Friday, July 20, 2012

SANTANONNI RANGE 46'ERS (The "Bear Spray" Hike)

MtnManJohn (John), TAG (Tracy) and I arrived at the Santanoni Trailhead and set out around 7AM. We had a very long day of hiking planned. We made quick work down the private road and onto the Bradley Pond Trail. There was a new reroute around a notoriously muddy stretch of trail not long before the Bradley Pond Lean-To. We stopped to snap a few pictures of Santanoni Brook on the way in.

Santanoni Brook

Re-route of the Bradley Pond Trail

We then passed the cairn marking the start of the Santanoni Express Herdpath. We continued on to the Bradley Pond Lean-To and took a break. Once we checked our bearings we headed into the woods behind the lean-to to start a bushwack to the summit of Henderson Mtn (ADK Hundred Highest Peak). It was very thick balsam and after pushing through and ascending the steep grade we finally got to the highpoint. There was a partial view of the High Peaks from the summit area.

Difficult Bushwack on Henderson (Photo couresy of TAG)

Henderson Summit (Photo courtesy of TAG)

View from Henderson Mtn

We headed down after taking some photos. Almost back down to the main trail my bear spray got caught in the brush and discharged a small amount. As soon as I heard the sound I told everyone to clear out. My eyes were burning and TAG's tongue was numb. We made it back down to the trail and recouped. I noticed I had lost my glasses in the fray, I decided to not bother going back to locate them.

The infamous Bear Spray! (Photo courtesy of TAG)

Once we recovered from the pepper spray ordeal we headed out for the Panther Brook Herdpath into the Santanoni Range. We found the trail and crossed a beaver dam, passed Bradley Pond and started our ascent up the brook.

Beaver Flow at the start of the Panther Brook Herdpath

Bradley Pond

Panther Brook Herdpath

As we ascended the herdpath we came upon a viewpoint. We stopped to filter water and then continued up to Herald Square where we dropped our packs and took the short trail over to Panther Peak. There were really nice open views from Panther's summit area. We could see over to our next objective Couchsachraga Peak, which looked difficult to reach. 

Panther Summit (Photo courtesy of TAG)

Views from Panther Summit

We headed back down, picked up our bags and headed over to Times Square. We took a break there to get ready for the trip over to "Couchie". TAG said she was going to wait for us and then we could all head over to Santanoni Mtn together. MtnManJohn and I headed out on the herdpath to "Couchie". The sun came out and the miles were starting to take their toll, we didn't bring enough water for the hike over and we were both dealing with dehydration. We took a couple pictures at the summit and then headed back to Times Square where we had more food and water stashed. 

Break at Times Square (Photo courtesy of TAG)

Viewpoint along Couchie Herdpath

Glacial Erratic on Couchie Herdpath

Couchsachraga Summit

It was a tough climb back up to the ridge, but when we arrived we ate and drank and got some energy back. TAG was a bit cold and had some bug issues so she decided to head over to Santanoni and meet us there. She left us a note in the dirt with her departure time. We caught up to her near the summit of Santanoni and we all went to the summit and enjoyed beautiful late afternoon views from the summit area. 

TAG's note at Times Square (Photo courtesy of TAG)

Santanoni Summit (Photo courtesy of TAG)

Views from Santanoni Summit

We took the Santanoni Express trail back down to the Bradley Pond Trail. As the light was fading into darkness we came out on the private road and made it back to the trailhead at about 9PM. Four mountains 16+ miles and 14 hrs in the woods, what an adventure.

A steep ledge on the Santa Express Herdpath

The end of another adventure, exhausted but happy (Photo courtesy of TAG)

No comments:

Post a Comment