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Old 09-24-2018, 08:18 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 719
Brown Pond and Panther

My normal hiking partner had to last-minute cancel on what would have been a fun adventure: Brown Pond proper from the dam, the peak, down and up Panther, returning, then hitting up Brown Pond S, along with all 3 of the highest points on the ridge SW of there. Fortunately, my father (aged 61 – good for him!) came up last-minute from NYC, as he still needed both of the aforementioned top 100 peaks. We were on our way by 5 AM, and were to the dam by 7:30. At 7:40, we began our march. This included the typical approach to Buell: along the road, then taking the old road S then E to the height of land around 780 meters. We then descended to the N side of the swamp (always nice to get back there), then continued a bearing of E then ENE until we arrived at the stream at the 744 meter contour about 100 stream meters from the confluence of the stream which descends from Brown Pond. A lovely spot, so we stopped for lunch. The stream was absolutely beautiful in this wide valley, with open forest yet a canopy-covered stream. This made for very easy walking as we continued along either side of the stream for the next few hundred meters. We came across a large old oil tank which had washed downstream many years ago. It still has a long way to go before it weathers away into nothingness. We re-joined the moss-covered old road a few hundred meters before it entered the old Buell Club property, and continued forward to the main road. Both of the old interior buildings have now been demolished/burnt since the last time I was there about 5 years ago. After a few minutes, we continued along the road on the W side of the valley heading NE to the col between Panther and Brown Pond. We arrived after a mere 35 mins of walking, then began our ascent. After the first ~500 ft of easy bushwhacking, we came across the ferns. The fern-whacking took us literally to the top of the mountain, shy the remaining 25 vertical feet at the top. I’d never seen anything so incredibly open an easy. We had not a single hard spot to push through. We did see some areas of thicker conifers, but we always easily avoided them with minimal effort. We arrived on top at 11:40, 4 hrs after leaving the car; it could have easily been faster if we’d wanted by our route. #99/102 for me, leaving only Little Santa, Sunrise, and ST#1. My father still needs around 17 more to go. The top is fully wooded, but descending 20 feet on the E side did offer some lovely views through select openings in the trees.

We descended the same route, and returned onto the road. After some minor effort, I convinced him to ascend Brown Pond, which we made short work of. We then headed WSW for our descent, passing through the col on the SW side of Brown Pond proper. We continued on the same heading to the swampy area At 680 meters. A very high-quality beaver’s dam awaited us there. A true master-carpenter of beaver’s dams, as this one had multiple curves and everything. We were aiming for the lone structure at 43.7355 N x 74.4518 W with plans to follow that logging road back to the snowmobile trail. While we may have passed that road (and despite me having walked it ~4 years ago), we somehow missed that and ended up too far S. So, we continued to bushwhack it heading W/NW, and came out on the swamp just SE of the bridge on the snowmobile trail which is just S of the rapids section. Thanks to the dryness currently present, we easily walked along the grasses of the swamp to the far side, then hopped up and over to arrive at the road. A brief walk had us back to the car.

A lovely day to say the least! Second time up Brown Pond for me, and my first up Panther. Will my 25-year effort to climb the top 102 finish in its 26th year with the remaining 3 peaks? Only time will tell….
High peaks: Summer: 46/46 (1st iteration); 27/46 (2nd); 10/46 (3rd); 4/46 (4th) Winter: 7/46 (1st); 1/46 (2nd)

The other 56: Summer: 53/56(1st); 12/56(2nd); 3/56(3rd); 3/56(4th) Winter: 13/56(1st); 3/56(2nd); 1/56(3rd); 4th (0/56)
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Old 09-25-2018, 07:30 AM   #2
Bark Eater Too
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Wilmington, DE
Posts: 228
Congratulations. Sounds like a great day in the woods!
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