Ascent of Wills Mountain on 2013-03-09

Climber: Richard Oestreicher

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, March 9, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Wills Mountain
    Elevation:2780 ft / 847 m

Ascent Trip Report

Mills Mt. sits in a large patch of Pa. State Game Lands (10,800+ acres). Maps show roads up and a road along the crest of the ridge, but access seems to be quite restricted (and the Pa. State Game lands web site is totally useless for finding route and access information). I scouted the marked public access on the east side last fall. The road ends at a locked gate at about 1800 feet and close to 6 mi. away by GPS, probably 15 mi round trip by foot. It's possible this gate is open during hunting season because I found a marked parking area on the ridge road about 2 mi. north of the hp. but I'm not sure I'd want to be there during deer season even with my bright orange vest.

This time I headed up Cove Rd. from the west side. Milligan Cove Rd. heads off Cove Rd. towards the peak but is aggressively marked "private road no trespassing." I stopped at one of the first houses to ask permission. The elderly owner explained that the signs are put up by the local homeowners assoc., and didn't see any problem with a hiker. He also noted that the road had been built by the WPA. I wonder what kind of political chicanery allowed a private homeowners assoc. to acquire rights to a road constructed by the Federal Government for public access.

I followed the road to the State Game Lands boundary (4wd a must! with mud and snow this time of year) where signs prohibit vehicle access and a large downed tree and berm reinforce the point. From there it was a 7 mi. round trip--about 1.5 mi. to the ridge rd. and another 2 mi. from there. Moderately deep snow (4-8 inches) made the walk much more tiring than it would be in spring or summer. Nice views to the east along the ridge, although some of that may be obscured when the leaves come out. Now I'm sitting in a motel room trying to figure out how to dry out my boots for tomorrow's adventures.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:920 ft / 280 m
    Total Elevation Loss:364 ft / 110 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:726 ft / 221 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 556 ft / 170 m; Extra: 170 ft / 51m
    Loss on way in:170 ft / 51 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:state game roads
    Start Trailhead:State game boundary off Milligan Cove Rd.  2224 ft / 677 m
    Time:1 Hours 47 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:194 ft / 59 m
    Gain on way out:194 ft / 59 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Time:1 Hours 20 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Richard Oestreicher
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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