Balsam Cap/Friday sept. 24

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

Balsam Cap/Friday sept. 24

New postby traprocker » Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:27 pm

Hiked up BC and Friday Mtn on Sept. 24 under blue skies and 70 degree temps. Some color change occurring on area mountains- about 10% with the very top of a ridge across from Friday at 100%. I used the mountaineer map as a guide, no gps. Ended up taking the “preferred route” to avoid the cabin, never saw it.

A few route finding things I’ll add is to follow the flat wood roads right when in doubt, it eventually ascends sharply left, quickly petering out at the top of the rise - take the faint herd path left, uphill. The path climbs into a mountainside rock garden, then an old skid path to a flat area and the BC heard path. The herd path is obvious all the way to BC although the path through the dense balsam forest near the BC summit is tricky. The path eventually leads directly to the BC viewpoint, then the canister beyond. It took me 2.5 hours to get the BC canister.

After resting and enjoying the view, I descended to the Friday herd path - it goes left where there is a massive birch tree, the biggest tree in the forest. The path up the cone is a bit tight and tangled but leads right to the canister. I reached the Friday canister in 40 minutes where there is a view of the Devils Range, courtesy of some recent blowdowns.

I ran into Jack R. ( #229, #63 winter) below Friday who has returned to these mountains after 20 years for a refresher, as he will be guiding a group of Kansas folks up soon.

Total hike time was 5 hr, 40 mins. Great hike!


BCAP mini.jpg
Fri to Bcap.JPG
friday.JPG
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Last edited by traprocker on Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:43 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Balsam Cap/Friday sept. 24

New postby kennykb » Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:36 pm

I'm envious. When I was up on BC, I did it from the west, because I'd done Lone and Rocky the day before. I ran into a field of blowdown that must have taken me two hours to get through. I realized I wasn't going to be able to bag Friday and get back to the Neversink before sundown, so just signed in on BC and turned around. I had an easier time of it on the way down. My mistake was that I went up too early from the creek that flows down into the Neversink from near the BC/Friday col.

Anyway, sounds as if you had a great hike! (And as if you hike faster than I do!)
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Re: Balsam Cap/Friday sept. 24

New postby mike » Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:26 pm

One thing about the Slide Wilderness is that you never know what kind of challenge you will encounter.
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Re: Balsam Cap/Friday sept. 24

New postby traprocker » Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:21 am

Kudos on the attempt from that side-- that is the real bushwack route. I have to venture over there and do the Lone/Rocky combo next. I'm sure there isn't an established path from the bottom so i better get a compass.
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Re: Balsam Cap/Friday sept. 24

New postby kennykb » Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:40 am

Lone is a lot harder than it looks, starting from Peekamoose/Table. There's a well defined herd path starting a little bit north of the saddle, but it peters out quickly and you're on a knife edge ridge. Cliffs on both sides and spruce in the middle.

Lone isn't too bad, though, from the fishermen's path. Get across Donovan Brook and climb the ridge. You run into two ledges at about 2900 feet that aren't too hard to scramble - look for rock chutes to the left. As soon as you're above them, you hit a herd path to the canister.

The herd path continues ahead to the NE, then turns hard right and makes a switchback down the cliff into the col between Lone and Rocky. I lost it there, though, and never found it again on the way up to Rocky. Just pushed through the brush the whole way, more or less following the ridge. There's no climbing from that direction, just a gradual slope, but the brush is pretty thick. The canister is on the side of the tree facing away from you. I'm convinced there has to be a path in there, because someone who signed the log ahead of me claimed to have run from Lone to Rocky in 37 minutes. But I never found it, in either direction.

The north side of Rocky is technical. I wouldn't do it without a top rope. Once you're up at the summit, you can see a herd path that I'm told goes all the way to BC. You can either take that path to the col, turn left and head down the drainage (I never tried) or go back to the Rocky/Lone col, turn right and follow the stream that starts from there. As I said, there doesn't seem to be a good path to follow that way, even starting close to the canister. I kind of strayed on the way back down onto the north side of the ridge, but just kept angling that way until I hit the stream and then followed it down. Eventually it gets too wet to rock hop. Both banks are really brushy.

Once you get to the Fishermen's Path, turn right and there's a little clearing where three or four trees have blown over, about 150 feet to the south and maybe 300 feet upstream of the little creek, that makes a fairly nice (if cramped) campsite for one or two tents. That's where I made my base camp for BC. It looked to me as if it's just far enough away from the streams to be lawful.

If you ever try BC from that direction, follow the fishermen's path to where the Neversink makes its turn and flows from the north, then cross and follow the stream running straight from the east. Follow its north bank as far as you can. The bank is steep, and you'll be scrambling sideways in spots, but if you go up along the rim of the canyon, you'll hit an unbelievable pile of blowdown - the sort where you can get take an hour to push a couple of hundred yards. Eventually the stream peters out, of course, but you can see the rock wall of BC from there. Work around it to the left, and you'll hit the herd path in the BC/Friday col.
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