
Not a bad little mountain, although at nearly 15 miles, I'd probably rather hike another 3-5 miles and do a Presidential traverse in the Whites...
This was my first expirence climbing a mountain that reached above tree line. The climb started off easy as the tail to Marcy Damn is pretty flat and relatively nice scenery (though the bridges and boards kinds threw me for a loop, didn't expect them). 30 min or so past the damn we hit snow, it wasn't very deep, roughly 2 - 3 feet in some areas and was packed somewhat well. My brother didn't have too much trouble on the trail but it seemed to me like I was post holeing every 4 or 5 steps and it was getting very aggravating and tireing. When we finally got to the point where we could see the summit I was very tired but happy (I was getting to the point of wanting to turn around as my hip flexors were killing me due to the post holeing). We finally reached the summit 6 or 7 hours after we left and I finally had a chance to rest, and god did it feel good to sit down and enjoy my power bar. The hike down was more post holeing but went a lot faster though it did feel like it took forever.
I want to hit this one again, but this time in the summer when there is no snow. The 14 or so mile round trip in one day isn't too bad, good character building exercise...
we climbed it in two days, and spent the night at Indian Falls (when camping was still allowed there). Beautiful view, but crowded.