Mount Jo, Trail #77, High Peaks Region, Adirondack Mountains
Mt. Jo (2876 ft) is not one of the 46 “high peaks” but the trail is certainly a fun one to climb. It starts innocently enough close to the Adirondack Loj and Heart Lake. Two routes to the peak are well maintained. The short route rises about 700 feet in a bit over a mile of hiking distance (1.8km) while the longer trail features a more gradual climb of about 1.3 miles (2.1km).
October 12, 2006 – I chose the short route which heads up through a field of boulders and offered an interesting challenge especially since it was approaching dusk and a drizzle was falling and the temperature was hovering around zero at the summit.
An early glimpse of the boulder field yet to come.
Difficult to show the change in elevation but the trail at this point had definitely begun to tilt upward and the boulders were slippery so I tried to step around them and not on them.
Many of the trails in the mountain areas of the NE USA feature sections where one must climb through granite boulders left behind when glaciers retreated from the area many, many years ago.
Boulders, boulders, and more boulders.
Although the leaves did not present much of a problem on the way up, they certainly added to the danger on the way back down as the rain intensified and temperatures hovered around freezing making everything super slippery.
Most of the trail is in hardwood forest but does shift to conifers near the summit.
On the first time up the trail this is about the most that I saw of the surrounding mountain peaks as the weather was closing in quite quickly.
Looking back down on Heart Lake, about 700 feet or so below.
The rain was coming down quite heavily by the time that I reached the summit so I didn’t stay there too long. The view was for the most part basic grey in all directions with just a glimpse of a the surrounding peaks every so often.
Not too many other climbers in this sort of weather but I was passed by this climber who waited at the summit to make sure I made it. We headed back down together but she soon disappeared from sight. As well as moving up and down mountains faster than I do, she told me she is a sketcher and painter specializing in bob sled events and hoped to be doing so at the next Winter Olympics.
The climber I met at the summit soon disappeared into the rain and mist once we had navigated off the steeper sections of the trail.
Heart Lake in the Adirondacks. Located at the base of Mt. Jo and next to the lakeside location of the ADK LOJ.
I was staying at the campground maintained by ADK at the base of the trail and was happy that I was off the mountain trail before dark considering that weather conditions continued to deteriorate.