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  • Not Really Lost

    On Sunday the 14th I climbed Doubletop. This is mostly a bushwhack. The hike up was pretty straightforward. The hike down less so.

    I started at the Seager Trailhead. From there it was an easy hike on Seager Trail following the Dry Brook until I turned off to start the whack. There's a point on the trail about a mile from the trailhead where a dirt road crosses it, which has a bench. If you're there look down the trail and to your right and you'll see a wooden bear. Just past the bear is the start of the herd path.

    The bushwhack follows a ridge which runs pretty much due south from the start point to the summit. I kept finding and losing herd paths, but when I lost them I just followed the ridge where obvious and headed due south otherwise. At one point, on a relatively flat section, I could see the summit ahead. After that there's a very steep section, for about a half mile or so, which then levels off somewhat a little before the summit. The final herd path I picked up, at the end of the steep section, led me directly to the summit. I had heard that the conifers were thick near the summit, but they weren't; the whacking was never difficult.

    On the way down I did the opposite. I'd follow herd paths until they disappeared, and then follow the ridge where obvious and head due north otherwise. I had a few limited views in the steep section, but it was mostly through hardwood forest.

    Then I arrived at the top of some cliffs which I certainly hadn't encountered on my way up. Looking at the map it was clear that I was facing the valley between two of the three ridges which run north of the summit. The question was, which two. I wanted the middle one, but that could be either the one to my left or the one to my right. I guessed it was the one to my left. That turned out to be wrong. After a little while hiking on the left ridge I was worried that it was trending too much west, and then I got to a spot where I could see through the trees, and Graham was right in front of me. Realizing where I was, I decided to backtrack a little and then drop into the valley and head north. I changed my mind though when I saw that the ridge I wanted was headed north not too far away. I passed under the cliffs (which did not cause me to drop a lot of elevation) and climbed up the other ridge. This, however, started headed more northeast, and wasn't serving up any herd paths, so now I was wondering if I was right the first time. I decided just to head due north regardless of the topography, because no matter which ridge I was on moving due north would lead me to the Dry Brook, and from there I could easy get back to the trailhead.

    At one point while headed north I heard voices to my right (east). I shouted "hello" a few times (I didn't think to use my whistle.) but didn't get a response. Thinking that whoever it was was likely following the way I came up I moved east a little ways. I never saw the people, and stopped hearing them, so I started heading due north again. I never found another herd path on the ridge, but soon started hearing running water to the northeast. Thinking that that must be the Dry Brook I headed towards the sound of water. I did indeed arrive at the Dry Brook, turned left, and almost immediately arrived at the Seager Trail's crossing of the brook.

    Now that I definitely knew where I was I decided to explore upstream a little, because there's a waterfall marked on the map. I got my foot wet crossing the brook during this time. (Yes, my foot got wet in the Dry.) I didn't go far, though, when I decided to just head back. I crossed the brook without incident this time, and headed downstream. I took a long break at another waterfall I had passed before and them it was an easy stroll to my car.

    So there were times there where I wasn't sure where I was on the map, but I knew that regardless all I had to due was whack due north and I would end up at the brook without going much out of my way, so I don't consider myself as having been really lost.

    Doubletop was number 36 out of 39 on the Catskill 35 list. One more hike will finish it.

    Here are the pictures.

    --

    Cumulus

    NE111 in my 50s: 115/115 (67/67, 46/46, 2/2)
    NE111 in my 60s: 13/115 (11/67, 2/46, 0/2)
    NEFF: 46/50; Cat35: 36/39; WNH4K: 36/48; NEHH 81/100
    LT NB 2009

    "I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
    "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
    - Lewis Carroll


  • #2
    There are 359 wrong ways to leave the summit!
    Tom Rankin - 5444W, etc., etc.

    Web Master - NY Forest Fire Lookout Association
    Member #0003 - ADKHP Foundation
    Volunteer - Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President - Catskill 3500 Club
    CEO - Views And Brews

    Comment


    • #3
      Neil once explained this to me as "hiking by hypothesis" when one can go from absolute doubt to absolute certainty and back to absolute doubt again when the hypothesis does not match the data. It is part of the fun 😀
      "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

      Comment


      • #4
        To me, there are 2 ridges north. The one toward Graham goes directly west at first and then turns to the northwest. Thank you for not using NBLA (never be lost again). The ridge that can fool you the most is the one furthest right (east), because that will get you down to Dry Brook quite a ways further upstream. Perhaps you were not adjusting for magnetic north. If you go magnetic north, you will go 12 degrees west of true north, and your mistakes were to the west, so that is a possibility.
        Last edited by CatskillKev; 06-19-2015, 04:55 AM.
        I might be kidding...

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by CatskillKev View Post
          If you go magnetic north, you will go 12 degrees west of true north, and your mistakes were to the west, so that is a possibility.
          I was adjusting for magnetic declination, so when I was using my compass I was going true north. However, during the first part of the descent I was mostly following herd paths, and it's quite possible that I drifted to the west while doing that.

          --

          Cumulus

          NE111 in my 50s: 115/115 (67/67, 46/46, 2/2)
          NE111 in my 60s: 13/115 (11/67, 2/46, 0/2)
          NEFF: 46/50; Cat35: 36/39; WNH4K: 36/48; NEHH 81/100
          LT NB 2009

          "I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
          "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
          - Lewis Carroll

          Comment


          • #6
            I've learned that there are too many herd paths in the Catskills to trust them!
            Tom Rankin - 5444W, etc., etc.

            Web Master - NY Forest Fire Lookout Association
            Member #0003 - ADKHP Foundation
            Volunteer - Balsam Lake Mountain
            Past President - Catskill 3500 Club
            CEO - Views And Brews

            Comment


            • #7
              Coming off Doubletop was tricky for me too, as I recall. It's just a really long ridge, so there's lots of places to end up off. I think I took a similar route to you: down to the left of the due north ridge and then down the stream in that drainage back to Dry Brook.

              Comment


              • #8
                Been there and done that too Dennis! More than once I have zig zagged down off Doubletop, particularly when the leaves are on. Either the Flat Iron or the Dry Brook love to suck you down their way!

                When you say 36 out of 39 with one more hike to complete, am I to assume the Blackhead or Burroughs Ranges? Let us know when you are heading down for the grand finale - perhaps we could join you!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Laurie Rankin View Post
                  When you say 36 out of 39 with one more hike to complete, am I to assume the Blackhead or Burroughs Ranges?
                  Yes, the Blackhead Range.

                  Originally posted by Laurie Rankin View Post
                  Let us know when you are heading down for the grand finale - perhaps we could join you!
                  I'll put a notice on FB when I have a tentative date. I'll tag you. It won't be for a couple months at least, though; my summer's quickly filling up with plans.

                  --

                  Cumulus

                  NE111 in my 50s: 115/115 (67/67, 46/46, 2/2)
                  NE111 in my 60s: 13/115 (11/67, 2/46, 0/2)
                  NEFF: 46/50; Cat35: 36/39; WNH4K: 36/48; NEHH 81/100
                  LT NB 2009

                  "I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
                  "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
                  - Lewis Carroll


                  Comment

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