Lone and Rocky
The winder of 2007 has been the mildest in my memory. The weekend of Jan 6-7 was no different -- rain showers and a predicted high in the 60s. I decided that this would be a great time to climb Lone and Rocky, without having to deal with the snow.
I got a late start, leaving home after 1 PM on Saturday. I was at the trailhead by 5:00, just before darkness. I could not make up my mind whether to hike up and camp, or to sleep in the car. I decided to hike up and check out the state of the bridge, since the water was very high everywhere. I got to the bridge and saw that it was still well above the water, meaning that I could safely cross there. I returned to the car, now in the dark, still undecided.
While I was away, another car had shown up, and the occupant appeared to be planning to camp overnight there in the parking lot. That helped me make up my mind -- I would pack up my bag and hike in. I was pondering two options: camping just beyond the bridge and climbing Lone and Rocky with only a daypack, or camping up at the leanto. Camping at the leanto would mean I had to carry my pack the whole way, but I would likely be warmer sleeping there.
I crossed the bridge, I was simply not ready to stop. The
showers had stopped completely, the moon was getting ready to rise, and
I was enjoying walking. I continued through the darkness,
following the trail without much difficulty. I passed the
the spring and started looking for the leanto, although my GPS showed
it was still pretty far away. I should have suspected
because the spring was pretty far also. I continued on and
eventually passing Table Mountain and heading down the other side.
I decided to camp in the Table/Pekamoose col instead of the
leanto. The trail descended, then started ascending gradually
again. I was looking for a break in the trees so I could set
my hammock. Before I knew it, I was at Peekamoose.
seemed so much farther last time!
||I turned around, retraced my steps, this time looking for any clear patch to set up camp. Eventually I found a spot a few feet of the trail, in the col. By now it was 11:00 and I had been hiking for four hours. The trees and the ground was still wet, but the occasional showers had turned into light snow. I set up the hammock, got in, and discovered I had brought my summer sleeping bag. Oops. On the other hand, I had brought along a sleeping pad, which made a huge difference (unless it slipped aside and I was laying directly on the hammock. The wind came up and I had to tighten the rain fly, but otherwise Iwas snug and relatively warm inside the hammock.|
|Campsite in Peekamoose/Table Col|
|Next morning I put on my frozen shoes, made some breakfast, and was on my way shortly after dawn. The turnoff to Lone was a short walk up the trail. I took a bearing and headed as straight towards Lone as I could. I could see the peak most of the way, and where I could not I could at least see the sun, so I kept on course pretty well.|
|Lone from Peekamoose/Table Col|
|The horizon is pretty confusing, with several prominent
that might be confused with Lone. I made great time, finding
walking much easier than last time. I arrived at Lone in
one hour from the col.
|After a short rest I pushed on to Rocky. Again, the peak was clearly visible. The thick balsam forest made progress slow and painful. I tried to keep to the left of the ridge, because the forest seemed a little less thick there. In profile, the right side of the mountain seemed much steeper than the left. Only one band of rocks presented any challenge: I worked my way around to the left and found an easyway up.||
|Rocky From Lone|
||The last half mile was the toughest, because of the thicket of trees. I got to the summit about 10:30. It seemed very familiar,from the time I spent the night there.|
|Next, I descended northeast toward the Neversink River.
The map makes it look pretty steep, but in reality it is easy
going -- no cliffs. The thickets of brush gradually diminished, and I
in the sunlight. I crossed the little Neversink tributary originating the the Lone/Rocky col, and kept angling downward. Eventually I reached the Neversink where this tributary joins it. There I discovered the faint signs of the Fisherman's trail on the south bank, which I followed down. Soon I ran into the person who had camped in the parking area, who was heading upstream.
||The Neversink water was high enough so that a crossing
have been intimidating, but not impossible. I had to climb up
over a few
cliffs to stay on the south bank, but otherwise I followed the remnants of the trail the whole way back. This now seemed like a long way, for some reason. I reached the trailhead about 2:30.
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