Jaunary 2007 -- Lone and Rocky

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Lone and Rocky

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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.

After I crossed the bridge, I was simply not ready to stop.  The rain 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 sign to the spring and started looking for the leanto, although my GPS showed it was still pretty far away.  I should have suspected something, because the spring was pretty far also.  I continued on and on, 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 up my hammock.  Before I knew it, I was at Peekamoose.  This 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
Lone from Peekamoose/Table Col


Lone Canister
The horizon is pretty confusing, with several prominent peaks that might be confused with Lone.  I made great time, finding the walking much easier than last time.  I arrived at Lone in about one hour from the col.
Lone Canister


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
Rocky From Lone


Rocky Canister
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. 
Rocky Canister

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 enjoyed descending
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. 
Neversink Tributary
Neversink Tributary


Neversink Crossing
The Neversink water was high enough so that a crossing would have been intimidating, but not impossible.  I had to climb up and 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.
Neversink Bridge

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