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Old 04-04-2022, 04:15 PM   #21
montcalm
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Actually I'm pretty sure I had another thread about this, but I need to do some kid trips - my wife wants me to take off with a kid, but someone here pointed out the possibility that something happens to me, and then a young kid is all alone in the wild.

Ideally I'd like to to go someplace like Lila first for a wilderness trip with them, but perhaps we should do a hike-in. My thought was they'd have more fun near and on the water though...
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Old 04-04-2022, 05:43 PM   #22
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I never used ropes but I gotta say if you have one and you know how to rappel it can get you out of a jam. Sometimes climbing up is easier and you hit something you definitely don?t want to go up and get trapped.

I honestly don?t remember it being difficult. Conklin from the bottom is and there?s definitely a falls that is very hard to climb. I?ll talk more about it in your other thread.
Thanks for the info. Is this the waterfall in Conklin that you're referring to? My original plan at Conklin was to just hike the main yellow/blue loop and save the creekwalking for another time. Apparently, I still don't know myself too well because I couldn't resist exploring side trails and waterways. I made a few stops at the famous viewpoint, once in the early-morning and once at midday when the skies had opened up more. What a difference a few hours makes!

Here's a summary of my time on the western side of Upper Clark Gully with links to pics for illustrative purposes. Starting from the parking area at the top of South Hill Road (42.67335, -77.33762), a trail goes through a flat open field for roughly 500 feet before entering the woods. The beginning of the forest was flooded this past weekend. The rest of the trail was dry for this time of year. The wooded portion of the trail is a little under a half-mile and abruptly ends at an obstructed vista. There's a side trail, around the halfway point of the main trail, that heads eastward and downward towards the creek. From there, you can creekwalk upstream to a small waterfall or go downstream to the top of a larger waterfall. I did not feel comfortable descending to the base of that large waterfall downstream. Could I have made it? Possibly. Did I want to chance it? Not on this day. Instead, I headed back up to the main trail which is orange-blazed northbound/uphill but unmarked going southbound/downhill. In all my years of hiking, that was the first time that I have ever encountered one-way blazes like that. The trail is easy enough to follow, though, and navigating off-trail was also straight-forward with the fast-flowing waters and cliffs serving as landmarks.

From the aforementioned overlook where the trail ends, I headed downhill to that clearing where I took the photos shown above. It was fairly steep in Upper Clark Gully, though you are correct that it gets even steeper further downhill on the western side. I hope to check out more of Lower Clark Gully some other time, perhaps in a couple of months before things dry out. Or maybe in the fall...

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Old 04-04-2022, 07:09 PM   #23
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I'm definitely positive I've been to that "vista" in Clark's, and that I probably came up the trail you are speaking of, the one that connects the creek to the rim. Although at over 20 years ago, it may have changed. There were no blazes in there years ago, so I'm sure that's new, although the trail you show which looks to be on the western side, looks quite old. I don't recall ever being on the western rim - but maybe that is how I came up from the bottom and then I crossed over the gully further up. I definitely remember being at the bottom of that spine where you took your first set of pics, but I recall the view of it looking north more than east, but what I mainly remember is the profile of that spine. I don't recall ever going up or down that big waterfall so maybe there's another way around from the bottom (I know, not helpful). I know there's definitely a way to get to all the spots you were from Sunnyside though, because I've done it, and I don't recall anything too hairy. And I've definitely thought of or done some hairy climbs in Clark's and Conklin. In fact there's one climb there that I bet is still used that climbs directly to the right of the two photos you took (in Conklin). It's top ten scariest thing I've ever done and I wouldn't do it now.

I assume you hiked down to the big falls at Conklin from the upper trail and turned around there? That's the one that blocks you coming up from the bottom and the gorge is REALLY steep and narrow below that - I don't know of any trails up. I think the only way is to climb the falls. I believe most people turn there or come down from the top.
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Old 04-04-2022, 08:28 PM   #24
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Here's a quick map of Conklin Gully / Hi-Tor that I created showing my approximate route after I left the main blue/yellow trail. I initially creekwalked up a series of small waterfalls to where the creek splits and then headed uphill in a westward direction. From the top, I descended the opposite side of the hill via a rocky ravine. That led me near the top of what I assume was Angel Falls unless there's a taller waterfall that I missed. From there, I climbed back up the ravine, headed south from the top of the hill, and then hiked a dirt slope down towards the creek. There was a single-track trail close to the rapids, as well as this resting area if that rings a bell. I then headed back upstream to this medium-sized waterfall where I had lunch and changed out my water/socks. Finally, I returned to the main trail to re-visit the popular vista and then complete the counter-clockwise loop.

