Ascent of White Knoll South on 2012-09-29

Climber: Richard Oestreicher

Date:Saturday, September 29, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:White Knoll South
    Elevation:2580 ft / 786 m

Ascent Trip Report

Previous chp'ers took a jeep track south (slightly west of the gated track to 2580) a bit from White Knoll Rd. and then bushwhacked from there (a difficult bushwhack even with the short drive in). I found that route more aggressively posted than it must have been in the past and abandoned that option. I also tried to bushwhack from the other point on the White Knoll and abandoned that because of the extremely thick thorn bushes. I hike a great deal in Pa. and this was not a surprise--often I just barrel through thorn bushes using my hiking poles a bit like machetes, but these were really evil (might be better when they die back in winter).

So I headed out onto the country roads looking for another option. South of the hp I found Swartz Hollow Rd. off Lehman Hollow Rd. A few hundred yards in an ATV track headed left towards my destination. I parked about 0.7 mi. (and 450 feet below) from the hp coordinates by GPS. The track headed a bit more northerly than the northwest I needed, but in about 2/3 of a mile of walking I gained a little elevation and narrowed the distance by about half. I then bushwhacked downhill to a stream and then back up to a road leaving me about 300 feet down and about a quarter mile from my destination but with a very steep and heavily overgrown slope in the way. The slope was crisscrossed by a variety of roads and ATV tracks. At least one of the roads looked well traveled--if someone can figure out where it starts they might find an easier route up. I use these tracks where I could and bushwhacked where I couldn't. The bushwhacking was difficult but not nearly as bad as the one I had abandoned from the north. Once on the ridge these tracks run very close to the hp. This proved to be a long arduous route of over 3 mi. round trip with over 700 feet elevation gain and considerable bushwhacking mixed in with a bit of trail and road walking. But if you find the thorn thickets on the other route difficult as I did, this is an alternative.

Northeast Area Trip Report:

From US 49 in Ulysses I turned successively on Main, Academy, Lehman Hollow, Downey, and White Knoll--several miles of generally good quality dirt roads but quite muddy today. Eventually this got me to the locked gate just off White Knoll Rd. about a half mile north of the hp. The road got me to within 0.15 miles of the hp coordinates. Apparently some previous visitors did not find this bushwhack particularly difficult. It probably depends on the time of year; I'd guess it's easier in the winter. But I found the brush extremely dense with thickly grown thorn bushes nearly everywhere. I had intended to bushwhack from this spot to the other county hp candidate on White Knoll about 0.6 mi. SW from this spot but abandoned that thought as I got quickly scratched up. Neither of the White Knoll chp candidates were pleasant hikes.

My statistics below include the abandoned bushwhack to the second point.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:715 ft / 217 m
    Total Elevation Loss:233 ft / 70 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.3 mi / 5.3 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:595 ft / 181 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 482 ft / 147 m; Extra: 113 ft / 34m
    Loss on way in:113 ft / 34 m
    Distance:1.9 mi / 3.1 km
    Start Trailhead:Swartz Hollow  2098 ft / 639 m
    Time:58 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:120 ft / 36 m
    Gain on way out:120 ft / 36 m
    Distance:1.4 mi / 2.2 km
    Time:45 Minutes

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