Although a smaller summit, this mountain offers a several great opportunities for outdoors-minded folks. A STEEP short hike to a great summit with fine views of the distant High Peaks, Lake Champlain, and Mount Mansfield, VT (45 miles east). Also, the cliff bands (some in excess of 500' offer great opportunities for rock climbing in both summer and winter.
The hiking trail is only about 1.2 miles to the top, but the first .08 miles is steep offering an average grade approaching 35%. An added benifit is that this peak offers a open FiRETOWER at the summit that can be climbed for additional views.
For the rock climbers, there are several opportunities for near vertical assents of the east face of the mountain. This area has, and is, one of the more popular rock climbing venues in the Adirondacks. No matter when you plan to rock face this mountain (summer of winter), you will likely find others attacking the cliffs as well.
For the hike, a total of 1280" of ascent is acheived in the 1.1 mile hike, which offer a great conditioning hike for latter High Peaks.
The trailhead is located next to the Poke-o-moonshine State campground off Route NY 9. From the south, take the northway (Rt. I-87) exit 32 and drive north for approx. 9 miles to the campground. From the North, take exit 33 (off I-87) and follow NY 9 three miles south to the campground.
No special permits need to rock climb on this cliff. But as the cliffs are rated fairly high, seeking a professional guide is always suggested. For better information reguarding Rock Climbing go to:
ADK Sports Fitness
I know New York does occasionally close certain rock climbing routes due to Peregrine Falcon nesting. To find current closures for not only Poke-O-Moonsine but for the rest of the the High Peak region go to the following website;
New York State DEC climbing site closings
The same as for other Adirondack areas. The major regulations that apply to this mountain as follows.
* Except where marked by a "Camp Here" disk camping is prohibited within 150 feet of roads, trails, lakes, ponds, streams or other bodies of water.
* Groups of ten or more persons or stays of more than three days in one place require a permit from the New York State Forest Ranger responsible for the area.
* Do not use soap or wash, yourself, clothing or dishes within 150 ft of water.
* Drinking and cooking water should be boiled for 5 minutes, treated with purifying tablets or filtered through filtration device to prevent instances of giardia infection.
* Fires should be built in existing fire pits or fireplaces if provided. Use only dead and down wood for fires. Cutting standing trees is prohibited. Extinguish all fires with water and stir ashes until they are cold to the touch. Do not build fires in areas marked by a "No Fires" disk. Camp stoves are safer, more efficient and cleaner.
* Carry out what you carry in . Practice "leave no trace" camping and hiking.
* Keep your pet under control. Restrain it on a leash when others approach. Collect and bury droppings away from water, trails and camp sites. Keep your pet away from drinking water sources.
* Observe and enjoy wildlife and plants but leave them undisturbed.
* Removing plants, rocks, fossils or artifacts from state land without a permit is illegal.
* The storage of personal property on state land is prohibited.
for a complete list of all Adirondack High Peaks regulations, go to the following site;
New York State DEC page
When To Climb
This peak is popular in both winter and summer alike for both hiking and climbing. It does not matter when you choose to climb, you will find enjoyment in any season.
Obvious difficulties with any steeper slope apply during winter. As this hike is shorter, the difficulties tend to be less severe.
On the mountain itself, none is needed. The 2.2 mile round trip can be done in two hours. However, at the base, the state campground offers fine opportunites to base camp while you plan your adventure.
As this Mountain is relativly small, conditions tend not to be as severe as in the rest of the Adirondack High Peak area. That said, the Adirondack has some of the most changable weather known in the climbing world. sudden storms and frontal systems can drop temperatures as much as 40 degress in a matter of minutes, even in midsummer. Mid-winter, temperatures will get down to the -20 to -30 range with frightning regularity.
Appropriete measures need to be taken whether you are hiking or rock climbing.
How it got it's name.
Unfortunately the name has nothing to do with home made booze or a famous mime that Canadians of my generation remember from TV.
The name is actually a noble but poor attempt by early settlers to use the original Algonquin name for the peak "Pohqui Moosie" or in English “Broken and Smooth”. This name most likely refers to the smooth summit rocks and the large broken slabs on its SE side.
The peak sits near the one main pass thought the high peaks area and as such was one of the few that had a first nation name as it was an important to them as a crossroads and meeting place for trade between the differing tribes of the area.
Thanks goes to JScoles for providing this interesting tidbit.