View Full Version : Blackhead via Burnt Knob and Acra Point
08-02-2006, 07:38 AM
It would have a good day to stay home---Note to Dick, good decision! :tup: The plan for the day- Burnt Knob Acra Point Blackhead and Black Dome, clockwise from Black Dome Road TH. Things started off fine except for the bugs which would be a constant all day. It was very hot, hazy and humid. I reached the jct for BK and AP quickly made the left and started of for BK--hit the requisite lookouts took some pics and headed back. At the jct I rested some and cooled off--it was increasingly hot and I needed to stop often to cool down--started off to Acra Point--a nice walk through surroundings that resemble peaks more than a ridge--Balsam and Spruce--the scent of Pine was heavy in the air. By the time I reached the Batavia Kill Trail Jct the heat and humidity had become a problem--it was very difficult to keep up a decent pace and not overheat. As I started the steep climb up Blackhead, I soon figured out it was gonna take a while--1000 vertical in less than a mile ended up taking an hour and 20 minutes. It was 15 steps and stop all the way up. I was really struggling in the heat. I hit the summit and that's when the fun began! For some reason (stupidity, delerium..who knows) I continued hiking down Blackhead on the Escarpment Trail :oops: I'd been up Blackhead twice in the past year so I should have realized what I was seeing wasn't right, but I just kept going. Finally I realized what I had done and now had to reclimb BH to get back to where I should be! :eek: Another 500 vertical back up--same 15 steps and rest routine. Now it was really hot!! :twisted: Made the summit(again), picked up the correct trail and headed down--more pics--Black Dome can wait for another day--I hit the spring and cooled off--filtered some water (I had just finished mine) and headed out. Back to the car, fighting bugs all the way. What a day. 11.5 miles, 3300 vertical 5 liters of liquid.
08-02-2006, 09:36 AM
Hi Bill and Judy,
Thank's for the report. I will be heading over that way 8-4 to climb Blackdome ,Thomas Cole and Blackhead,and Windham high peak via Acra point.I think that things will cool down a bit by then,I hope.I may do a t.r.if I don't fry.I have 20- 3500' Catskills to do in Aug.,so maybe I will see you folks on the trail sometime.It's nice to know that the spring is running.
08-02-2006, 12:08 PM
Nice TR. That was a hot day. You probably would not have minded if that rain had come closer. I imagine the blueberries were gone now, and I see the raspberries were on schedule and ripe. After climbing Blackhead twice you are justified in skipping Black Dome.
I always enjoy looking at your GPS tracks among your pictures. It is interesting to see how the actual and current trail route differs from what may be shown on the topo maps (and even current trail maps). In this area the dashed lines on the topos are town lines / ridge lines, and not an indication of the trail location. The Escarpment Trail and Blackhead Range trails did not exist in the 1940s when the base USGS topo maps were drawn. In the case of Burnt Knob the NY/NJ map is quite accurate in showing the trail skirting the two summits in favor or the viewpoints. And that was a good choice as there are no views on either summit. The more eastern is the higher 3180' summit, and is a good 80-100' climb from the trail.
Although not intended you almost got to the summit of Arizona (arid zone) though it must seemed more of a humid zone. It is not a Catskill HH. And you had the opportunity to pass the two viewpoints on the southern approach of Blackhead. The lower (with old graffiti) has the better view. The higher, Camp Steel, just a short distance from the Blackhead summit has become overgrown with Spruce in recent years. I don't the exact origin, but I believe the Camp Steel name may be from the time a Long Island based boy scout "Camp Harriman" owned the Blackhead summit along with the head of the valley to the south. Some unknown person (who perhaps knows the full story) keeps the chiseled name painted in white. The Blackhead summit was not purchased by the state until 1979, although the trails were built during the 1960s.
08-02-2006, 12:20 PM
I knew I was close to AZ when I figured out my blunder. If it was a HH I would have finished it, but at that moment I was more concerned about getting back up BH :rolleyes: I was pooped!
One of the reasons I GPS stuff is to see the diff between maps and actual trail locations. I also like to get true distance and vertical measurements as they differ somewhat w/ guide books and or guessing.
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