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Ascent of Cherry Ridge on 2014-06-15

Climber: Ed Wandall

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, June 15, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cherry Ridge
    Location:USA-Pennsylvania
    Elevation:2460 ft / 749 m

Ascent Trip Report

There are several good reports of this hike on this page (Ben Lostrocco) and on CoHP.org (Mike Schwartz). There is no consensus as to the best way, but after my roundabout bushwhack, I tend to think that Ben Lostrocco's 'ridge' route is best.

I parked at the gate at the Opperman Pass (beware of porcupines)and found the manway 40 yards south of the gate. There was no tape marking it, but it was fairly obvious if you are looking right from the dirt road. I followed this path and was heartened to see white blazes every so often. This trail takes you on the south side of the east ridge of Cherry Ridge. I had hopes it was a peakbagger path, but as it crossed over the southern ridge and kept heading west, I decided to bushwhack straight up the southern ridge. After about 100 yards, I crossed another path heading east west, which I suspect connects to the path I just left (there were fresh mountain bike tracks on each. This path heads east, then north and connects with Ben's 'ridge path' though I didn't know that at the time. I did mark it on my GPS though. I kept bushwhacking north, then cut up toward the top. There is a lot of deadfall on top (hence none of the paths go up there). I spooked a Ruffled Grouse, and found a pair of trees that seemed to be the high point. My goal to get down was to bushwhack east until I hid the railroad grade trail, north of the east ridge. I quickly ran into what I believe to be Ben's ridge trail, which I followed southeast for a bit, then realized it was probably going to connect to the trail I marked on the south ridge. So I headed through the bush again, and hit the railroad grade trail at an intersection with an orange blaze trail. I took the orange blaze trail which follows the west edge of the swamp (on the topo), then cuts north and follows the east edge of the swamp. This took me a bit north of Opperman Pass, so I bushwhacked east back to my car. I then drove north to near the Wyoming/Luzerne county line and sure enough, there is a trailhead there. I think the best way is to find the northern trailhead of this ridge trail. It would avoid the bulk of the bushwhacking. I do have a gps track, if someone wants to check it out and use it to find a better way. Drop me an email.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:255 ft / 77 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Trailhead:Gate at Opperman Pass  2205 ft / 672 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Part of Trip: Cherry Ridge

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Ricketts Fire Tower2014-06-15175 ft / 53 m
2Ricketts Tower-North Ridge2014-06-15 
3Cherry Ridge2014-06-15255 ft / 78 m
Total Trip Gain: 430 ft / 131 m    Total Trip Loss: 255 ft / 78 m



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