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Fox Hollow (Panther Attempt) 3-19

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  • Fox Hollow (Panther Attempt) 3-19

    Attempted Panther from Fox Hollow Rd twice this weekend. On Saturday, I took snowshoes. The trail to the lean to was well packed as a group camping at the lean to had hauled sleds. After the lean to, I was breaking trail in snowshoes. I made it about .4 miles from the junction (200m ascent, 45 min) before I decided my legs couldn't handle it.

    Came back today with skis. Moving about twice as fast, I continued to break the trail until 950m elevation. At that point I encountered a rock band that I could not ski. Snow was more than waist deep (I'm 6' flat), and it was a pretty miserable process kicking through the next vertical 50m until I could find a place to put my skis back on. From their I continued to the false summit where I had barely made my time mark. I decided at that point to turn around feeling very satisfied and oddly alone.

    Back down was rough. I've never skied backcountry in the Catskills. It sucks and was very painful. I met a nice dude free-heeling at the place I turned around on my snowshoes the day before. Snow is getting very fast, and I wouldn't recommend downhill unless you're very skilled.

    Absolutely beautiful hike. Not even disappointed about not getting to Panther. Trail is broken to the false summit (with skis anyway - dunno how that works for the snowshoers). 5.5 mi, 2220 vertical feet, 5 hrs.

  • #2
    That's a fine adventure, it sounds! And protected from the sun, but did you know that most of the winter trips to Panther are from the south, from Giant Ledge parking area?
    I might be kidding...

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    • #3
      Protected from the sun? Not in the slightest. I'm pretty burnt. Almost no shade at all.

      Yes I've done Panther a few times from the south. Wanted to give Fox Hollow a shot. It was really incredible. Also wanted some untouched snow. Totally could've gone the whole way but wasn't feeling it. I got back to the car with 4 hours of daylight left.

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      • #4
        Cool! Untouched snow is the best. Starting that low down, with the tendency for the low elevation snow to be less firm, was ambitious!

        I didn't mean shade, but I meant the fact that if the land tips towards the sun, it melts the snow much faster.
        I might be kidding...

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        • #5
          I just noticed your attempt on Panther from Fox Hollow and it reminded me of my journey from there on Jan.1 this year. Had my snow shoes in the car but the trail looked pretty packed down so I just used the spikes. Easy going for about 1.5 miles due to the traffic to the lean-to and beyond. But the snow got deeper and the traffic less and finally after 2 miles I was breaking trail in 5" of untouched powder. Too lazy to go back for the shoes and this being one of my required winter peaks with limited daylight I decided to trudge on. Oh man by the time I reached the first false summit( oh and by the way there are two) I was post holing in 10 inches of the white stuff and crawling up the steep pitches like I was swimming. With many breaks and a pounding heart I did summit and thus completed the trail breaking to the footsteps at the summit from the Giant Ledge side. One of my most difficult trail hikes. Moral of the story: Always strap the shoes to the pack when there's new snow down low.

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