Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

Corrected height in

feet, above tide.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Upper sta

tion.--Ba- Lower rom. cor- station.

rectid 1-50 60 feet
Hour.

for varia- above tide
tion of at Albany
cistern.
Att. Ba- Att. Ba-

Th.Trom. Th. (rom.
9 A. M. 72°29.91

901
8.40
71 29.39

588
5 P. M. 73 29.91
5.45
71 29.09

880
10.45 A. M. 71 (28.1272°29.94 1.546)
1.15 P. M. 75 28.86 75 1.117
4

69 28.57 73 29.93 1.375
15.50

67 27.93 72 2.012
16.20 A. M. 62 28.03 70 30.04 1 991)
8
64 27.45 71

2.592
9.45

69 28.01 73 30.02 2.026 12.30 P. M. 78 28.19 79 29.95 1.810 4

76 28.17| 78 1 826 14.20

76 28.11 77 1.8891 14.40 75 28.061 76 1.936)

[ocr errors]

Aug. 1.

[ocr errors]

66

[ocr errors]

66

K

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Lake Champlain is about ninety feet above tide water.

It appears from the above that the two principal | which borders the High Peak on the west. Some depressions in the section of country over which this beautifully opalescent specimens of the labradorite road passes, west of the Schroon valley, are in one were found in the bed of this stream. case two thousand and in the other eighteen hun.

HIGH VALLEY OF THE HUDSON. dred feel in elevation,

Another mile of our course brought us to a smallSECOND EXPEDITION TO THE MOUNTAINS.

er tributary from the north, which from the alluvial We left the settlement on the 3d of August, with character of the land near its entrance is called the five woodsmen as assistants, to take forward our pro- High Meadow fork. This portion of our route is in visions and other necessaries, and commenced our the centre of this mountain valley, and has the exascent to the higher region in a northeasterly direc- traordinary elevation of three thousand and seven tion, by the route on which we relurned last year. hundred feet above tide. We continued the same

We reached our old camp at Lake Cołden at 5 general course for another mile, with our route freP. M. where we prepared our quarters for the night. quently crossed by small falls and cascades, when The mountain peak which rises on the eastern side we emerged from the broader part of the valley and of this lake and separates it from the upper valley our course now became east-southeast and southeast, of the main stream of the Hudson, has received the with a steeper ascent and higher and more frequent name of Mount McMartin, in honor of one now de- falls in the stream. The declivity of the mountain ceased, who led the party of last year, and whose which encloses the valley on the north and that of spirit of enterprise and persevering labors contrib- the great peak, here approximate closely to each utod to establishing the settlement at the great Ore other, and the valley assumes more nearly the charBeds, as well as other improvements advantageous acter of a ravine or pass between two mountains, to this section of the state.

with an increasing ascent, and maintains ils course On the 4th, we once more resumed the ascent of for two or three miles, to the summit of the pass. the main stream, proceeding first in an easterly di. Having accomplished more than half the ascent of rection, and then to the southeast and south, over this pass we made our camp for the night, which falls and rapids, till we arrived at the head of the threatened to be uncommonly cold and caused our great Dyke Falls.

Calcedony was found by Prof. axemen to place in requisition some venerable speciEmmons near the foot of these falls. Continuing mens of the white birch which surrounded our enour course on a more gradual rise, we soon entered campment. upon unexplored ground, and about three miles from camp, arrived at the South Elbow, where the bed of the main stream changes to a northeasterly direc

A portion of the deep and narrow valley in which tion, at the point where it receives a tributary which we were now encamped, is occupied by a longitudi. enters from south-southwest. Following the former nal ridge consisting of boulders and other debris, the course, we had now fairly entered the High Valley materials, evidently, of a tremendous slide or avawhich separates Mount McMartin from the High lanche, which at some unknown period has descendPeak on the southeast, but so enveloped were we in ed from the mountain; the momentum of the mass the deep growth of forest, that no sight of the peaks in its descent having accumulated and pushed forcould be obtained. About a mile from the South ward the ridge, after the manner of the late slide at Elbow we found another tributary entering from Troy, beyond the centre of the valley or gorge into south-southenst, apparently from a mountain ravine which it is discharged. It appears indeed that the

local configuration of surface in these mountain val. * Four hundred and ninety eight feet above Lake Champlain. leys, except where the rock is in place, ought to be + Seven hundred and ninety feet above

do.

ascribed chiefly to such causes. It seems apparent Mean of the two sets of observations two thousand feet, also, that the Hudson, at the termination of its deRearly.

scent from the High Valley, once discharged itself

PHENOMENA OF MOUNTAIN SLIDES.

