Rusk Mtn - Jan 30, 2009

East Rusk, Evergreen, Packsadale, Pine Island, Rusk

Rusk Mtn - Jan 30, 2009

New postby mike » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:24 pm

On Saturday January 30, 2009, I got a late start. I didn't get to the trail head until 12:30 PM. It was one of those days, where my hiking day started a lot later then normal. My original plans were to hike rusk and east rusk. But, then I decided to hike rusk and visit the ledges west of rusk. While you can see the ledges from Spruceton Road, very few people ever visit them. They are too busy bagging peaks to notice one of the great places to visit.

Even with a late start, the temperatures were much lower then normal. Most people would stay away with the biting cold. There was only one car in the parking lot when I pulled up.

Got my snowshoes on. I decided to take my 25" tubbs couloirs. They have aggressive cramp-ons. Most of the snow was hard with two inches of fresh powder. Perfect snowshoe weather.

I started up the Ox Hollow Road towards Hunter Mountain. I tried to move fast to warm up a bit. By the time I got to the horseshoe turn past the bridge I was feeling good. I still had my fleece Northface jacket over my microfleece shirt. The water in the creek was slightly higher then normal.

At the horseshoe turn, I turned left perpendicular to the trail. I crossed the first creek, but didn't cross the second creek. I followed the land in between the two creeks.

After a while the creek banks got quite high, so I stayed in the middle. There was a lot of blow down, so I had to zig-zag around them. I could see tracks from another person earlier in the week. But, it was hard to see the tracks, so I kept falling off their tracks. But, it didn't really matter.

The climb got steeper as I climbed higher. And, so did the blowdown. As I approached the top, the boulders started to show up, so I had to weave around them. While it was quite cold out, I just wore my microfleece. I was slightly cold, but too warm to wear my jacket.

When I was just below the ridge across the mountain range, the conifer trees appeared quickly and thickly. I had to walk east until I found a break in the tree line.

Once I got up on the ridge, it was a nice walk thru the forest of conifer trees. But, soon I was out of conifer trees and into beach trees and some open forest.

As I approached the Summit of Rusk Mountain, there was a small ledge. It was a small ledge and quite easy to get up. You can approach them on the left or right side. Once on top, it is a short hike to the summit.

I wandered around the summit a little bit. Some limited views, but nothing great. I had planned on hiking down ledges, but didn't think I had enough time. I had arrived on the summit at 2:30 PM. I just didn't have enough time to get to the ledge and get back to the car before dark.

I will leave the ledges for another time. Maybe I'll do Evergreen and go to the ledges then.

Before descending down, I checked out the bank by the top of the stream that most people come up. Okay views, but no open ledges that I could find. Walked back, and then headed down.

The trip down went quick and uneventful. Wish I had more time to do east rusk or the ledges. Still had a good time.

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Re: Rusk Mtn - Jan 30, 2009

New postby dave » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:00 pm

Nice hike report mike. It was pretty cold this weekend, but I know how much you like Winter. I would love to see another hike to the Big Ledges. They look awesome! I don't think I ever noticed them. But, then again, neither has anyone else. I think that you have the best route up there. Better then the stream route.
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Re: Rusk Mtn - Jan 30, 2009

New postby mtnclimber » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:18 pm

Never realized that the ledges exist. Wow! They look really big. Maybe as big as Gaint Ledge? I am going to have to go back and check them out. Mike, you are just full of secrets. The ledges look like a great place for rattlesnakes. Do they exist there?
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Re: Rusk Mtn - Jan 30, 2009

New postby mike » Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:23 pm

The ledges are probably 80-100' high. Probably not as great as Giant Ledge, but still pretty good. I have never given much thought to how high they are.

No rattlesnakes have been reported here, but it would be a good spot.

I would like to get back there soon, but I don't know when.
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