July 18: Day 15. Emily Proctor Shelter to Battell Shelter, 12 miles


DF: I found out today that our two shelter companions, Gappy and Bill Huber, are both 72. Wow. I hope I’m still able to be out here in twenty years. Bill is a local retired guy out for a few days. Gappy is from Montreal—he’s doing a southbound section.

Today was the sunniest day we’ve had. I feel like I haven’t really seen the sky for the last two weeks, because we’ve been in the woods. Last night’s shelter had a bit of a sunset view, and I even saw a few stars during the night. We were out in the open more today and in thinner woods, so it was unusually bright.

The trail was the usual. We had five peaks today, plus we’re most of the way up Mt. Abraham. We’ll do the last 0.8 miles, including hands and feet scrambles, first thing in the morning. The climbs, and the descents, are getting easier for both of us.

Near the end of the day, we had some great views. First, a section of rock outcrops with a view of Mt. Grant, which we’d just descended. A little further along were Sunset Ledges, with a spectacular view westward of the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain, and a scary view of our next target, Mt. Abraham.

We’re tenting way up high tonight, in a conifer forest, near the Battell Shelter. There’s a caretaker here for the summer, and it’s remarkably quiet for a Friday night. There’s one other guy tenting and one family in the shelter. Ultimate and her son, Eleven, started their hike the day before we did. Their husband/dad, Brad, drove up to meet them for the weekend. They’re going to be done this weekend, since Eleven has to go to summer camp.

 BC: Four peaks before lunch, then two long climbs after. 10 hours on the trail for twelve miles total. The climb from Lincoln Gap to Battell shelter was steep but turned out to be pretty easy. We had a great lunch stop at Cooley Glen Shelter, and got great views from Mt. Roosevelt and Mt. Grant.

Met Ultimate and her son, Eleven, at Battell – been following them for days and finally caught them. We’re camped in a tiny tent site behind the shelter.