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Olderbark & Plateau 11-19-2022

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  • Olderbark & Plateau 11-19-2022

    TBPDPTI and I left the Mink Hollow trailhead at 6:45am just as daylight was breaking. We followed the old woods road right from the trailhead which climbs and heads generally in the direction we wanted. This quickly fizzled out so we began bushwhacking through the open woods toward the Olderbark wall looming in front of us. The going was pretty easy as we gained the first few hundred feet. Hunters were out - as I’d expect on the opening day of rifle season - wear your orange!

    In terms of the distance, the first half of the 1.25 mile bushwhack was a piece of cake. The woods slowly (and then not so slowly) became steeper and steeper and by around 2700 feet there was a more-or-less continuous layer of crusty snow on the ground, maybe 1-2 inches. The upper reaches were so incredibly steep that I actually got vertigo looking to the side at the land just falling away next to me. Despite the steepness, the climb was manageable. There was one major cliff band toward the top, which we were able to find a weakness in. After that the grade moderated significantly and we just had a few hundred more feet to the summit. The long, flat, boring summit ridge had a little bit more snow but we managed just fine in bare boots. It took us about 90 minutes to go from car to summit.

    After a quick break, we commenced the nearly 2-mile ridge walk to Plateau. Getting off Olderbark was easy enough, then we went through a challenging stretch with a lot of cripple brush just after the col. Once we reached the extremely narrow part of the ridge it was smooth sailing all the way up to Plateau. Just before reaching the trail/summit, the forest is match stick with tons of deadfall, but not really enough to significantly impede travel. Always feels great to be back on a trail.

    The descent from Plateau was long and grinding but overall not too bad. Took another break at the lean-to then began our way out on the Mink Hollow trail. We had thought we could go into “auto-pilot” mode during these past few miles but the rocky and wet trail dictated otherwise. Stream crossings were not hard. Back to the car at 11:30am. Excellent half-day outing in the cold November woods!
    Last edited by nickUSA; 11-19-2022, 06:51 PM.
    From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

  • #2
    Excellent time to Olderbark from where you parked. You picked a good route as there are steeper approaches, some with small-home-sized boulders.
    Are you guys working on the CHHs as I keep finisher's list with people are also actively working them.
    Nice job with the snow
    Alan
    "The mountains are like a museum where the exhibits change every month" ...Ralph Ryndak, Catskill Explorer

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