Ascent of Balsam Mountain on 2018-01-02

Climber: Jake Campbell

Others in Party:Tim Kinetic
Date:Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Balsam Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:3600 ft / 1097 m

Ascent Trip Report

On 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
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Red Trail to Blue Trail
    Start Trailhead:McKenley Hollow Parking Area  
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Jake Campbell
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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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