Sherrill - North Dome from rt 42

Balsam, Hunter, Leavitt Peak, North Dome, Sheridan, Sherrill

Sherrill - North Dome from rt 42

New postby Jon Dubs » Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:15 pm

First post, hope this adds some useful info to this great forum.

Haven't seen any recaps of this route, and particularly end of June. In hindsight I'm sure it's much, much easier to do this in winter to avoid the vegetation. After having done the 4 35'r bushwacks east of Peekamoose and thinking no other bushwacks could be as difficult, these 2 came close.

My friend and I started from Shaft Rd parking around 5:30pm, with the aim to reach the ledge with the great campsite at around 2700 described on this site. There is a great un-maintained path up the north side of the ridge just south of the stream between Balsam and Sherrill. We gladly followed this up to about 2700 then 'contoured' around to the south side of the ridge to find the ledge and our camp for the night. This gave us our first taste of bushwack conditions and wasn't too bad, only made tiring by the fact that we hiked Halcott earlier in the day. The ledge was decidedly less ideal for camp than in winter, as it was covered in stinging nettles and assorted other tangly low growth. We were able find a couple spots for sleeping pads and with perfect summer weather did enjoy unique views off the ledge into the forest and horizon beyond.

Leaving our packs for pick up on the return, we headed off at 7:30am to summit Sherrill, then North Dome and back. And wow, on the menu in order of decreasing difficulty were plenty of standing and blown-down beech thickets, tripping and whipping, thick patches of stinging nettles and hobblebush, tripping and stinging, impressive boulder fields and plenty of decaying leaf litter to challenge nearly every step. Encountering the few tall ledges was a relief from these things in terms of frustration but no less tiring. The east side of Sherrill offers a break from this due to its relative steepness, making for a fun scramble down (and a heart-pounding climb back). A marsh appears on North Dome's west slope, making for a uniquely interesting micro system, just make sure to hike around it. After failing to find the canister on North Dome (a common problem it seems) we pushed on east to find a viewpoint. It was a small rock ledge, barely the size of the hood of a car, with views partially obscured by the tops of trees, but after the morning's struggles boy was it a glorious view out towards West Kill and the Devils Path (we hiked 2 months before). The treetops hugging the cliff barely obscure the the drama of the 1000-foot drop to Mink Hollow.

Retracing our steps back was not any easier, but was made more satisfying having notched 2 more 35'rs. The summer warmth also made me wish I had brought more than a liter water, made more annoying when we missed the marsh to the north on the return so couldn't get a refill before the climb up Sherril's steep east side. After failing to find Sherril's southern 'viewpoint' (maybe only in winter?), we headed toward our stashed packs. GPS saved us from hiking down the steep north slope of the ridge, making our packs harder to find than we anticipated, but once found we easily found the path we started on, and sweet, sweet relief in the stream at the bottom dipping shirts and hats in the icy water. Back to the car at 2pm.

I can say with confidence I will not be visiting these peaks in the Summer ever again, but I do appreciate they gave us a hike to remember!
Jon Dubs
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Re: Sherrill - North Dome from rt 42

New postby apersich3092 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:57 pm

I did these in late October/early November, starting from shaft road and stashing a second car at mink hollow to avoid a return trip over Sherrill. I didn't have to contend with all the growth so it made for a pretty pleasant experience. I've found bushwhacking in the late fall/early winter to be extremely more enjoyable than the summer due to the lack of vegetation and cooler temperatures, although with the shorter days it did result in some hiking out in the dark.
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Re: Sherrill - North Dome from rt 42

New postby daveoleary » Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:22 pm

I climbed what I am quite certain to be Sherrill last Saturday (July 23). Generally no problems on the way up, other than a lot of nettles and some prickers, and the usual Catskill bushwhacking challenges, although I didn't have problems with ledges. I got started from Rt 42 parking lot by 7 am so it wasn't too hot (yet), and there was some breeze across the ridge on the way up which was nice, but it was getting hotter and more humid as the morning wore on. By a little after 9, I was pretty sure I was close to the top (just based on the time I was walking) and the topology flattened out. I walked around on what I believe was the top for almost 45 minutes without finding the canister. I didn't have GPS with me, so maybe this was a false summit? I also didn't see much in the way of the usual Catskill peak balsam trees. There was some blowdown and one large boulder (about five feet high, 6-7 feet in diameter) with a pile of flat stones on top. Was this at or near the top? I was pacing out to measure the flat area which was quite significant in size, and I headed out toward North Dome and in other directions to see if it was a false summit, and descended at least 50-100' in three different directions (some fairly steep) before heading back down the ridge line. I cut off quite a bit further to the south to make sure I wasn't on Balsam by mistake, and I went into the drainage for the creek which intersects Route 42 in the private land just south of the parking lot. A power line follows along the creek closer to the road, so based on this I am quite sure I was on Sherrill. Is the canister hard to find? I didn't see anyone else one the mountain and very little in the way of herd paths, but I'm guessing that folks avoid climbing in the summer when the nettles and prickers are bad and the weather isn't so hot. Thanks for any hints on this....
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Re: Sherrill - North Dome from rt 42

New postby mike » Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:05 pm

Sherrill and North Dome are tough mtn to climb. Climbing ND from the east is by far the hardest. At least you missed that one. Nothing enjoyable about either mtn. But, climbing it without leaves is much easier. But, it is done, and marked off your list. Didn't know about the horrible neddles at the camping site. Yikes!

A lot of people miss the canister on ND. It should be located at the summit, but isn't. It is poorly located. Been that way for years.

A lot of people get fooled by following the old logging road west of Sherrill, and then cut over to Sherrill. I think that this is harder then just coming up the south side of Sherrill. Done it both way.
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