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Thomas Cole 11/17/18

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  • Thomas Cole 11/17/18

    Had hoped for the Blackhead Range, but with it being Richie's second time on snowshoes and there being about a foot of new snow on the ground from the recent storm, it was not to be. No problems with ice on the trail yet, but plenty of the white stuff! We met at Nana Gail's diner in Hensonville for a nice breakfast and then went to set up the cars for a drop at Big Hollow Road, but the trail was unplowed for an unknown distance and while my Honda Pilot could clear the snow, I didn't want to chance it with Richie's Hyundai sedan. This may be a recent change, as a friend said that road is usually plowed, but there was a definitive sign saying it was a seasonal access road and unmaintained from November 1 to May 1. Off to Burnham Road we went, where I could not find a true parking lot, so we did our best to tuck in on the side of the road, paying careful attention to the sign saying to not park in the snowplow turnaround! There was a car from Washington state and one from Florida there before us. I assumed the bare booter tracks came from the Florida car and we saw them veer off the main trail at about 2800 feet. Headed towards the Caudal? We never saw this person. We wore snowshoes from the jump, which you didn't really need at the bottom, where there were still exposed leaves and it was wet and slushy, but up high, you surely needed them. Hiked most of the day in hat, glove liners and base layer, but enjoyed the warmth of my new Patagonia Nano-Air after we stopped for lunch. One of the best pieces of gear I've added to the arsenal! Two later hikers came in and caught us as we followed the tracks from the other hiker. We met up with them again at Camel's Hump, which has a spectacular view of Thomas Cole. We never saw the sun which had been forecast for an appearance and it made you feel the chill. Trees helped lessen the effect of the wind, but you sometimes felt those 30 to 40 mph gusts! The hiker from Washington had made it to Camel's Hump, but apparently got spooked by some bear tracks that were seen in many locations up there! We made it to Thomas Cole and caught up with the other two hikers, who had been breaking trail from Camel's Hump on, and we all looked over to Black Dome and decided it was a bridge too far! Went back a bit for lunch and slowly made our way out, encountering a solo hiker at around 3000 feet with plans to bareboot over to 23. I thought it was a bit late at 2 PM and advised him that the trail was only broken out to Thomas Cole, to which he responded, "It's not really helping". He had an easy stride and lightweight pack, so I kind of assumed he was a past through-hiker, so he probably did fine. We made it out at 330 or so and averaged only 1 MPH, so the snowshoes really slowed Richie down. We'll do better the next time! :P
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Celebratory Macallan's dram back at the car! Not sure if this or the hot coffee in my Thermo's was a bigger motivation to finish!

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    • #3
      With regards to snow. Maybe this snow early in the season caught everybody asleep at the wheel.
      There was a big deal about it in NYC and in the High Peaks things weren't seeming to be getting plowed on time. Around near my place just north of Albany I felt snow clearing was slow compared to winter response.

      On Barnum Road. Only one time there parking seemed minimal. Hopefully some of the locals will chime in on that.

      Don

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      • #4
        As to parking; The end of Barnum Rd. has a bus/ plow turn around, no real parking area but you can park along the road I believe. Big Hollow is seasonal at the end, where the parking is.The turn around at the bottom is for school bus/ plow according to the signs. The DEC should step up and plow the last bit, seeing it is usage on their trails that calls for plowing.Common sense, school hours or snow storm plan accordingly.

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        • #5
          Nice pics and report Gebby. The parking rules can be a little tricky especially if you are not familiar with the area. Why that last few hundred yards of Big Hollow Rd is not plowed makes zero sense.
          And because of all their tears
          Their eyes can't hope to see
          The beauty that surrounds them
          Isn't it a pity
          -George Harrison

          Comment


          • gebby
            gebby commented
            Editing a comment
            Hope to learn the lay of the land as I slowly work on the 3500 footers, but I was surprised at the lack of signage and truly no parking area at all at Burnham Road. I presume I was parked legally, but I thought about it the whole time out there. :(

        • #6
          FWIW, you can park near, but not in, the turn around on Big Hollow Road. The Barnum Road end, is as you say, not well defined, but I've never had a problem parking where you did.
          Tom Rankin - 5444W "In the depths of Summer, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible Winter"

          Proud Member #0003 of ADKHP Foundation
          Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
          Past President Catskill 3500 Club
          CEO Views And Brews!

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          • gebby
            gebby commented
            Editing a comment
            What's it like in the summer down there Tom? I'm assuming it gets quite jammed with cars.

        • #7
          The Big Hollow Road end is jammed in Winter and Summer! Being a required Winter peak, it's very popular. Barnum, not so much.
          Tom Rankin - 5444W "In the depths of Summer, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible Winter"

          Proud Member #0003 of ADKHP Foundation
          Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
          Past President Catskill 3500 Club
          CEO Views And Brews!

          Comment

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