Ascent to Haystack Mountain-Dam, after heavy rains on 2017-07-01

Climber: Alan Bangel

Others in Party:Matt Bangel
Alan Bangel -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Saturday, July 1, 2017
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Haystack Mountain - Dam, after heavy rains
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:1969 ft / 600 m
    Remaining Elevation:905 ft / 275 m (59% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

Third day out and another rainy one. The climb of Ampersand, the day before, had so much water that our gear was completely soaked, there was no break that would help dry things out. We were undaunted, squishy boots and all. Instead of doing both McKenzie and Haystack on a single day we decided to do just Haystack a 3.3 (6.6 RT) mile trip, and save McKenzie for a different trail from Whiteface Inn 3.5 (7.0 RT). The hike in was very slow with lots of pooling water, mud and high humidity.We were in good spirits until we reached the 2.6 mile point. A dam, basically in the middle of nowhere, and a fast moving stream which we had been following.
The stream at the Dam was dangerously high we looked up-stream for an area to cross and then down-stream. Nothing looked safe and we were not interested in a long bushwhack to search for a more hospitable area. I decided that the smart thing to do was to turn around and make another attempt on a better day. We had experienced rain for the last three days and heavy rains had made many stream crossings dangerous. As we pondered, two trail runners came to the area, they searched up-stream and finally came back to us then they headed down-stream. Matt observed them being successful at a section below us. We looked it over again and decided it wasn't worth the risk. The female member of the two indicated that last week she had been at this same spot and the crossing was easy. It was a downer but not what it could have been if one of us had slipped.
On July 3rd, two days later, a swimmer was caught in a strong undertow and was killed at the Flume swimming hole. In 2014 two swimmers were killed at the same swimming hole, and at that time the water was not churning as it was on the 3rd.
The news report indicated that the normal average flow for the flume was 300 cubic feet per second, and the day of the drowning the water was running at 10,000 cubic ft. per second.
Higher on the mountain we might have been able to cross, that much smaller stream, on the 3rd. but on the 1st. we were better safe than sorry.
The hike out was uneventful, we were bummed knowing that Matt was going home the next day, but we were already making plans to knock off Baker Mountain before we headed to Albany.
5.62 miles 1345' - 1969' The summit of Haystack was 2864'so the last .7 miles would have a 900' gain. (another time.)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:624 ft / 190 m
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Calm, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:624 ft / 190 m
    Distance:5.6 mi / 9 km
    Start Trailhead:1345 ft / 409 m
Descent Statistics

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