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Calamity - The wrong way

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  • Calamity - The wrong way

    Hopefully this will help anyone attempting Calamity Mtn from making the same error I made.
    My plan was to hike in from the Upper Works to the David Henderson monument at Calamity Pond with BobN. Bob planned on continuing onto the Flowed Lands and up Herbert Brook to Marshall while I attempted to bushwhack up Calamity. Made it to monument without any issues, agreed to meet back at either the leanto just up the trail or at the base of Herbert Brook, and started out on our separate journeys.
    I intended to follow the route Spencer Morrisey describes in his book “The Other 54”. It’s not exactly but almost a straight line south from Calamity Pond to the summit. Initially I was making great time and my track log mirrors the track shown in the book. At about 900meter/2950 feet I made my error.
    There was a rather large tree down that required I either go left or right to get around. I chose left. On the other side of the tree was the start of a rather long rock ledge. It’s not a huge ledge but it was enough that I had to pick a spot to get up it. So I continued along the base of ledge looking for a good spot. The good news was I was still gaining elevation; the bad news was I was veering further and further to the left of the intended route. I finally found a chute up thru the rocks and at the top of the chute I soon found myself on top of a small bump.
    It was snowing lightly, but enough to limit visibility. Could not see the summit, so I broke out the GPS and discovered I was near the ridgeline, about 200 feet below and half mile NE of the summit. That half-mile was not pleasant, about 3 feet of snow, lots of blow down, and what really surprised me were three little mini cols. Places where I would loose 50 feet of elevation over very short distance. It was weird because each time I hit one I thought I was veering off course again. I’d break out the GPS and see I was heading right towards the summit, but it didn’t feel that way.
    I started thinking about Bob and how he might possibly finish his hike sooner than me. He’d come back, find my tracks and start following me up the mountain. Maybe I should turn around, but on the other hand I was getting closer, albeit at a very slow rate, to the summit. Summit fever won out and I pushed on until I came to a small car sized rock that I figured was the summit. I actually reach up and touched a small tree on top of the rock so I could say I made it. Looked down at my GPS and it said I was still about 100 feet east of the summit. I half heartily started in that direction not expecting much and all of a sudden noticed a blue trail marker in a tree. Then just beyond that there was actually a summit sign. I was thrilled!
    It took me 2 hrs 45 mins to get to the summit from the monument, 1 hr 15 mins for that last half mile. In case Bob was following my tracks up, I decided it was best if I retraced my route back down rather than take the direct line. Amazingly it only took 70 minutes to get back down to the monument.
    Bottom line: Don’t follow my tracks if you are looking for an easy climb up Calamity.
    Last edited by BarkEater; 02-04-2013, 11:52 AM. Reason: Corrected monument name

  • #2
    Nice job, way to stick with it.
    What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    • #3
      It was nice to have met you. Nice TR and congrats on making your summit.
      The reward for climbing is not applause but new sight.-
      unknown

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      • #4
        damn..I'd cut off a toenail or two to get a saturday off...nice hikes 'bark'n'Bob...congrats....

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        • #5
          I know that ledge and the chute. I had taken a similar route but started a little further North, hit the bump on the north side first hoping for a view. Did not really find one with the exception of a small peak towards Colden. dropped down into the col and the few bumps and was literally pushing though the thickness when i looked up and found the sign.
          By the way you did not take the wrong way. I have been turned back twice while trying to summit Calamity via the slide on the opposite side.
          "Climbing is about freedom. There's no prize money; there are no gold medals. The mountains are all about going there to do what you want to do. That's why I'll never tell anyone else how to climb. All I can say is, This is how I prefer to do it."
          Ed Viesturs

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          • #6
            John, Another good day in the ADK's! Bob

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            • #7
              Nice report John, I just find it hard to believe you found a blow down you couldn't step over
              "Where I'm goin', I don't know
              But I'll be headed out in sun, rain, hail or snow"
              -The Saw Doctors

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              • #8
                John, Being from Endicott I know what you meant with the "Dave Rosie" memorial, to clear it up David Henderson and David Rosie are both outdoor writers for our local newspaper. John used the wrong Dave's name in his description for the monument.

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                • #9
                  Way to go John on getting to the top and also congrats to Bob for getting Marshall. When I saw the name David Rossie for the monument I figured he was your cousin or something so thanks to Bob for clearing that up.
                  46-R (W) - By Da Holy Feesh

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                  • #10
                    Murph, Lori, Nicole, and Rik. It was nice to have met you all. Rik, was that you who startled me while I was looking for a good place to start my bushwhack?
                    When we got back to the trailhead I checked the register and there were a total of 40 people signed in for the day with various agendas. You would think it was August!
                    Bob, thanks for pointing out my error. Correction has been made.

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