Sawteeth, Colvin & Blake


Topographic map courtesy of


July 2007


The jagged summit of Sawteeth, as seen from a lookout called Indian Head just to the north.

Leaving from the parking lot on Rt. 73 for the Ausable club, we hiked in via Lake road, then via Gill brook trail. We made camp just off AMR land, near Indian Head. The next day, we climbed up Indian Head, down to the Dam at the northern end of Lower Ausable Lake. This was necessary to reach the base of Sawteeth (35th highest, at 4100 feet). Taking a quick diversion to see beautiful Rainbow falls, we then ascended Sawteeth via the Weld trail, between Pyramid Peak and Sawteeth. The summit was smaller than expected, with no marker. The views of the southern great range was great. The rock slides of Basin, Saddleback, Gothics and Pyramid Peak were amazing to see so closely. Clearly visible was Mt. Marcy, behind Haystack, as well. After lunch atop Sawteeth, we descended via the “scenic” trail, down the teeth that give this mountain its’ name. The rain moved in, and added frustration, yet coolness to our tough descent. The views of Lower Ausable lake were nice at the many outlook points. Better yet, the small beach along the shore walk back to the Dam was so very inviting. We were very close to taking a swim in the dark waters, if it weren’t so cloudy and rainy.

The next day, we hiked south, up Mt. Colvin (39th highest, at 4057 feet). This hike up was very nice, because all the difficult steep parts were broken up perfectly by alternating flat sections. Colvin had a nice view of Lower Ausable Lake, the east side of the great range, and points north. There is also another cliff outlook point looking south and west, as you start heading toward Blake peak (43rd highest, at 3960 feet). The trail meanders easily along the ridge for some time, before a very steep and squishy descent down the black mud-laden trail to the valley between Colvin and Blake. This is a treacherous section, due simply to how slippery the trail was. Luckily, nobody fell!

The ascent up Blake was steep, but relatively short. Unfortunately, there was not marker at the wooded summit of Blake. We ate lunch among the stunted pine trees; sheltered from the wind. After lunch, it was time to turn around, and go back down Blake, up and over Colvin again, back to camp.

We had a fire that night, and filled up on crystal-clear water we filtered and purified from Gill brook. We had lots of rain during this trip, but the weather certainly could’ve been much worse, and much hotter. We even named our camp site, “Camp Sunshine”, rather sarcastically. We passed the time by either huddling under the two tarps we strung up for shelter, or playing “Guts”, a frisbee game in which you must not move as your opponent throws a frisbee at you, with intent to cause bodily harm. We had fun, despite the rain, and despite our aches and pains!





(Part of my Original 46er quest)