I arrived at the Whitney Headquarters at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night, anxious about getting a site and the foreboding weather in the West. I hurriedly loaded the canoe with all of the stuff I had in the van and pushed off into the gathering gloom. As I rounded the first point, the full force of the headwind was realized. I was expected at site #10, about 4 miles west right up the wind, and the spine of the lake. I tried to find cover in the bays on the North shore, but there was little. It seamed best to stick my course directly up wind and paddle hard. In the past I spurned the use of a double blade paddle, but trouble with an elbow lead me to explore them as an option. I picked up a custom-made 9 wood and composite paddle from Camp Paddle Company that week, and boy was I glad to have it. The GPS unit was showing a constant speed of 2 mph into the wind so I pressed on.
Lightning! and a blast of stronger wind saw me running for cover on the windward side of the island that hosts site #7. I made a good landing, considering the circumstances, and took shelter under a tarp. As I was preparing to bivy for the night the storm abated, leaving only gentile rain on calm water. I packed up and re-launched. As I made better time, the sky cleared in the northwest, and I saw a great sunset. I arrived in camp with the last light and made a quick camp under my tarp. I was tired, I ate some sausage and went to sleep.
The morning was overcast and the mosquitoes were fierce and many. I love my bug shirt. A quick breakfast in bed, and check of my gear, and I was off downwind to the put-in to pick up the rest of our party. Everyone was there early and when we were loaded, we headed up the wind again. This time we tried to find some relief on in the southern bays; none was had. After 30 min. we stopped for rest, water, and a snack and got to it again. We were in camp in time for lunch.
After lunch, the newcomers were set up, and we departed for Rock Pond, a tributary to LTL. We took a bearing off of the point to our west, and paddled straight to the mouth. Rocks Pond Outlet is a pleasant ride though a bog with a good channel and 2 campsites. We crossed a single beaver dam and paddled up to the one carry. The carry is less than 100 around a small rapid formed by a washed out road crossing. There is still one sluice pipe and all of the water flows through it. I looked like fun, so after the carry I shot through it! Caution, if you have a composite canoe, or care about your boat at all, do not do this. I did it again!
Rock pond was great, and we had it to ourselves. We passed several campsites on the large pond as a pair of nesting Osprey scolded us. After a pleasant lap around the lake, we returned via the same route and enjoyed various entrees wish a side of biting insects.
Sunday morning was nice and sunny. After a swim, and breakfast, we decided to get out of Little Tupper and stop at Raquette Lake inlet on the way home.
30 or so designated campsites, free, first come-first served. Back country rules in other places.
15 Min north of Long Lake. Left turn on Sabatis Rd. follow signs to the "Whitney Haedquarters."