Ascent of Fir Mountain on 2020-08-22

Climber: Ed Kobos

Others in Party:None
Date:Saturday, August 22, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Fir Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:3620 ft / 1103 m

Ascent Trip Report

After lunch, I headed to FIR at 12:46. I took the herd path that looked the most active. My GPS indicated that it was 1.5 miles at 110 degrees. The HP was intermittent, so I decided to recheck my heading every 15 minutes. I must have lost the path a half dozen times, as the terrain descended into a shallow col. There were more ‘Fir’ trees, now, which blocked the GPS signal. When I could see a HP, it followed a ridge. As I got closer, to the summit, there appeared to be multiple HPs. The climbing was NOT difficult, but I spent a lot of time looking for the ‘correct’ HP, to the summit canister. I should have just followed the GPS heading. As I got close (.28 miles to go), my GPS lost contact with the satellites, due to the thick tree cover. HPs were all over the place. Some went nowhere. I just kept climbing on the last heading. I hit the actual summit of FIR at 2:17, about a 1.5-hour trip from Big Indian. The GPS elevation was 3592’. I signed the log and took a quick break. I entered the way point of the reentrant where I took my 1st break. It was 1.23 miles at 218 degrees. I headed down after 30 minutes. The terrain kind of forced me to go a certain way and there were a lot of HPs going down. I wasn’t sure which one to follow. I kept losing and reacquiring them for the next few minutes.
About 3:15 I was startled by noise in the woods, to my right. As I looked that way, I could see a black object running, close to the ground, away from me. It sure looked like a bear. I needed to evaluate what just happened and my course of action. After a few deep breaths, I checked my GPS and got new heading. I lost almost 500’, in the last half hour. At this time, there were no visible HPs. I continued down on the new heading. Then all of a sudden, I could hear the same rustling of leaves, above me to my right. I didn’t see anything, but I stopped, made myself as big as I could and roared. I heard, whatever it was, running away. I figures that since I must have startled the ‘bear’, earlier, it wanted to see what I was. That was the last time I hears that noise. I kept descending, and 15minutes later heard water running. Straight ahead of me was a large reentrant, with a pseudo trail on the rim. I followed this HP all the way back to the BLUE trail, just where I hoped to come out. The rest of the time on the trail was just easy walking.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Loss:1607 ft / 489 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.9 mi / 9.5 km
    Grade/Class:Class IV
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Stream Ford
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Nice Summer Day
Descent (To Destination) Statistics
    Loss on way in:94 ft / 28 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:Bushwhack to Fir
    Start Trailhead:Big Indian Summit  3714 ft / 1132 m
    Time:1 Hours 29 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1513 ft / 461 m
    Distance:3.9 mi / 6.3 km
    Route:Bushwhack to Reentrant on Blue Trail
    End Trailhead:Trail Head on Frost Valley Rd.  2107 ft / 642 m
    Time:2 Hours 16 Minutes

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