Scarface for me started out to be a trail run, just to see how far I could get before the slopes overtook my legs. I remember from a few years ago that the lower portion of the trail is in excellent condition for running, so why not at least give it a go.
I started very late in the day, possibly later than one should have for most hikes in the region, but I had my headlamp just in case I ran a bit behind. As I remembered, the initial portion of trail was fantastic as it weaved through the tall evergreens. A nice light uphill gave me a nice warm up to get the heart pumping and the legs loosened up and before I knew it I was at the bridge over Ray Brook. I took a couple minutes to take in the scenery and look for any fish that might decide to swim by.
Once past the bridge I was very pleased with the condition of the trail. It seemed very soft with a nice coating of pine needles and very few wet issues. My movement through here was very fast, which was good, because I knew it wouldn’t last. Once I reached the steeper portions of the trail, the settings not only got a bit more on the vertical side but also the footing was much less favorable. I soon reduced my run to fast hike which helped me keep up an excellent pace.
Once I got down and dirty and on the flanks of Scarface I actually slowed up even more to enjoy the climb and the bit of scrambling on the super steep sections – not satisfactory for a high speed pursuit anyhow. Then I started to enjoy the views out through the trees and the High Peaks in background.
Once atop the first bump, which when I first climbed this mountain assumed it was the summit, I was feeling pretty good, but I knew I had to work my way along the ridge and a narrow path to the true summit. I made quick and easy work of this short section and found the trail disk on the summit tree.
A quick glance at my watch made me realize I might need that headlamp after-all if I don’t high-tail it back to the trailhead. I must have taken too much time at the views and along the steeps. I was now in full trail run mode and made excellent time back to the high shelves that would require me to downshift a bit. Being by myself as well, I didn’t want to make a wrong move and have to be one of those hikers in the paper that needed to be rescued. I was conservative where the footing was not and efficient where I could be. Finally I made it off the steep slopes and back onto the mellow trail and then the bridge. At the bridge I spent some time looking at the orange colors of the processing sunset.
After a few pictures I was sprinting back to the car to beat the dark. At that point I had a vision of me, a beer and Johnny’s Pizza in Lake Placid to do negative effects on the excellent exercise I just did. Oh the vicious circle!