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First post - Santanoni question

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  • First post - Santanoni question

    Hello all! First post!

    I’'ve lurked on this site, and the sister site, for several years. I figured it was probably time to join (and not just because I was in need of specific info!). Below is my quick hiking background, and my question is at the very end, in case you are short on time and wish to skip ahead.

    For a very quick background on me, I first hiked in the high peaks region in 2004, and instantly fell in love with the place. I had previously hiked in the Whites for a few years, but I loved that in the Adirondacks the mountains were so condensed. I’'m currently at 20 out of the 46, with a few of those having been hiked several times. Last year I finally decided that I’'d like to try to hike all 46.

    The steepest climbs I’'ve encountered so far in the ADKs:
    1. My third time over the Saddleback ledges wearing a full pack, but the difficult one was the last, in the rain and fog.
    2. Colden from Lake Colden with a full pack (I understand there might be ladders now?).
    3. The Hough/Pough col from Lillian Brook - I motored up it without much difficulty, but at the time I thought that the last stretch was as steep as anything I’'d hiked before, excluding Huntington Ravine or the Great Gulf Trail headwall. The footing was in great shape, but I thought it was steep. It was hot that day, so that may have altered my perception.
    4. Lastly, Dix from Round Pond…, early May, 2007. Light pack from the shelter onward, but waist-deep snow and frequent post-holing most of the way up. At the time, I didn'’t know that the proper etiquette was to stay off the upper elevations at that time of year. Moving on, I usually stink at coming up with clever screen names, but I joined the Army out of high school to get money for college, and I was in the infantry, so “Groundpounder” seemed appropriate for a hiking forum.

    During my many years of lurking I have come to appreciate the varied accomplishments and words of wisdom of the many “regulars” on this site (you should all know who you are). The only two I will mention by name are Neil, for all the work he has done with the forum, and for his PFD (which I followed along with), and Taras (aka “Trail Boss”) for all the fantastic work he has done with updating OpenStreetMap. It has been extremely helpful for me with regard to trip planning.

    I currently live in south-central PA (originally from NE PA just south of the Pocono region), so a trip to the high peaks for me is a 6-7 hour ride, depending upon the trailhead. And, now, here is my "he's only on here because he wants something", moment...

    Since I live far away, all of my trips to the HP region have involved backpacking in one way or another. I’'m not old, 42 at the moment, but after having done it many times, I’'d really not prefer to hump a full pack any further than I have to. I'’m mostly a solo hiker at this point, so there is nobody with whom to split the traditional communal gear.

    If you're still reading, and have intimate knowledge of the area, this is a Santanoni question. I know the common camping area to complete the range is near Bradley Pond. Looking at the map, which is something I oddly consider to be “fun”, I can see that there appears to be a reasonably flat area where the trail to Bradley Pond breaks right from Santanoni Road (as it'’s called on the map). At only around 2 miles in from the main road, this would be an ideal place to set up a camp for someone coming from a distance, or arriving later in the day. I have no “on the ground” knowledge of the area. North of the road is HP Wilderness, but I have no idea if the trees are too tight to even consider trying to set up a tent (the requisite 150 feet away from trail/water). I'’ve been in the position before where I’'ve scrambled to try to find a decent area to camp, in the dark, and I'd really like to avoid that if at all possible.

    So, if any of you great folks know something about this area, I'd be very appreciative of the info you can share. If you do not want to disclose a secret site to the masses, feel free to PM me. Or, if it’'s thick as hell in there, feel free to let me know that it’s a no-go.

    Thanks, and I'’m glad I have finally decided to join the forum. Lord knows I'’ve spent enough hours on here!

    p.s. I'd have a picture to go with my profile, but I gave up after trying a few times. The way I was trying, it would only accept a very small file? Maybe I was trying to do it the wrong way.
    Last edited by Groundpounder; 08-26-2017, 07:12 PM. Reason: ok, I give up with regard to contractions....many of my apostrophies seem to show up as quotation marks. I will abstain from contractions in future posts!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Groundpounder View Post
    Looking at the map, which is something I oddly consider to be “fun”, I can see that there appears to be a reasonably flat area where the trail to Bradley Pond breaks right from Santanoni Road (as it’s called on the map). At only around 2 miles in from the main road, this would be an ideal place to set up a camp for someone coming from a distance, or arriving later in the day. I have no “on the ground” knowledge of the area.
    Flat area you noticed on the map may be wet. However I saw quite a few tents East (corrected) of the Bradley Pond trail a little bit further in winter. This area is a bit rocky and as a result dryer.
    I am not sure whether it's legal. You may search for Trail Boss comments on a similar question about a year ago.

