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Birdseye Mt ( Bird Mt) Tuesday 7/12

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  • Birdseye Mt ( Bird Mt) Tuesday 7/12

    Birdseye Mountain, or as it is now called in the newest Green Mt Club guide, Bird Mt is the one you see west of Rutland on Rte 4. It looks like a big Hersheys Kiss on the south side of the road. It used to be a haven for hang gliders. It has two summits the North Peak and Castle Peak. Mind you these are a good warm up for those trailless HH peaks as your route finding skills will be tested.

    The trailhead is along route 4A east of Castleton but it is so well hidden it takes a bit to find it. About 3.6 miles east of Castleton on the south side of the road there is a turn out with an iron gate. The trail crosses a field behind the gate. There are a few problems with this route though. The usgs map reports the gate is at 480 feet my altimeter verified this. The guide says it is 1250 feet ascent to the summit of the North Peak. According to the map the col is 1960 feet and the North Peak is eighty feet above the col which makes the summit 2040. Slightly more than the 1250 gain the GMC claims. My altimeter verified the usgs West Rutland map in the col and on the summit.

    Castle Peak 2216 feet, the south summit is a 256 foot climb from the col The GMC says 350 feet. The map in each occasion was verified by the altimeter. We found a second trail called the East trail that saved five hundred feet of climbing but a four wheel drive is almost a requirement. My buddy made it in there using two wheel drive on his truck. high clearence is definately required. Here again the guide was way off on the numbers. To reach this trail head follow the Ira Birdseye Road about two miles to a gate, unmarked, but it is the first gate on the right side of the road. We gained five hundred feet on the road. Be aware there is also a Birdseye Road close by this is not the one you want.

    What test your skills is none of the trails are marked and there are no signs of any kind with countless old roads wandering all over the place. Even on the summit ridge these roads wind about. Both summits are wooded with ledges and open shelves. However we could not locate a trail to either summit. Each of the roads we followed ended at a lookout or abandoned hang glider ramp. We ended up bushwhacking to each summit. As the altimeter verified the map in several places when we reached the high points and they had the reported elevation we were sure we summited. Excellent one way views of neighboring mountains, West Rutland and the farms both west and east.

    The East Trail is less than a mile with an eight hundred foot climb to the col while the summit ridge is about a mile and a half end to end but you will walk a couple finding the right road and route to the top. Since both Bob and I are (gps-less ) it is a good test of map and compass skills.