Ascent of Todt Hill on 2013-03-30

Climber: Benjamin Schak

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, March 30, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Bus
Peak:Todt Hill
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:410 ft / 124 m

Ascent Trip Report

I have a thing that I try to climb a mountain from the elevation of its key col. In this case, that meant from the Atlantic Ocean.

The closest public beach to the summit is where Seaview Avenue comes out near the S.I. University Hospital. To get there, I took the R to 86th St. in Bay Ridge, then the S53 across the Verrazano, and then the S51 for about a mile down Fr. Capodanno Blvd. The pier and buildings there are closed, but nothing was blocking off the beach so I went down and dipped a toe in the Ocean. The weather was nice and the waves had a pleasant, so I had my lunch there on the beach.

Starting up Seaview towards the hill, many of the houses were still extremely damaged from Hurricane Sandy, and work was in progress at a few of them, even on a holiday weekend. Some seem unlikely to recover, and really ought to be torn down.

The walk up Seaview is a gentle and consistent upward slope. That changes once it becomes 4 Corners Road at Richmond Road. The first 1/4 mile or so is probably a ˜7% grade, and it's still a noticeable slope after that portion. After turning right on Todt Hill Road, the walk is somewhat unpleasant. THR is a narrow but busy road, with no sidewalk and a ton of litter. Some of the houses must have cost some money, but none are classy. I crossed back and forth several times to keep on the side with better clearance. If I'd been thinking, I would have cut through the neighborhood on Benedict Road instead.

Just north of the entrance to the St. Francis Center for Spirituality, there's a blocked-off access road to some kind of utility thing. Just north of that, is the path up to the communications tower. I went up that and walked around the tower. Aside from the cleared area just around the fence, it's brambly — don't wear shorts. By my best estimate, the highest points were south of the tower, on the other side of the utility access path that connects Foster Avenue and Merrick Avenue. I tramped around there for a while, and returned past the tower to THR.

To get back to the city, I kept walking up THR. A sidewalk appears fairly soon, and there's a view of the New Jersey port/industrial areas. it's not far to Victory Boulevard, where several buses go to the ferry terminal. Out the front of the bus, there's an unusual view of the skyline, with the new WTC and the Empire State Building seen head-on. The Ferry wasn't very crowded at all; I was one of the last on, but still got a great spot on the port (Liberty Island) side. Then, took the N back home, which had been diverted to the tunnel tracks.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:410 ft / 124 m
    Elevation Loss:165 ft / 50 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:410 ft / 124 m
    Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Route:Seaview Av, 4 Corners Rd, Todt Hill Rd, path
    Trailhead:Atlantic Ocean at FDR Beach, near Seaview Ave.  0 ft / 0 m
    Time Up:1 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:165 ft / 50 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.5 km
    Route:Todt Hill Rd, Slosson Ave
    Trailhead:Slosson Ave and Victory Blvd  245 ft / 74 m
    Time Down:15 Minutes

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