Buck Mountain

Posted on 20 Nov 2021 by Steve Markham

The Glenville and Schenectady YM decided to plan an overnight outing this weekend. Cabin camping at Wakpominee, followed by seven miles of hiking on Buck Mountain. We had a blast!

Whenever I camp with non-Markhams, I'm reminded how good a camper Kyle is
Whenever I camp with non-Markhams, I'm reminded how good a camper Kyle is

Kyle volunteered to plan all the food. He made a meal plan and a shopping list, and Janet and I did all the shopping. This vastly simplifies the logistics, compared with making assignments to people who are coming. We had chicken alfredo with mixed veggies and asian salad for dinner, pancakes, eggs, sausage, and bacon for breakfast, and sandwiches and snacks for lunch.

I decided not to sleep inside the cabin, partly because it was crowded and noisy, but mostly because I want to hit at least 45 nights, and sleeping outside meant I could definitely count it. It was also a good night to try a winter setup since I could bail into the cabin if I got too cold in the hammock. I stayed warm all night, which gives me hope that I can do a couple more trips this season if I want to.

We had three adults and nine YM on Friday night. They got along very well, cheerfully helped out with dinner, and stayed up playing games until 11pm when we made them go to bed. I was keeping dinner moving along, but I did nothing except light the stove and give directions, which I was happy about. It’s a very good group of boys.

We got up at 7am, and again the boys mostly did the cooking with some adult guidance on when to flip pancakes, what to do when stoves went out, etc. We left the cabin a little after 9 and got to the trailhead around 9:40. We lost one adult (had to go to training at a new job) and picked up two adults and two young men, for the 3.5 mile trip up to the summit of Buck.

I was the last one to get to the top in my group
I was the last one to get to the top in my group
Not pictured: David Decker, who I enjoyed a wonderful chat with all the way up
Not pictured: David Decker, who I enjoyed a wonderful chat with all the way up
Once the other group arrived, we took a few family photos; Deckers, Phillips, Markhams
Once the other group arrived, we took a few family photos; Deckers, Phillips, Markhams
I had most of these boys as 11yo scouts, but there were a few new hikers, too, and one move-in
I had most of these boys as 11yo scouts, but there were a few new hikers, too, and one move-in
I love Lake George
The Schenectady threesome snuck off to their own vista, and Jacob Weaver joined them since we were all riding home together
The Schenectady threesome snuck off to their own vista, and Jacob Weaver joined them since we were all riding home together
It was a beautiful day with great visibility
It was a beautiful day with great visibility
Lots of ice mushrooms
Lots of ice mushrooms
I remember having this thought the last time I hiked Buck (8-10 years ago), but the view from the first false summit is arguably better than the view from the top
I remember having this thought the last time I hiked Buck (8-10 years ago), but the view from the first false summit is arguably better than the view from the top

For future reference, the fast group took just about 1.5 hours to get to the top. I hiked down with Jay Phillips and a couple of hikers who were struggling a bit, and it took 2.5 hours to get down. Even though it feels like hiking down should go faster than hiking up, both groups took about the same amount of time each way (which is often the case, I have found).