AU SABLE.

into Lake Colden, the latter extending southward at tangled in the zone of dwarfish pines and spruces, that period to the outlet of the Still Water, which has which with their numerous horizontal branches inbeen noticed in our account of the former exploration. terwoven with each other, surround the mountain at This portion of the ancient bed of the lake has not this elevation. These gradually decreased in height, only been filled, and the bed of the stream as well as till.we reached the open surface of the mountain, the remaining surface of the lake raised above the covered only with mosses and small alpine plants, former level, but a portion of the finer debris brought and at 10 A. M. the summit of the High Peak of down by the main stream, has flowed northwardly Essex was beneath our feet. into the present lake and filled all its southern por- The aspect of the morning was truly splendid and tions with a solid and extensive shoal, which is now delightful, and the air on the mountain-top was found fordable at a low stage of the water. The fall of to be cold and bracing. Around us lay scattered heavy slides from the mountains appears also to have in irregular profusion, mountain masses of various separated Avalanche lake from Lake Colden, of magnitudes and elevations, like to a vast sea of browhich it once formed a part, and so vast is the deposit ken and pointed billows. In the distance lay the from these slides as to have raised the former lake great valley or plain of the St. Lawrence, the shiabout eighty feet above the surface of the latter. In ning surface of Lake Champlain, and the extensive cases where these slides have been extensive, and mountain range of Vermont. The nearer portions rapid in their descent, large hillocks or protuberances of the scene were variegated with the white glare are formed in the valleys; and the denudation from of recent mountain slides as seen on the sides of above, together with the accumulation below, tends various peaks, and with the glistening of the beautigradually to diminish the extent and frequency of ful lakes which are so comnion throughout this retheir occurrence. But the slides still recur, and their gion. . To complete the scene, from one of the nearpathway may often be perceived in the glitter of the est settlements a vast voluine of smoke soon rose in naked rock, which is laid bare in their course from majestic splendor, froin a fire of sixty acres of forest the summit of the mountain toward its base, and these clearing, which had been prepared for the “burning,”, traces constitute one of the most striking features in and exhibiting in the vapor which it imbodied, a gorthe mountain scenery of this region.,

geous array of the prismatic colors, crowned with

the dazzling beams of the mid-day sun. MAIN SOURCE OF THE HUDSON.-FALL OF THE

The summit, as well as the mass of the mountain,

was found to consist entirely of the labradoritic rock, On the morning of the filth, we found that ice had which has been mentioned as constituting the rocks formed in exposed situations. At an early hour we of this region, and a few small specimens of hyper. resumed our ascending course to the southeast, the sthene were also procured here. On some small destream rapidly diminishing and at length becoming posites of water, ice was found at noon, half an inch partially concealed under the grass-covered boulders. in thickness. The source of the Hudson, at tha At 8.40 A. M. we arrived at the head of the stream on head of the High Pass, bears N. 70° E. from the the summit of this elevated pass, which here forms a summit of this mountain, distant one and a quarter beautiful and open mountain meadow., with the ridgas miles, and the descent of the mountain is here more of the two adjacent mountains rising in an easy slope gradual than in any other direction. Before our defrom its sides. From this little meadow, which lies parture we had the unexpected satisfaction to discov. within the present limits of the town of Keene, the er, through a depression in the Green mountains, a main branch of the Hudson and a fork of the east branch range of distant mountains in nearly an east direction, of the Au Sable commence their descending course and situated apparently beyond the valley of the in opposite directions, for different and far distant Connecticut; but whether the range thus seen, be points of the Atlantic Ocean. The elevation of this the White mountains of New Hampshire, or that spot proves by our observations to be more than four portion of the range known as the mountains of Franthousand seven hundred feet above tide water; being conia, near the head of the Merrimack, does not fula more than nine hundred feet above the highest point ly appear. Our barometrical observations on this of the Catskill mountains, which have so long been summit show an elevation of five thousand four hunconsidered the highest in this state.

dred and sixty-seven feet. This exceeds by about The descent of the Au Sable from this point is six hundred feet, the elevation of the Whiteface most remarkable. In its comparative course to Lake mountain, as given by Prof. Emmons; and is more Champlain, which probably does not exceed forty than sixteen hundred and fifty feet above the highest miles, its fall is more than four thousand six hun-point of the Catskill mountains.* dred feet! This, according to our present knowledge,

WEAR OF THE RIVER BOULDERS. is more than twice the descent of the Mississippi proper, from its source to the ocean. Waterfalls The descent to our camp was accomplished by a of ihe most striking and magnificent character are more direct and far steeper route than that by which known to abound on the course of the stream. we had gained the summit, and our return to Lake

Colden afforded us no new objects of examination.

