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Haystack Bushwhack via Panther Gorge

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  • Haystack Bushwhack via Panther Gorge

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/827637...57710640525657

    This one (#12), with mastergrasshopper was a long and arduous day at 14 hours. Well worth all the effort though as I hope the pictures demonstrate.

  • #2
    I know that was one tough hike/climb/bushwwack. From the old leanto I once climbed out of the gorge up between Marcy and Haystack. It was a challenge for sure. Nice Photos Neil, I'm sure you'll never forget that trip. Its an awesome place and not for the faint hearted.

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    • #3
      Old Hunter sort of beat me to it. Had you approached the bushwhack route by getting to it over Marcy, then into Panther Gorge, then up over Haystack, and then return?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Hear the Footsteps View Post
        Old Hunter sort of beat me to it. Had you approached the bushwhack route by getting to it over Marcy, then into Panther Gorge, then up over Haystack, and then return?
        Yes. Over Marcy, into PG from 4 Corners then out via the Phelps Trail. If doing the same hike again we would probably enter the Gorge directly from the Phelps Trail. We wanted to avoid the tedious descent through the house-sized boulders at the upper end of the Gorge. But decided it would have been easier after all than going over Marcy. The whack from the trail crossing to the slide took us an hour to cover 600 meters. Major blowdown.

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        • #5
          tamarack trees
          When trail running it can sometimes be hard to stop and smell the roses
          when bushwacking it would be hard not to as everything is right there in your face.
          This side of Hay was in your face and under foot.
          there were 3 zones, each about a 3rd of the elevation gain
          Zone 1 was super thick with Balsam in the face and lots of horizontal downward slopping mountain ash and long extended balsam arms.
          they all served to hide fissures between chunks of stone.
          this section was so steep that I felt I was climbing trees rather than a mountain at one point both feet went out from under me and only a sturdy grip on an overly friendly tree kept me on the mountain.
          Zone 2 was a very unique flora. The terrain lay back a bit and there were predominantly small stunted Tamarack trees. they looked just like out of a Japanese bonsai garden.
          they were nicely spaced apart and underfoot was moss and small shrubs and grass. If you look at the pictures there is one of me with a big smile surrounded by feathery looking greenery.
          that was entering the Tamarack zone. Completely unexpected as I've never run into Tamaracks at this elevation or in this stunted and twisted bonsai form.
          Zone 3 was ever increasing shrubs like Labrador tea, leatherleaf, and rosemary with many other smaller plants. all very thick but knee to waist high where you feel like you are swimming with your head above water. what was really nice was the beckoning and ever increasing sections of open slab rock that led us directly to the summit.

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          • #6
            Looking again at the photos I see the 'pure joy in climbing' and it doesn't get any better than that. More than interesting about the elevation the Tamarack are growing. Who'd ever suspect that? Just think, it took one wind blown seed to land, take hold, mature and survive long enough to bear more fruit, to start all that.

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