    Area West (corrected) of the Bradley Pond trail doesn't look like a good tenting option to me (unless you use a hammock).

    There are quite a few designated and non-designated tent sites near Bradley Pond leanto.
    Next time I would like to try camping in this area.
    It may require just a bit of extra hiking time.

    Another option is to camp near Blue Ridge parkway(?) and hike Santanonis as a day hike.
    Last edited by Yury; 08-26-2017, 11:37 PM.

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    • #3
      Thank you for the info, Yury, and congrats on your recent 46!

      Yes, I noticed the convergence of a few streams in that area, so I had a feeling it might be swampy in the area where the Bradley Pond trail breaks off from the road. By suggesting a hammock, I'm taking that to mean that it's uneven and/or heavily vegetated. Due to the uncertain status of the MacIntyre West tract, I wasn't considering camping in that area as an option at this point in time, nor was I going to consider south of the road, which research shows to be part of a tract not owned by NYS, and therefore, off limits for camping.

      I think that right now I will wait until next year's trip, or maybe the year after, to try for the Santanonis. Maybe the legal situation regarding the MacIntyre West tract will clarify itself during that time, or maybe not. I may just try to attempt the range as a dayhike on the last day after camping somewhere else and before driving home. Or, I'll just grin and bear it and hike all the way in to Bradley Pond.

      Thanks again!

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      • #4
        Call DEC in Ray Brook and they'll transfer your call to the ranger responsible for the area. He'll confirm if you can camp along Bradley Pond Trail just north of Santanoni Road. That's how I learned about the legality of traversing the Mac East Tract to Allen.
        Looking for Views!

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        • #5
          You might want to reconsider, and try camping near Bradley Pond. Some friends and I hiked in and camped at the designated sites near the Santanoni leanto last month, and it's really not a very hard hike, even when carrying backpacking gear. There is some elevation gain, but it's spread out over more than 4 miles. We arrived in the afternoon, hiked in to camp, did the 3 peaks next day and back to camp. We stayed a second night and hiked out the next day. A very pleasant 3 days!
          We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige

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          • #6
            Thank you, TB and Debmonster!

            Ever since I was in the military and was forced to carry ridiculously heavy loads in a rucksack, without using the hip belt (forbidden because you needed to be able to drop a pack quickly), I have had a nerve issue on the left side of my neck/shoulder that gets exacerbated with heavy loads. I purposefully use an 8 pound Dana Design pack with a rock solid suspension system just because it is the only pack I have tried (out of 5) that does a very good job of keeping weight off the shoulders. Carrying a full pack to Bradley Pond would be uncomfortable, but if that is the way it has to be, then that is the way it has to be.

            Again, thanks for the info! If there is one thing I've noticed on this forum it is that there is no shortage of people who are willing to help others with pertinent info, regardless if they have 1000 posts, or one post, such as myself.

            I think I have the info I need regarding this matter, so there is no need for anyone else to inconvenience themselves by responding. Thanks again!

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            • #7
              Oops...
              I need to correct my post.
              I saw a few tents East of Bradley Pond trail not so far from Santanoni road.

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              • #8
                Thank you for the update, Yury! I plan on taking a 5 day trip to the High Peaks within the next month or so. If the weather is dry I may decide to try to hike Allen on the last day, and if I have the daylight or enough energy remaining I may just poke around the area north of Santanoni Road to see what tenting opportunities might be there, if any. This is probably wishful thinking on my part, however. If I do hike everything I plan on hiking, I will most likely just want to get in my car and drive home by that point!

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