Sugarloaf/Plateau, 2014-05-24/25

Guardian Mtn, Overlook Mtn, Plattekill Mtn, Indianhead Mtn, Twin Mtns, Sugarloaf Mtn, Plateau Mtn

Sugarloaf/Plateau, 2014-05-24/25

New postby kennykb » Tue May 27, 2014 1:48 am

I wrote up the (too long as usual) trip report together for this past weekend: https://dftscript.blogspot.com/2014/05/sugarloaf-and-plateau-mountains-2014-05.html

Or, if you just want to look at the pictures, https://flic.kr/s/aHsjYqGaf4

Includes:

Rain.
Image
Kaaterskill High Peak by ke9tv, on Flickr

And sunshine.
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Campsite by ke9tv, on Flickr

Tough scrambles.
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Boulder scramble by ke9tv, on Flickr

Pretty flowers.
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Painted trillium by ke9tv, on Flickr

Spectacular views.
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View southeast from Orchard Point by ke9tv, on Flickr

And a lovely 4.5 miles (2.25 out and back from the summit of Plateau to the Orchard Point overlooks) in balsam forest at about 3800 feet elevation.
Image
The summit of Plateau Mountain by ke9tv, on Flickr
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Re: Sugarloaf/Plateau, 2014-05-24/25

New postby mike » Tue May 27, 2014 11:07 am

Nice trip report Kevin. Two tougher then normal mtns. I do like the walk across Plateau Mtn with the nice view spots at the end. Looks like they need to replace another bridge. I had to replace a roof this weekend, so you were having a lot more fun then I was.
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Re: Sugarloaf/Plateau, 2014-05-24/25

New postby kennykb » Tue May 27, 2014 10:34 pm

Two tougher than normal mtns.

I'm glad to hear that, because they sure kicked my fundament! I'm more than halfway through the 35, and these are the two hardest I've done yet. (The sole possible exception is Twin. It's also a fundament-kicker. That slab on the west side is a doozy.) I've been picking them kind of at random, with the exception that I don't solo bushwhacks. And I've been soloing a fair amount lately, because it never seems that the stars align for me and my hiking partners to be available on the same days.

I'm thinking next time should be something easier for a break, maybe Balsam Lake/Graham. Is the contact information for Graham on the Catskill 3500 Club site current? Is permission given routinely for the asking, or are there further formalities?
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Re: Sugarloaf/Plateau, 2014-05-24/25

New postby mike » Wed May 28, 2014 11:16 pm

Sugarloaf is one of the hard ones.

I think the contact information is correct. Permission is routinely given.

I haven't hiked with others in a while. Mainly because of my feet. Hopefully soon!
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Re: Sugarloaf/Plateau, 2014-05-24/25

New postby Jon » Thu May 29, 2014 7:42 pm

Yah kev. U should have no problem either talking to the caretaker or even his wife answers the phone sometimes. They are pretty nice and have never said no when I've called. Just did this morning we hit up double top and big indian.
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Re: Sugarloaf/Plateau, 2014-05-24/25

New postby kennykb » Thu May 29, 2014 8:07 pm

Just did this morning we hit up double top and big indian.


Color me green with envy. I like going with you, don't like slowing you down. You and your gang hike a lot faster than I do. Had to work, anyway.
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Re: Sugarloaf/Plateau, 2014-05-24/25

New postby mtnclimber » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:17 am

I think that Sugarloaf is one of the hardest. But, it depends upon which side you come up. The east side is about 600' vertical and the west side is 1200' of vertical. So, I always climb from east to west. The climb of Plateau is about the same. But, I usually only climb the east side and descend the same. Friday Mtn is hard too. Lots of vertical. I think about 2500', but it is slow and more gradual. Nice TR!
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Re: Sugarloaf/Plateau, 2014-05-24/25

New postby kennykb » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:54 pm

I did both sides of Sugarloaf. Can't say that there was that much of a difference, if you have to get back to your car. Obviously, if you are completing a loop, the elevation gain and loss have to match. :?

Anyway, scrambling down takes just as much out of me as scrambling up. Both knees and nerves start to complain. In fact, I think I made the right decision when I did a loop of the Burroughs Range: I did it clockwise, doing Giant Ledge and the stairs on the first day, camped off in the woods somewhere on the trail to Terrace Mountain, and did Wittenberg, Cornell, and Slide from halfway up Wittenberg. That way I was taking the steep stuff on Wittenberg, the Cornell Crack, and the cliff below the ladders on Slide upward, and being kind to the knees.

For my money, Twin was harder than Indian Head, Sugarloaf or Plateau. There is one slab on the west side that really spooked me. It seemed as if there was nothing to hold onto at all, and the rock was slick with algae. I was wearing regular trail runners, not approach shoes, and I'm not great at slab climbing in the first place.

With respect to the long climb up to Balsam Cap and Friday: I'm thinking that I might tackle the four bushwhack peaks an unusual way once the nettles die back again. (It's getting late for doing them now!) One of my partners suggests hiking in from Denning, making a base camp near the East Branch headwall, and climbing those peaks from there. It's a lot less elevation gain than coming up from Moon Haw Road, and with proper planning the actual climbs could be done with light daypacks, with all the heavy stuff left in camp. It would also be an area of the Catskills that few ever get to see. I don't think very many hikers get past the end of the Fishermen's Path.

Of course, the spruce might completely block the way. But I understand that the unlucky have that happen when they come up from the east as well!
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Re: Sugarloaf/Plateau, 2014-05-24/25

New postby mike » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:34 am

The steep parts of the climb of sugarloaf is 600' on the east side and 1200' on the west side. Still a tough day.

Some people hike Peekamoose and Table and stay at the Lean-to. Then hike Lone and Rocky the next day.

You can do Balsam Cap and Friday by hiking in from Denning. I would stay near the top of Balsam Cap. Then the next day Balsam Cap and Friday. Then hike down to Moon Haw Road.

Others do Peekamoose, Table, Lone and Rocky in one day. Then hike over to Balsam Cap and Friday the next day. Then hike down to Moon Haw Road

Rocky is the hardest to get to due to mileage.
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