Ascent of Balsam Mountain on 2018-01-02
|Others in Party:||Tim Kinetic|
|Date:||Tuesday, January 2, 2018|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Location:||USA-New York|
| Elevation:||3600 ft / 1097 m|
Ascent Trip ReportOn break and not allowed to hike solo in the winter with near zero temperatures (understandably), so I decided to go on a Hudson Valley Hikers (HVH) Meetup Group after work hike up Balsam Mountain. Started at the McKenley Hollow parking area, and it was pretty easy up until the lean-to. We also got greeted by the famous Balsam Mountain backyard barking dogs, who live in a nearby backyard and apparently bark at every single hiker that passes. After the lean-to, it got very steep, and with the rapid pace we were setting, I got very winded very quickly. Since we started at 4:30pm, it also got dark pretty quickly, and about half of the ascent and the entire descent was done totally in the dark with headlamps for guidance. After the steep part, it was a much milder uphill to the very unimpressive summit. There's apparently a viewpoint further along the trail, but we opted to skip that trip since it was cold and dark. On the descent, following the same route, we practically ran down the mountain, making phenomenal times and getting back to the car before 7:00pm, triggering the dogs' barking again on the downhill. After that, it was off to Brio's for Taco Tuesday with $2 tacos, which I would highly recommend. Overall, 4.6 miles with ~2000 feet of ascent and a record Catskills pace of 2.1 mph. Definitely a fun hike, and I'm looking forward to going on more HVH hikes in the future.
|Summary Total Data|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground|
| Gear Used:||Ski Poles|
| Weather:||Cold, Breezy, Clear|
| Route:||Red Trail to Blue Trail|
| Start Trailhead:||McKenley Hollow Parking Area |
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
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Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Jake Campbell
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