The boulders which forin the bed of the stream in Our ascent to the source of the Hudson had the upper Hudson, are often of great magnitude, but brought us to an elevated portion of the highest below the mountains, where we commenced our exmountain peak which was also a principal object ploration last year, the average size does not much of our exploration, and its ascent now promised to exceed that of the paving stones in our cities ;-50 be of easy accomplishment by proceeding along its ridge, in a W. S.W. direction. On emerging from the

* The High Peak of Essex is supposed to be visible from Bur. pass, however, we immediately found ourselves en- ! at Burlington being 9045° west.

lington, Vt., bearing S. 63° or 64° W. by compass; the variation

HIGH PEAK OF ESSEX.

GREAT TRAP DYKE.

great is the effect of the attrition to which these boul.

ASCENT OF MOUNT MCINTYRE. ders are subject in their gradual progress down the stream. Search has been made by the writer, among On the morning of the 8th, we commenced the asthe gravel from the bottom and shoals of the Hudson cent of Mount McIntyre through a sleep ravine, by near the head of tidewater, for the fragmentary remains which a small stream is discharged into Lake Colof the labradoritic rock, but hitherto without success. den. The entire ascent being comprised in little We

may hence infer that the whole amount of this more than a mile of horizontal distance, is necessarocky material, which, aided by the ice, and the power- rily difficult, and on reaching the lower border of the ful impulse of the annual freshets, finds its way down belt of dwarf forest, we found the principal peak rithe Hudson, a descent of from two thousand to four sing above us on our right, with its steep acclivity of thousand seven hundred feet, in a course of some- naked rock extending to our feet. Wishing to shortthing more than one hundred miles, is reduced by en our route, we here unwisely abandoned the remainthe combined effects of air, water, frost, and attrition, ing bed of the ravine, and sustaining ourselves by to an impalpable state, and becomes imperceptibly the slight inequalities of surface which have resulted deposited in the alluvium of the ver, or continuing from unequal decomposition, we succeeded in crossuspended, is transferred to the waters of the Atlantic. sing ihe apparently smooth face of the rock by an ob

lique ascent to the right, and once more obtained

footing in the woody cover of the mountain. But On the 7th of August we visited Avalanche lake, the continued steepness of the acclivity, and the and examined the great dyke of sienitic trap in Mount seemingly impervious growth of low evergreens on McMartin, which cuts through the entire mountain in this more sheltered side, where their horizontal and the direction from west-northwest to east-southeast. greatly elongated branches were most perplexingly This dyke is about eighty feet in width, and being in intermingled, greatly retarded our progress. Having part broken from its bed by the action of water and surmounted this region, we put forward with alacrity, ice, an open chasm is thus formed in the abrupt and and at 1 P. M. reached the summit. almost perpendicular face of the mountain. The The view which was here presented to us differs scene on entering this chasm is one of sublime gran- not greatly in its general features from that obtained deur, and its nearly vertical walls of rock, at some at the High Peak, and the weather, which now began points actually overhang the intruder, and seem to to threaten us with a storm, was less favorable to its ihreaten him with instant destruction. With care exhibition. A larger number of lakes were visible and exertion this dyke may be ascended, by means from this point, and among them the beautiful and of the irregularities of surface which the trap rock extensive group at the sources of the Saranac, which presents, and Prof. Emmons by this means accom- are known by the settlers as the “ Saranac Waters.” plished some twelve or fifteen hundred feet of the The view of the Still Water of the Hudson, lying elevation. His exertions were rewarded by some like a silver thread in the bottom of its deep and forfine specimens of hypersthene and of the opalescent est-green valley, was peculiarly interesting. The labradorite, which he here obtained. The summit opposite front of Mount McMartin exhibited the face of Mount McMartin is somewhat lower than those of the great dyke and its passage through the summit, of the two adjacent peaks, and is estimated at four near to its highest point, and nearly parallel to the whithousand nine hundred and fifty feet above tide. tened path of a slide which had recently descended