From the top of the large waterfall in Upper Clark's Gully, I noticed a fixed rope beneath the west rim, off in the distance. I wouldn't be surprised if there were other fixed ropes along the way for hikers who head upstream from the Sunnyside Road entrance. Thanks for the assurance that a safe journey from that end is possible! I wasn't so sure after reading some of the regional waterfalling sources that I rely on for beta.

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I'm definitely positive I've been to that "vista" in Clark's, and that I probably came up the trail you are speaking of, the one that connects the creek to the rim. Although at over 20 years ago, it may have changed. There were no blazes in there years ago, so I'm sure that's new, although the trail you show which looks to be on the western side, looks quite old. I don't recall ever being on the western rim - but maybe that is how I came up from the bottom and then I crossed over the gully further up. I definitely remember being at the bottom of that spine where you took your first set of pics, but I recall the view of it looking north more than east, but what I mainly remember is the profile of that spine. I don't recall ever going up or down that big waterfall so maybe there's another way around from the bottom (I know, not helpful). I know there's definitely a way to get to all the spots you were from Sunnyside though, because I've done it, and I don't recall anything too hairy. And I've definitely thought of or done some hairy climbs in Clark's and Conklin. In fact there's one climb there that I bet is still used that climbs directly to the right of the two photos you took (in Conklin). It's top ten scariest thing I've ever done and I wouldn't do it now.

I assume you hiked down to the big falls at Conklin from the upper trail and turned around there? That's the one that blocks you coming up from the bottom and the gorge is REALLY steep and narrow below that - I don't know of any trails up. I think the only way is to climb the falls. I believe most people turn there or come down from the top.

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Old 04-04-2022, 09:20 PM   #25
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The waterfall I was thinking of was much lower down -

"Angel Falls" is the one that is by far the largest that is an intermittent stream. You can see it just to the left of the popular lookout. I've never heard it called that, but it seems aptly named, albeit maybe a bit optimistic.

The second largest one is downstream of that, IIRC. I've never been up or down that one - I've hiked down to it from the upper trails and up to it from the lower parking area on 245. It can be climbed but wet rocks are not my forte. I would definitely rappel it if I had the gear and updated my training. Once down past that falls (if one were to rappel it) there are two trails, one on each rim (shown on that map you linked) that take you back up to the top.
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Old 04-04-2022, 09:58 PM   #26
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The waterfall I was thinking of was much lower down -

"Angel Falls" is the one that is by far the largest that is an intermittent stream. You can see it just to the left of the popular lookout. I've never heard it called that, but it seems aptly named, albeit maybe a bit optimistic.

The second largest one is downstream of that, IIRC. I've never been up or down that one - I've hiked down to it from the upper trails and up to it from the lower parking area on 245. It can be climbed but wet rocks are not my forte. I would definitely rappel it if I had the gear and updated my training. Once down past that falls (if one were to rappel it) there are two trails, one on each rim (shown on that map you linked) that take you back up to the top.
Could this be Angel Falls? This photo was taken from an unmarked side trail that begins near this bridge crossing and has obstructed views of Lake Canandaigua on the other side.



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Old 04-04-2022, 10:04 PM   #27
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Yup, that's it - haven't seen the view from that side in a while, but you can also see it on the other side.

In the bottom photo I can see the sketchy climbing trail to get up to the overlook - it's that spine in the lower left of the photo. One can climb all the way up from the in between the two bottom falls up to the lookout from that trail. I don't advise doing so, though.
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Old 04-04-2022, 10:07 PM   #28
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Yup, that's it - haven't seen the view from that side in a while, but you can also see it on the other side.

In the bottom photo I can see the sketchy climbing trail to get up to the overlook - it's that spine in the lower left of the photo. One can climb all the way up from the in between the two bottom falls up to the lookout from that trail. I don't advise doing so, though.
Yeah, I think I'll pass on that route, thank you very much!
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Old 04-05-2022, 07:35 PM   #29
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Actually I'm pretty sure I had another thread about this, but I need to do some kid trips - my wife wants me to take off with a kid, but someone here pointed out the possibility that something happens to me, and then a young kid is all alone in the wild.

