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Vly, Bearpen, and Halcott - February 3, 2018

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  • Vly, Bearpen, and Halcott - February 3, 2018

    We started out at about 9:30. There was logging activity (loading harvested logs onto trucks) at the open area on the right just before the snowplow turnaround and the team doing the work requested that we park further down the road which we did. There was only an inch or two of snow and parking off the road was fairly easy. We barebooted up the road towards the hiking camp stepping carefully to avoid ice. Once on the path to Vly I switched to microspikes, which were adequate on the way up and underpowered for hiking down. There was just enough snow on top of the ice to keep the short points from biting...and some of the ice was too hard anyway. I had crampons in the pack but left them there. The prudent thing would have been to wear them Do as I say, not as I do. No harm done, but crampons would have handled the conditions easily.

    At the summits there was only a couple of inches of light snow over the old hardpack, but the fresh snow and rime on the summit trees and the deep blue skies made for a very pretty day.

    No real problem spiking up the road and herdpath to BP, but again my microspikes weren't really enough for the hike back down. Several times I skated a bit on the road back to the hunting camp. No falls though, until just before the car when I stepped in a hole on the shoulder of the road that was concealed by snow. Go figure.

    We bumped into Yana and Marina a couple of times near the col and enjoyed chatting with them. Without Halcott on their itinerary, they were taking a little more time than us to explore around and it sounded like they were having a great day.

    We drove to the Halcott parking area...quite a long drive to get a few miles down the same range...and started up Halcott a little after 2pm. The spikes worked better on Halcott as the lower elevations had mostly a little bit of powder snow over leaves and the ridgeline had more snow and better footing. We got back to the car around 5PM.

    Not sure about the trailheads, but with Sunday's snowfall, the mountaintops may very well be show-shoeable again. Hey, it's only February.

    Pics: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...hyLTBXYzZleDdB

    Last edited by NorthShore; 02-05-2018, 07:28 PM.

  • #2
    The modern hiker uses microspikes way too much. You shouldn't need them just on snow, normally. I haven't used mine yet. And a second benefit, they are still sharp if I ever do need them, unless of course they're in my car.
    Last edited by CatskillKev; 02-05-2018, 08:55 AM.
    I might be kidding...

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    • #3
      So very nice to meet you guys! We found the conditions on Bearpen just right for our hillsounds, but Vly descent and ascent was most certainly sketchy in places, but we were also lazy and kept the crampons in the pack We definitely took out time exploring and enjoying ourselves.... Marina and I also haven't hiked together in 2 months and we had a lot to catch up on! The highlight of the day was a side visit to the pond on the NW side of Bearpen and the views from Bearpen itself. It was chilly at times but we still bummed around each summit for ~40 min each
      46/46 as of August 1st, 2014!

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      • Blowdown Gang
        Blowdown Gang commented
        Editing a comment
        If that's the same pond I'm thinking of, it's man-made and I'm "assuming" was used for snowmaking at one time.

      • YanaLG
        YanaLG commented
        Editing a comment
        it is the same pond, Rob! I heard that it was used for the skating rink for the ski slope and I found some artifacts on the shore that may have been an old lighting? I will post the pics below.

      • Blowdown Gang
        Blowdown Gang commented
        Editing a comment
        Very interesting. Thanks!

    • #4
      The pond north and west of Bearpen along the woods roads heading to Roundtop.

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      • #5
        some of the pics of the pond that I snapped on this trip
        46/46 as of August 1st, 2014!

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        • #6
          Here is some interesting background:

          http://nyskiblog.com/magazine/easter...riginal-beast/

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          • YanaLG
            YanaLG commented
            Editing a comment
            thank you for sharing! most interesting read!

        • #7
          The pond does appear to have been for ice skating, rather than snow making.

          "Near the beginners slope, a bear wallow was converted to an 85 by 200 foot skating pond. "

          http://skikabbalah.com/lostNY/bearpe...sttrailmap.jpg

          Click image for larger version

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          http://skikabbalah.com/lostNY/bearpe...EN%20STORY.htm

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          • #8
            Yes, it was an old "bear wallow" redone into a skating pond. There was never night skiing
            .I can just barely remember being left at Grandmas while my parents went skiing, they never said anything about skating at night.
            The 2nd picture is more likely parts to the lift.
            We camped there when we were kids, but never ever never went in that water no matter how much beer we had!

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            • YanaLG
              YanaLG commented
              Editing a comment
              the pond definitely looks more inviting in the winter. I think you would need to either be a dog or a bird, or to drink a lot stronger stuff than beer to go near that

          • #9
            My friend's dog seemed to enjoy the water.

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            • #10
              come to think of it, that second photo may be Hermits first car!

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