The distance from the outlet of Lake Colden to into Avalanche Lake. In a direction little south the opposite extremity of Avalanche Lake is estima- of west, the great vertical precipice of the Wallface ted at two and a quarter miles. The stream which mountain at the Notch, distinctly met our view. enters the latter at its northern extremity, from the Deeply below us on the northwest and north, lay the appearance of its valley, is supposed to be three valley of the west branch of the Au Sable, skirted fourths of a mile in length, and the fall of the outlet in the distance by the wooded plains which extend in its descent to Lake Colden is estimated, as we in the direction of Lake Placid and the Whiteface have seen, at eighty feet. The head waters of this mountain. fork of the Hudson are hence situated farther north Mount McIntyre is also intersected by dykes, than the more remote source of the Main Branch, which cross it at the lowest points of depression which we explored on the 4th and 5th, or perhaps between its several peaks, and the more rapid erosion than any other of the numerous tributaries of the and displacement of these dykes has apparently proHudson. The elevation of Avalanche Lake is be- duced the principal ravines in its sides. The highest tween two thousand nine hundred and three thousand of these peaks on which we now stood, is intersected feet above tide, being undoubtedly the highest lake by cracks and fissures in various directions, apparentin the United States, east of the Rocky Moun- ly caused by earthquakes. Large blocks of the same tains.

labradoritic rock as the mass of the mountain, lay The mountain which rises on the west side of scattered in various positions on the summit, which this lake and separates its valley from that of the afforded nearly the same growth of mosses and alAu Sable, is perhaps the largest of the group. Its pine plants as the higher peak visited on the 5th. ridge presents four successive peaks, of which the Our barometrical observations show a height of near most northern save one, is the highest, and is situa- five thousand two hundred feet, and this summit is ted immediately above the lake and opposite to Mt. probably the second in this region, in point of elevaMc Martin. It has received the name of Mt. McIn- tion. There are three other peaks lying in a westtyre, in honor of the late Controller of this state, to erly direction, and also three others lying eastward whose enterprise and munificence, this portion of the of ihe main source of the Hudson, which nearly ap. country is mainly indebted for the efficient measures proach to, if they do not exceed, five thousand feet which have been taken to promote its prosperity. in elevation, making of this class, including Mount

VISIT TO THE GREAT NOTCH.RETURN TO THE

SETTLEMENT.

McMartin, Whiteface, and the two peaks visited, ten | son, which is a fine sheet of water of two or three in all. Besides these mountains there are not less miles in length, with the high mountain of Santanoni than a dozen or twenty others that appear to equal rising from its borders, on the west and southwest. or exceed the highest elevation of the Catskill group. It is not many months since our woodsman, Cheney,

with no other means of offence than his axe and pistol, followed and killed a large panther, on the

western borders of this lake. Pursuing our course The descent of the mountain is very abrupt on along the eastern margin of the lake, we arrived at all sides, and our party took the route of a steep the settlement about 3 P. M., having been absent on ravine which leads into the valley of the Au Sable, our mountain excursion seven days. making our camp at nightfall near the foot of the mountain. The night was stormy, and the morning ELEVATION OF THE MOUNTAIN REGION. of the 9th opened upon us with a continued fall of rain, in which we resumed our march for the Notch, 'The following table of observations, as also the intending to return to the settlement by this route. preceding one, is calculated according to the formula After following the bed of the ravine till it joined given by Bowditch in his Navigator, except for the the Au Sable, we ascended the latter stream, and two principal mountain peaks, which are calculated before noon arrived at this extraordinary pass, which by the formula and tables of M. Oltmanns, as found has been described by the state geologists, and which in the appendix to the Geological Manual of De la excites the admiration of every beholder. Vast Beche, Philadelphia edition. For the points near blocks and fragments have in past ages fallen from lake Champlain, the height is deduced from the ob. the great precipice of the Wallface mountain on the servations made at the lake shore, instead of those one hand, and from the southwest extension of made at Albany, adding ninety feet for the height of Mount McIntyre on the other, into the bottom of this lake Champlain above tide. The barometrical obnatural gull

. Some of these blocks are set on end, servations made at Syracuse, N. Y., at the same of a height of more than seventy feet, in the moss- periods, by V. W. Smith, Esq., (with a well adjustcovered tops and crevices of which, large trees ed barometer, which has been compared with that have taken root, and now shoot their lofty stems and of the writer,) would give to the High Peak an elebranches high above the toppling foundation. The vation of five thousand five hundred and ten feet. north branch of the Hudson, which passes through The observations at Albany have been taken for the Lakes Henderson and Sanford, takes its rise in this lower station, because the latter place is less distant, pass, about five miles from McIntyre, and the ele- and more nearly on the same meridian. Perhaps vation of its source, as would appear from the ob- the mean of the two results may with propriety be servations taken by Prof. Emmons last year, is not adopted. In most of the other cases, the results defar from three thousand feet above cide.

duced froin the observations at Albany agree very Following the course of the valley, under a most nearly with the results obtained from the observacopious fall of rain, we descended to Lake Hender-Itions made at Syracuse.

