Table-Lone-Rocky-Balsam Cap- (Some Friday) 11-14-13

Balsam Cap, Breath, Cornell, Cross, East Wildcat, Friday, Garfield, Giant Ledge, Hanover, Lone, Panther, Peekamoose, Pleasant, Rocky, Romer, Samuals Point, Slide, Table, Terrace, Van Wyck, Wittenberg, Wildcat, Woodhull

Table-Lone-Rocky-Balsam Cap- (Some Friday) 11-14-13

New postby Jon » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:15 am

So it was an epic adventure. So the plan was to tackle the craziest most remote trailess peaks, and to get out before freezing to death. I thought it we would be hiking at least 2 hours in the dark, but I was told that taking the fishermans path out would take longer, and we should just head right through to balsam cap.

Here is the route taken:
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We had a great turnout for a thursday! Proabably the largest group hike I've coordinated. I got 5 people from New Jersey and 2 people local to the Catskills. We met at Moonhaw road with 2 cars, and then drove around to the other side of Denning to start the hike up Table. (while on the way I was informed about going over peek first, which I never though of, but oh well...)

Singing in at Denning
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Bridge over the Neversink
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Table mountain comes into view
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Viewpoint on the 2nd hill before table
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Passing 3500 there was a light dusting of snow! (less than 1 inch)
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As we headed up further the snow got deeper. It was never deep enough to need traction gear however.
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Viewpoint near summit of Table
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The trail to the summit of Table
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This tree is about as tall as anything else on this mountain, so some of the group poses here for a snapshot
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After we reached the summit of Table mountain, the mood changed instantly. People were tired, but we were well ahead of schedule. I checked our coordinates and we were right about at the drop-off point. The trail started to head down toward peekamoose, so I backtracked us up about 100 feet. I put on my shatter proof lab goggles and headed right into the firs. There is just a small amount of really dense stuff by the trail, but then it opens up.

I poked around for a bit and found a semi-decent way down the top cliffs of table. Once you're past those as long as you stay on the spine of the main leg heading down toward the col to Lone it's easy going

here Julain scaled a monolith
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As we got between Table and Lone there were many very open and spaceous Balsam Fir forests.
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Canister at Lone Mountain Summit (shatterproof goggles are now a fashion statement on Bushwacks)
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We made it over to Lone incredibly fast. I knew that the forest just got thicker. We headed into the balsam firs and toward the col of Rocky.

heading down the slope of Lone
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I pulled my camera out for one shot inbetween Lone and Rocky, and this was it
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yah we just went right through that for about an hour....

Lunch at Rocky Summit about 1ish
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After eating for a bit on Rocky I realized we were in good time position to make a push through toward Balsam cap and not bailout toward the fisherman's path and back to denning. So we poked around for a bit and there are some pretty decent sized cliffs on the east side of Rocky.

Viewpoint of Southern hill south of Balsam Cap
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Finally toward the Northeast we found several ways down. Some of the people in the group were rock climbers, so I wouldn't follow them. However we found enough walkable paths to get to the col between balsam cap and Rocky

A firepit lies in the col
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This was great as it gave many people in the group hope that we were not going to perish, and that people actually do come here. Then we had to start climbing balsam cap. It looked worse than it was, there are only like 2 ledges to get by, and they're not very big, and you don't have to strafe very far to get around them... Other than that it was basically a walk to the top.

balsam cap canister
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After this we started the descent down Balsam Cap to the col between friday.

Here is a sleek viewpoint on Balsam cap I've never been to before! (also the last picture I took)
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After we passed this we stopped at those Whale Rocks, and waited while 3 of the group members ascended Friday and signed in there. After that 2 people went down to the bomber, and I guided everyone back down Friday to moonhaw rd...in the dark...with headlamps (and a full moon!). And we saw a bear! But I don't have any pictures, since it was dark and I was descending Friday snapshots were the last thing on my mind. It was the same old descent. Past the series of cliffs and hemlock groves, then down through the endless Beech forest, avoid the creepy cabin, then down the logging roads to the car.

We got back to the car by about 6ish, and headed back to NJ. Buffalo Wild wings for dinner, I had a cheeseburger.
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Re: Table-Lone-Rocky-Balsam Cap- (Some Friday) 11-14-13

New postby mike » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:46 pm

Great trail report. That is a great mega-hike. I have thought of doing this before, but have never done it.

I haven't seen the monolith rock either. I'll have to look out for it sometime.

How many miles do you think it was?

My foot has been bothering me so I haven't gotten out lately. So, it was good to read.
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Re: Table-Lone-Rocky-Balsam Cap- (Some Friday) 11-14-13

New postby kennykb » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:05 pm

Wow, looks like a cool trip! I'd have loved to have come along, but I didn't hear you were going, and last weekend would have been impossible anyway.

When I did Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide on Columbus Day weekend, I got passed by a half-dozen guys who were doing the nine peak loop. They were incredibly torn up. Everyone was bleeding. They were all saying that the little height of land between Friday and Cornell will just kill you with all the spruce.

I gotta find (or make!) more hiking partners. Solo bushwhacking is beyond my personal level of risk tolerance, and I've only got three of the 'trailless' peaks so far. (And two of them are Leavitt and KHP, which hardly count!)
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Re: Table-Lone-Rocky-Balsam Cap- (Some Friday) 11-14-13

New postby Jon » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:11 am

Mike thanks it was epic. Was ab 9 miles.

The monolith is on the slope going down into the col. I remember passing it the last time I did these too.

Kenny. Srry was an impromtu kinda thing. Crazy got so many ppl on a thursday.
I can take tours to the trailess. Tis the season
Are u going winter camping?
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Re: Table-Lone-Rocky-Balsam Cap- (Some Friday) 11-14-13

New postby kennykb » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:33 am

Winter camping? Yeah, I've already got plans to do 3 nights in Harriman Martin Luther King weekend - put in at Elk Pen, take out at Bear Mountain, wander in the park in the meantime. There's a big group planning to go - possibly big enough that we'll have to split up.

I'm not tooled up for hardcore winter mountaineering, but I can handle camping down to single digit temps and heading out to something I can manage on snowshoes or microspikes. I'd definitely need a refresher on ice axe technique before tackling anything that needs full crampons.
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Re: Table-Lone-Rocky-Balsam Cap- (Some Friday) 11-14-13

New postby mike » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:21 pm

Jon - Have wanted to do this route, but never had someone to do it with me. I'll have to look for the monolith again.

Kevin - Been a weird Fall. Everyone has been out doing something else. Should have a lot of hikes coming up soon. Plenty of other people to hike with too.
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Re: Table-Lone-Rocky-Balsam Cap- (Some Friday) 11-14-13

New postby kennykb » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:38 pm

mike - You're right about everyone being out doing something else, at least when I've been wanting to go!

Of course, I missed half the summer myself, with my wife being ill. But once I got going again, I wound up doing Indian Head, Twin, Wittenberg, Cornell, and Slide solo, WHP with just my daughter, and while I sort of did the Blackheads with Jon and his group, what that actually meant was that I passed them going down the east side of Black Dome while they were going up, and then meeting up with them that night at the Batavia Kill lean-to. I've never put in as much solo hiking as I have this year.
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