Ascent of Rusk Mountain on 2015-12-05

Climber: Michael Stonek

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, December 5, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Rusk Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:3680 ft / 1121 m

Ascent Trip Report

I started at 10 AM from Spruceton Rd parking with the horse ramp. I decided to do the loop to Hunter Mtn counterclock-wise, since I find it more interesting than the other way around. It was a cool and crisp morning but considering it was just 2 weeks before winter, not too bad. No snow or ice on the ground, but I had my spikes in my pack, just in case.

I walked the road past the other 2 parking areas on Spruceton to the intersection with the red trail (Devil's Path) after 1 mile. There were some cars parked at the 2 spots I passed but there were room for more cars, so I could've taken mine there but, since I was doing a loop, it wouldn't have mattered.

I took the red trail going up; the ascent was mostly gradual. After another mile or so I reached the junction with the yellow trail to the left. I took it and kept going higher. The terrain was mostly dry leaves which covered to rocks underneath making it for an easy climb. After the lean-to, I continued on yellow. At that point, the first signs of winter started showing up, in the form of some hardened snow and some ice. I still didn't feel like I needed to put on my micro-spikes, but I was glad I was carrying them.

I made it to the top of Hunter Mnt and, after the mandatory climb to the fire tower, I quickly decided to continue. About 10-12 people were there and, together with one guy I encountered on my way up, those were the only people I saw all day.

Temps were gradually going up to close to 50' and with an abundance of sun. The ground was mostly hardened snow near the top and the warm weather was leaving several wet patches. The descent was mostly a breeze with the exception of some very small icy sections. The yellow trail intersected the blue (horse trail) on the way down. I took this one all the way down to 2,500 feet (from 4,040 ft at the fire tower; the parking lot was at about 2,100 ft). At that point, I could see Rusk Mtn just in front or me, slightly to my right, whereas the blue trail continued going down towards the left. I felt that that was a good point to get off the trail and start the bushwhack climb towards Rusk (3,680 elevation).

I stashed the hiking poles in my pack since I needed both my hands free to be able to maneuver through the bush. I found it a fairly laborious climb, but I could imagine it being much tougher just a few weeks before with more green vegetation. I found the canister fairly easily and, after taking a few selfies, I started the descent. This one was much easier than the climb, with very few pine trees and not many other obstacles like I had encountered on my way up. I intersected the blue trail at about 2,200 ft and took it for another mile or so to the car. It was 5 PM when I finished and it was already pitch dark. My car was the only one on the lot.

The final tally was 11.5 miles and 3,380 ft of elevation gain in 7 hours.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Part of Trip: Hunter-Rusk

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Hunter Mountain2015-12-05 
2Rusk Mountain2015-12-05 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Michael Stonek
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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

This page has been served 520 times since 2005-01-15.

Copyright © 1987-2020 by All Rights Reserved. Questions/Comments/Corrections? See the Contact Page Terms of Service