Corrected height in

feet, above tide.

66

Upper sta

tion.--Ba- Lower
rom. cor- station.-

rect'd 1-50 60 feet
Date.
Place of observation.

Hour

for varia- above tide:
tion of cis- at Albany
tern.
All. B- Att. Ba-

Th. rom. T rom.
Aug. 3, Lake Colden outlet,

5.30

P. M. 70927 0 74 29.78 2.851
Aug. 4, Hudson River, above the Dyke Falls,

12.30 74 262 72 29.97 3.356
Do. in High Valley, E. of Mt. McMartin, 12.30 P. M. 72 26.37 73 29.96;3.711
Do. one third mile above camp, in the High

4.30. Pass,

52 25.66 72 29.97 4.344 Aug. 5, Head of the High Pass, source of the main branch

of the Hudson and a fork of the east branch of 8.40 A. M. 47 25 43 64 30.20 4.747

the Au Sable,
Summit of the High Peak of Essex, one and a

quarter miles S. 70° W. from the source of the 1 P. M. 47 24.83 69 30.24 5.467

Hudson,
Aug. 8, Summit of Mount McIntyre, between Lake Col-
den and West branch of the Au Sable,

11.30 P. M. 60 25.11 73 30.14 5.183
Ang. 12 Summit of Bald Peak,* on the west shore of

Lake Champlain, seven miles N. 29° W. from 11 A. M. 65 27.99
Crown Point,

2.065
Lake Champlain at Port Henry,

P. M. 75 0.02
Do. corrected as for 11 A. M.

73 130.03

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

BALD PEAK, AND VIEW OF LAKE CHAMPIAIN.

writer on our return to the lake. A good carriage ROUTES TO THE HEAD OF THE AUDSON.

road leads from East Moriah nearly to tho foot of

the peak, from whence the ascent by a footpath is Bald Peak is the principal eminence on the west-not difficult, and may be accomplished even by ern shore of lake Champlain, about seven miles N. ladies, without hazard. The summit commands a N. W. from Crown Point, and was ascended by the view of some of the principal peaks in the interior,

among which the High Peak is conspicuous, boar• 1974 feet above Lake Champlain.

ing N. 80° West, by compass. The prospect of

[merged small][ocr errors]

the prolonged basin of lake Champlain, which is thence to the Peak, the most interesting chain of obtained from this point, is well worth the trouble of waterfalls and mountain ravines that is to be found, the ascent, and is worthy the attention of tourists perhaps, in the United States, may be visited. At who can find it convenient to land either at Port Keene, Mr. Harvey Holt, an abia woodsman, who Henry or Westport.

was attached to our party, will cheerfully act as The source of the Hudson and the High Peak of guide and assistant; in reaching the mountain. From Essex, can be most conveniently reached from John- ihe valley which lies southward of the peak, and son's, at Clear Pond, by a course N. 20° W.; or by near to the head waters of the Boreas and Au Sable, landing at Westport, or Essex, and proceeding to may be obtained, it is said, some of the best mountthe nearest settlement in Keene. By landing at ain views which this region affords. But travellers in Port Kent, and ascending the course of the Au these wilds, must be provided with their own means Sable to the southeast part of Keene, and from of subsistence, while absent from the settlement

[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

3

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The above sketch must be considered only as an | by Prof. Bigelow, from barometrical observations approach to correctness of topography, and is based reduced by Prof. Farrar, at six thousand two hunin part upon the old survey lines, as found on the coun- dred and iwenty-five feet.* Prof. Bigelow adduces ty map; but the geographical position is approxima- the observations of Capt. Partridge, made several ted to Burr's Map of the State of New York, by years since, as giving an elevation of only six thoumeans of bearings from known objects on the bor- sand one hundred and three feet. But the writer is ders of Lake Champlain.

indebted to Dr. Barratt for a memorandum of obserMOUNTAINS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.

vations made by Capt. Partridge in August, 1821,

which gives the height of the principal peaks of the The only point cast of the Mississippi which is New Hampshire group, as follows:known to exceed this group of mountains in elevalion, is the highest summit of the White mountains

* New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery, Vol. V., in New Hampshire; the elevation of which is given p. 330.

Vol. V. 45 bis

« PreviousContinue »