Ideally I'd like to to go someplace like Lila first for a wilderness trip with them, but perhaps we should do a hike-in. My thought was they'd have more fun near and on the water though...
When my kid was in 9th grade I hiked in the high peaks. If you drop dead someone will be there in at most 30 minutes. I turned a negative into a positive.
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Old 04-05-2022, 08:10 PM   #30
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When my kid was in 9th grade I hiked in the high peaks. If you drop dead someone will be there in at most 30 minutes. I turned a negative into a positive.
That's great!

My kids are much younger - 5, so our expectations are a little lower. I bet they could knock out a couple in a few years, but I'm not sure that's what we'll do... not 100% my main interest.
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Old 04-05-2022, 08:26 PM   #31
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When I was a younger father, I would take the kids wilderness camping along with my BIL's and nieces and nephews. That way we had more than one adult, the moms at home got a break, and the bases were covered in the event of a mishap. My now adult kids have some very cherished memories from those trips.
And the trips need not be epic...1/4 mile in will seem like a world away to the little guys.

A buddy of mine takes 1 or 2 of his three boys on various trips (wilderness camping, paddling, alpine skiing) and leaves 1 or 2 home. That way, every one of the boys gets alone time with mom and dad, just not every time.
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Old 04-05-2022, 08:58 PM   #32
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Yeah - unfortunately I don't have anyone that will do that. But I may have found someone - although everyone means different stuff when they talk about "camping". I'm really OK with whatever though - I can find a million things to do from a campground, if need be.

My wife will likely go - she enjoys it. But I don't know that we want to take all our kids at once for something like that. Maybe Gma and Gpa will be able to handle one overnight soon enough.
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Old 04-07-2022, 08:06 AM   #33
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Got a week off from work coming up soon, and am planning to hike the 85 mile Susquehannock Trail System in PA with a few friends. I solo backpacked it previously in 2013, and it has consistently remained in my most-favorite backpacking experiences and I'm looking forward to being able to revisit the entire trail with friends (while also traversing at a slightly slower pace that affords more time to to enjoy the sights and scenery along the way). The Hammersley Wild Area especially is full of memories with some of those same friends, as it was the site for weekend group backpacking trips in 2014 and in 2015, and I know some of us are looking forward to spending another evening camped there.

Aside from that, no major plans for the year (as of yet, anyways). More lean-to bagging, of course, with a focus on boat-access lean-tos as many of the ones I have left in the ADKs are boat access only. Hoping to get out on various water bodies in June while it's still relatively quiet... Raquette Lake, Utowana Lake, Forked Lake are all on the potential short list.
I snagged a copy of the lean-to map you've share and added the STS and OLP shelters, if that's useful. I managed to stay a lean-to each of my 3 nights on the STS last June (including the creepy Dynamite Shack). You said you're looking forward to Hammersley WA, but if you've got the time for a couple mile detour to Twin Sisters it's a great overlook. There are a few ways to get there; Jeff Mitchell has posted some good info on that. If you're planning on staying at the campsite just upstream from the "Big Blue Hole" pool in Hammersley know it was unfortunately pretty trashed last year.
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Old 04-07-2022, 11:03 AM   #34
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I snagged a copy of the lean-to map you've share and added the STS and OLP shelters, if that's useful. I managed to stay a lean-to each of my 3 nights on the STS last June (including the creepy Dynamite Shack). You said you're looking forward to Hammersley WA, but if you've got the time for a couple mile detour to Twin Sisters it's a great overlook. There are a few ways to get there; Jeff Mitchell has posted some good info on that. If you're planning on staying at the campsite just upstream from the "Big Blue Hole" pool in Hammersley know it was unfortunately pretty trashed last year.
Thanks. I will mention the Twin Sisters route to my companions- that's an area I've been wanting to visit for years. We'll probably stick to the main STS, though, since thru-hiking that trail is the main goal of our trip. (I'm the only group member that has hiked it in its entirety previously.)

I've done a couple of weekend trips with friends into the Hammersley Area over the years, and both times I unsuccessfully tried to sell this loop itinerary to the group as either a backpacking loop, or a day hike loop from a base camp on Hammersley Fork. But on both trips the group instead elected to remain in the Hammersley Valley... I think they were bit more focused on the "socializing" aspect of those backpacking trips. And don't get me wrong, I still had a blast on those trips... but some day I'll finally make it to Twin Sisters.

That is a shame to hear about that campsite. I know the STS guidebook discourages camping at The Pool because there's been so many issues with overuse and groups not treating that area with respect. We always camped at the large nice site that was maybe a .2 or .3 miles downstream of The Pool. Somewhere near The Pool is our tentative night #5 destination. We're also planning to stop at Deb's in Cross Fork on our way through town, though, so we may not exactly be sober for the second half of the day. The massive climb into Hammersley that starts right on the outskirts of town could be interesting...

