Hadley Mountain

The view northwest from just south of the true summit of Hadley Mountain.

I wrote last week about a rescue of an 80-year-old hiker on Mount Washington earlier this month after the elderly hiker was left to fend for himself by his family.

There are a lot of interesting tidbits of information in the article, such as the family's hiking itinerary in the Adirondacks and Vermont before Mount Washington, and the 80-year-old's fitness level.

Either way, as the state Fish & Game major opined, there was no excuse for leaving an elderly man behind without a cellphone, light or basic gear, even if you thought he was going back down the mountain, especially on a hairy mountain like Mount Washington. Call the trip off for the day, take him back down to the trailhead, and try again another day.

Unfortunately, as hiking has grown in popularity in recent years, there are more and more people on mountains around the Northeast making bad decisions.

My wife and I hiked Hadley Mountain this weekend, one we've done a bunch of times but always worth the short drive from home, and it seemed like this weather brought a lot of unprepared novices out of the woodwork.

We saw people with no water, people wearing jeans, people stopping to rest a few hundred yards up the mountain asking us how much farther they had to go. If you had a map and/or basic GPS application on a phone, both must-haves when heading into the forest preserve, you would know the answer to those questions.

Thankfully Hadley is one with a well-marked and worn trail, so it's really tough to get lost. But it's also wet with lots of big rocks, and if you don't know how to maneuver them, injury is a distinct possibility.

Despite going up this mountain a half-dozen or so times, we learned a neat fact from the friendly firetower steward on top of the mountain, that the firetower is not at the actual peak of Hadley. I had seen on maps that the peak looked to be north of the tower, and the steward steered us to a herd path to the peak, where there are some more nice views.

-- Don Lehman

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reporter - crimes & courts, public safety and Warren County government

Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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