Hiking the Final Peak of the 12ster - Erebus Mountain
We saved this hike for last because we knew it was going to be a hike with no summit views and a bushwhack to the summit!
We started out out day on November 22nd, getting to the trailhead around 8:30 am. The trailhead for this hike is the same as the Sleeping Beauty hike. You start the hike with a steady ascent up the mountain for about .5 miles. It then flattens out a bit and you follow this until you reach a fork in the trail. This is the point where you go left towards Bumps pond and Erebus or right towards Sleeping Beauty summit.
We took the left and you continue your ascent up this portion of the trail. It's probably around .7 miles until you'll see Bumps Pond on your right hand side. You may have already seen this pond if you've done Sleeping Beauty as a loop hike - as it travels right next to this pond. The pond was lightly frozen on the top, we stopped and admired it for a brief moment and then continued on our journey.
At this point, you need to keep an eye out for the marker where you will veer off to the left to continue on your trek to Erebus. This marker is hand written and you'll see this path is a "horse path" that you will follow to the base of Erebus.
For 1.3 miles you will hike through the woods, ups and downs and some steeper sections of trail until you reach a marker on a tree that marks Erebus Mountain. If you are doing the 12ster challenge, you could simply walk right past this and continue on your loop and it will count towards your hike - or if you want more of a challenge, you can bushwhack to the true summit of Erebus. Which of course - we knew we wanted to do!
Luckily, someone went through and tied pink ribbons on trees to help hikers navigate this bushwhack trail to the summit - which was an AMAZING help. This trail is super narrow, super wooded and not clear as to where to go without the ribbons. It's also a climbing trail - I spent a good chunk of the ascent using my hands to help pull myself up the trail.
The summit is as you'd imagine, pretty lack luster. It is marked by a canteen and some rock cairns, but we were so excited to see this marking because it marked the 12th and final peak of the Lake George 12ster challenge. We cheered, had a split of prosecco, had some lunch and quickly began our descent as it was quite chilly (30s) when we stopped moving.
We ventured back down to the main trail and from here continued back on our path where we would loop around Fishbrook pond - I also highly recommend taking this route because this pond is a beautiful spot to relax and have some lunch or even just snap a photo! From the base of Erebus it is probably a 1.5 miles to the pond.
There are 2 leantos, one on either side of the pond, we stopped at both to soak in the views.
After Fishbrook pond, we continued back on our loop. It was about .8 miles from Fishbrook pond back to Bumps pond and the intersection where you can go to Sleeping Beauty summit or back to the trailhead.
We opted out of Sleeping Beauty and continued back to our car. We were back to our car right around 2:30 pm. I believe - without Sleeping Beauty the total mileage on this hike was right around 8 miles!
There you have it! 12/12, we completed another hiking challenge! The Lake George 12ster truly has a peak for everyone and offers some amazing trails and views of the lake. If you haven't yet, I highly recommend checking it out!