BTW, I can't get your map to open- I get an error message.

I've thought about expanding the shelter map to other states, but honestly even keeping NY State straight is enough work in my spare time as it is.
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Old 04-07-2022, 12:07 PM   #35
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In the Adirondacks I hope to do a bushwhacking "triple crown" in May-June. The 5 Sentinels, the 5 Sawtooths and 6 three thousand footers in the Hoffman Notch Wilderness, each series in a day, within a week (weather permitting). I would hike on days 1,4 and 7 and rest in between. After that I'll have had my fill of bushwhacking for a while so....

...in July we're heading to Wyoming and other mountain states for a few months.
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Old 04-07-2022, 12:55 PM   #36
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In the Adirondacks I hope to do a bushwhacking "triple crown" in May-June. The 5 Sentinels, the 5 Sawtooths and 6 three thousand footers in the Hoffman Notch Wilderness, each series in a day, within a week (weather permitting). I would hike on days 1,4 and 7 and rest in between. After that I'll have had my fill of bushwhacking for a while so....

...in July we're heading to Wyoming and other mountain states for a few months.
that sounds interesting! if you are looking for company let me know, i can probably swing one of those. maybe a 2 car / 1 way traverse of the sentinel range?
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Old 04-07-2022, 01:24 PM   #37
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I've done a couple of weekend trips with friends into the Hammersley Area over the years, and both times I unsuccessfully tried to sell this loop itinerary to the group as either a backpacking loop, or a day hike loop from a base camp on Hammersley Fork. But on both trips the group instead elected to remain in the Hammersley Valley... I think they were bit more focused on the "socializing" aspect of those backpacking trips. And don't get me wrong, I still had a blast on those trips... but some day I'll finally make it to Twin Sisters.

That is a shame to hear about that campsite. I know the STS guidebook discourages camping at The Pool because there's been so many issues with overuse and groups not treating that area with respect. We always camped at the large nice site that was maybe a .2 or .3 miles downstream of The Pool. Somewhere near The Pool is our tentative night #5 destination. We're also planning to stop at Deb's in Cross Fork on our way through town, though, so we may not exactly be sober for the second half of the day. The massive climb into Hammersley that starts right on the outskirts of town could be interesting...
I figured; still a fun route without including it! I've never followed that gas line up to the vista, but instead have bushwhacked up that major drainage just south of the cut, continuously taking the right at each fork. Rough, but passable. Jeff Mitchell suggests you may be able to climb the ridge on the north side of Twin Sisters Hollow (apparently that has some nice views much of the way up). There's some decent camping up top too, but it's dry of course.

Hah I'm not sure if doing the biggest climb of the loop after a few beers is brilliant or nuts; probably somewhere between. The site tucked in the trees just upstream of the pool is still usable, just a bit trashy. Maybe someone cleared it in the past year.

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BTW, I can't get your map to open- I get an error message.

I've thought about expanding the shelter map to other states, but honestly even keeping NY State straight is enough work in my spare time as it is.
Thanks, I just realized I hadn't made it public. Yeah, the amount of work you put into that is impressive; I was happy to add 9 shelters and called it quits.

I just did it last year, but talking about the STS is making me want to get out there again..
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Old 04-07-2022, 01:37 PM   #38
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That's great!

My kids are much younger - 5, so our expectations are a little lower. I bet they could knock out a couple in a few years, but I'm not sure that's what we'll do... not 100% my main interest.
You don't have to DO a high peak. You could camp at Marcy Dam and Lake Colden and go to Avalanche pass or Indian Falls or the Falls between Colden and Uphill leanto.

This way the same drop dead protection still applies!

Go in on Sunday so you can get leanto.
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Old 04-07-2022, 02:34 PM   #39
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You don't have to DO a high peak. You could camp at Marcy Dam and Lake Colden and go to Avalanche pass or Indian Falls or the Falls between Colden and Uphill leanto.

This way the same drop dead protection still applies!

Go in on Sunday so you can get leanto.

Hmmm... maybe. 5.5 hr drive for me. I'd love to hit something a little closer. I can hit the blue line in under 3 on the western edge.
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Old 04-08-2022, 12:08 PM   #40
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that sounds interesting! if you are looking for company let me know, i can probably swing one of those. maybe a 2 car / 1 way traverse of the sentinel range?
I will definitely let you know. You can be my rabbit!
Sents would probably be Stew-Sent-Kil-Slide-Pitchoff.
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