Rusk Mtn (and East Rusk) - July 20, 2012

East Rusk, Evergreen, Packsadale, Pine Island, Rusk

Rusk Mtn (and East Rusk) - July 20, 2012

New postby kennykb » Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:40 pm

I'm not lost. I know exactly where I am. I'm right here.
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Re: Rusk Mtn (and East Rusk) - July 20, 2012

New postby mike » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:09 pm

Rusk is a fairly easy bushwhack in the Winter. But, during the summer months it can be challenging. East Rusk is notorious for being difficult. Seems like it should be easy, but it isn't.

Porkies just love that salt. Not surprised that it hauled off our clothing. Saw-Whet Owls have been showing up on Hunter. Did you hear any during the night?

The Hunter-Leavitt Loop is nice. I think you will like it.

Good to read your trail report.
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Re: Rusk Mtn (and East Rusk) - July 20, 2012

New postby kennykb » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:48 am

We didn't hear any saw-whet's; those are the ones that go 'feep feep feep,' right? A screech owl was making an unholy racket, and a pack of coyotes was barking off in the distance somewhere, so maybe we missed it in all the other night noises.

Now that I've done them, I'd say that the trick to these two mountains is: don't fall south of the ridge! We must have made it between the two summits in about 20 minutes, tracking Jon. We were really motoring along - no more than a couple hundred feet north of the thicket where a quarter-mile cost us two hours. But we lost his track somewhere around the summit of East Rusk, and once we drifted south, we were in steep, ledgy stuff that just kept steering us downhill. We kept trying to contour-line back to the ridge only to have the ledge we were on peter out. The walking wasn't too bad again once we made it up back on the ridge in the morning. There were a few blackberry thickets but nothing like what we'd run into the day before.

Jon said that someone had flagged a route on the ridge with red and blue tape. Catherine found a piece of blue plastic sheet (it looked like a fragment of a party balloon) on the ground, but we never saw the tape that he mentioned.
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Re: Rusk Mtn (and East Rusk) - July 20, 2012

New postby mike » Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:24 am

When hiking down a blind ridge, you want to be vigilant about staying on the high part of the ridge. It is very easy to drift off either side. Another Catskill Mountain where this happens a lot is Rocky Mtn in the Slide Mtn Forest.

I don't think that I have hiked down the east side of East Rusk before. But, other hikers have told me that it is difficult. Steep with lots of brush to push through. Not surprised that it took your group so long.

I am hoping this Winter to hike Rusk and then over to Evergreen Mtn. There is a large ledge along the way I want to visit. Maybe one of these days I will do the Rusk/East Rusk hike.
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Re: Rusk Mtn (and East Rusk) - July 20, 2012

New postby mtnclimber » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:13 pm

Never really liked Rusk. It's not long, but moderately steep on the way up. The John Robb lean-to is quite nice, as well as, the Hunter Loop.

I never see owls. But, Mike has a knack for finding them. One of these days I'll see one.

Nice trip report. I think I skip East Rusk. Way too much drama.
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