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Wanika Falls and Street Bushwhack with Nye for dessert.

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  • Wanika Falls and Street Bushwhack with Nye for dessert.


    Sylvie dropped me off at the Averyville trail head, which marks the beginning of the “Old” Northville Placid Trail. (more like the original NPT) She planned on doing Wright while I bushwhacked Street. We decided on 2:30 for our radio call knowing we would have excellent reception if I was on Street even if she was on her way back down.

    I was at the Wanika Falls junction 1h20 minutes out after an Old NPT in excellent condition. In the final beaver meadow, just before the junction of the Old and the New, the raspberry bushes were soaking wet and chest high. The sun was out and it was chilly. The Chub River was very loud and based on that I knew I would not be walking up dry slab.

    Wanika Falls were more impressive than I thought they would be. I saw two excellent camping spots but no discs anywhere. I decided to bushwhack up as close to the falls as possible on the right-hand side. It was steep, slippery and wet. I was able to cross over into the sun and I sat down and switched from glasses to contacts and put on a jacket over my soaked shirt. I was chilled.

    I re-crossed the drainage and entered the woods, which were thick, dark, wet and replete with blowdown and sod holes. I zigged and zagged and with difficulty progressed to an open area full of impedimenta. I looked up onto a massive set of cliffs that were lit up in the late morning sun in spite of facing NW. There were cliffs on either side of the Chub and perusal of the map is not indicative of any cliffs.

    At 860 Meters the drainage splits into a main one and lesser tributary. My map study indicated I wanted the lesser trib but I forgot all about this key turn and when I pulled out my compass realized I was following the drainage to Nye. Luckily I only had to side-hill due south for 250 yards into the “Street” drainage. The woods thus far were not bushwhacker friendly and I was amazed at how hard I was working for meager elevation gains. But, it was a gorgeous day and I had views on either side way up onto the ridges that ran up to the summit area of Street. They looked gnarly.

    At about 1000 meters elevation the woods opened up nicely and progress became more normal with the odd section of thick, blowdown infested woods that I always detoured around. The drainage was now a trickle and it soon disappeared under the moss. I had to watch my step or I’d fall into a hole. At 1150 meters I was navigating primarily by GPS. I had studied Sat views and had drawn a route that avoided what looked like thick cripplebush. However, I was able to aim directly for the summit instead of taking a right-angled and longer route. The woods were fine and the sun felt good on my shoulders. I was closing in on my objective.

    I hadn’t bothered with the radio at 2:30 because I would have to make the summit before getting line of sight with Wright. It looked like I’d be on top at 3:30 and would make the call then. Just below the final summit block I entered into a small col or dike and looked up onto a long line of 50’ cliffs. I was 150 feet below the summit. My GPS indicated the fatter contours were to the right and I had to walk along the base of the cliffs for about 100 yards until I was able to clamber up a weakness.

    The final approach to the summit is flat and runs east-west. This section is one long fir wave on the Lost Pond Peak side and I was able to cruise through the leading edge (pics). When I arrived at the summit who was there but Sylvie trying to call me on the radio. She was unable to park the van at the Loj (no campers allowed) so after parking at S. Meadows decided to do Street and Nye. She wasn’t very happy that I hadn’t turned on my radio considering she had been on Street for an hour admiring the views of the Macintyre Range.

    We hiked over to Nye and found the viewing rock a few minutes before the summit. At 4 pm the lighting was perfect and there was no haze at all. I was surprised at how muddy and wet the trail was but it was much better than bushwhacking would have been. We met Bill B. who was nearing the junction. He was chasing the sun hoping to get out before dark.

    We camped at South Meadows and after a leisurely breakfast headed to Keene Valley. There was a long line of cars parked along Meadow Lane and we could barely scrape by. The cars along the Loj Road extended for about .7 miles with a steady stream heading in. We parked the van near the end of the Loj road and sat out in our chairs with fresh coffee and enjoyed the view.

  • #2
    That was a fun hike. It was dry season when I did it and the flowing water above the falls was spread so evenly across the slab that one could walk midstream without getting ones feet wet. I remember seeing big cliffs off to the left from the brook about halfway to the confluence, around which it got messy(?). I took the turn at the tributary, following well above the brook on the right. Wasn't too bad over there. Reached the ridge on the W bastion, approaching the summit from behind.