Done: Giant of the Valley

Me from Giant Summit

Me from Giant Summit

Giant didn’t go quite as planned –  but that didn’t diminish from a great hike (and day). If you read my previous posting you would see that I had planned on hiking via the Peak Trail but I ended up doing Roaring Brook. Wasn’t intentional, more that after getting up before dawn I was a bit on auto-pilot after the 2 hr drive and pulled into the trail-head that I recognized from my childhood, Roaring Brook. I didn’t realize until after I got settled and ready to the hit the trail, but wasn’t worth it to me to get back on the road. Oh well.

I have to hand it to the folks that maintain the trails at Giant, other then a few tricky parts (and the scrambles) the trail is very well maintained. I made great pace and reached the summit in 2.5 hours. I was tempted to continue the 1.2 miles to Rocky Ridge, but while it is only 1.2 miles from Giant it was harder than it sounded (or conversely hiking down the east ridge trail putting me out on NY 9 but I had zero desire to hitch a ride back to Giant’s trailhead). Rocky Ridge will have to wait for another day.

It was overcast, but beautiful day. Not a drop of rain (though it had called for some by noon). The pictures don’t do it justice, my camera is great for a small compact, point and shoot, but overcast days really call for something of higher quality to be able to capture the colors of the mountains (fantastic blue haze) without having it be too dark (or washed out). 

Most of Giant has excellent footing and moderate switchbacks with flatter sections in between. And you can’t miss the namesake of the trail, Roaring Brook, that you cross and hear in the distance (until about 1.4). There are a couple of steeper sections but most notable for me was all the scrambles, much longer (and in some cases steeper) than I’m used to. The large boulder just before the summit was one those “you’ve got to be kidding me” moments. Being not quite 5’4″, it wasn’t my most graceful moment…

At the summit, made me very thankful for bringing a long sleeved shirt. The wind had some serious legs. Loved how large Giant’s summit is, and found a ledge away from the crowd, though I’m sure my friends who have a fear of heights wouldn’t of loved the spot. It was made for dangling your legs off the edge soaking in the moment.

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Going down took almost as long going up. I’m pretty slow on scrambles or anything that requires some footing thought. I broke my elbow from a very light fall out cross country skiing earlier this year, and have found myself being more cautions every since. Hopefully, with time that’ll improve. 

While hiking down, I made a quick side trip to the top of Roaring Brook Falls. Even slowly made my way to the very edge to look down and had the place to my self. Yep, it’s really high.

After Giant, grabbed a sandwich, a cider donut (ok a few) and a beer. Enjoyed a nice little picnic next to the Ausable River (if it had been warmer I would of loved a swim). It was a perfect ending.

Completed 9/07/2013, 3.6 Miles to summit (7.2 Total), Ascent 3375, Elevation 4627, order of height 12. Hike Time: 6 hours

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