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Old 12-30-2008, 07:49 PM   #1
sd11856g
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pharaoh mtn trip

Hello
We are planning a 3 day 2 nite trip towards the end of january and would like some suggestions on what route to take and where we can camp. We would like to do a loop that includes up and over pharaoh mtn. What can we expect the conditions to be like? Are crampons needed for this area? Would like to hear everyones suggestions, thank you
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:29 PM   #2
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You could approach Pharoah Mt. from the Crane Pond side. You would have to add about 2 miles to your trip of course because the road to Crane is not maintained in the winter..not that it is anymore at any time. From Crane it's another 2 miles to the summit. You will more than likely need crampons, the last 1/8 miles is steep & bare rock & tends to get icy.

From the summit it's probably 1 1/2 miles to Pharoah Lake. Upon reaching the lake there are leantos to the left or right. (there's at least 6 of them on the lake I believe. You could take the swing trail back to Crane which starts in the Northwest corner of the Lake or you could do a through trip to Beaver Dam rd. (Brant Lake area) from the southwest corner, where the Lake takes a southerly bend and gets narrow approaching its outlet.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:32 PM   #3
Bob K
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Pharaoh Mtn in winter

Without the (officially wilderness) roads being plowed in winter, the closer access is from the south. There are multiple leantos on Pharaoh lake itself within 3-4 miles of the southern trailhead. There are 2 leantos on the northern shore. The southern shore sites won't add much to your trip if you can cross the lake on ice. This (Mill Brook access) is a fairly popular ski trip with pulling sleds being no problem except for one brief hill & bridge perhaps half way in. Camping there then heading up would be doable. The last portion is steep and the summit bare rock so it would be a mistake not to bring some traction aids. Full or 6 point crampons probably not necessary (but you never know). I've been up from both the N and S. in Nov. and the approach from the N had more ice (at least when I was there).

Doing a loop and exiting somewhere else is uncertain in winter given possible road access problems. A hiking loop is possible but it is a long way back to the lake if you camp there and ascend from the south and head north from there.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:39 PM   #4
Justin
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Great suggestions here...

...I'll add...
If you're set on going up & over Pharaoh Mtn, you might want to head in from the Crane Pond Road side (with skis and/or snowshoes of course),
and spend the first night at the Oxshoe Pd lean-to, or if you have a tent (which you should anyway), stay at one of the other less visited tent sites there, or continue onto Crab Pd. Then on the second day stay at the Spit Rock Bay lean-to near the north eastern end of Pharaoh Lake, or stay at one of the tent sites on the peninsulas on the Northwestern shores (there is a marked trail around the Northwest shore.)
Then return to the vehicle on day 3 by going up and over the mountain and back to Crane Pd with much lighter backpacks!

--

I also have plans for Pharaoh Mtn from Crane on the 17th.

Last edited by Justin; 12-31-2008 at 08:32 PM.. Reason: 17th
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:47 PM   #5
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For the southern access point to pharaohs lake, where is the parking during the winter? any chance you can actually drive a vehicle up to Mill Brook or do you have to park down on Beaver Pond Rd ? Looks like that adds another 2 miles ???

Thanks
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:56 PM   #6
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For the southern access point to pharaohs lake, where is the parking during the winter? any chance you can actually drive a vehicle up to Mill Brook or do you have to park down on Beaver Pond Rd ? Looks like that adds another 2 miles ???

Thanks
Usually there is a small parking area that is plowed just past the last camp but it can fill up quickly.....alternate parking is out on the Beaver Pond Road; there should be some signs on the trees there, but you know how those Adirondack signs seem to disappear. That road going up to Mill Brook is never plowed past that last camp, but even in the non winter months that last mile on that road has gotten really bad.
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:37 PM   #7
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thanks for the info.
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:32 AM   #8
sd11856g
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thanks guys
I think we will be going in from mill brook on saturday 17th camping sat nite on north side of lake and going up pharoah mtn sunday
scott
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:30 PM   #9
whcobbs
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Pharoah

Please give us a Trail Condition/Trip Report, as lots of us would like to know the snow conditions, skis vs snowshoes, etc. for the Pharoah Wilderness currently.

Happy Trails,
Walt

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thanks guys
I think we will be going in from mill brook on saturday 17th camping sat nite on north side of lake and going up pharoah mtn sunday
scott
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:42 PM   #10
Justin
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thanks guys
I think we will be going in from mill brook on saturday 17th camping sat nite on north side of lake and going up pharoah mtn sunday
scott
I'll keep an eye out for you Scott!
Some friends and I will be doing the mountain from Crane Pond Road on the 17th (tomorrow), with the possibility of doing a loop, by continuing down to Pharaoh Lake and returning on the "Long Swing Trail" past Glidden Marsh.

Hope to run into you!

Walt, you got it!
...and you can be sure that there'll be some pictures too!
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:18 PM   #11
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Please give us a Trail Condition/Trip Report, as lots of us would like to know the snow conditions, skis vs snowshoes, etc. for the Pharoah Wilderness currently.

Happy Trails,
Walt
My father and I climbed Pharaoh Mtn with our friends Bill, Greg, Paul, and my dog Jenny on Saturday from Crane Pond Road. We got somewhat of a late start, but it certainly turned out to be a great day! It was a bit cold out, but not too bad really once we got moving. There is a lot of snow on the ground there, but the trail/road has been broken in pretty good. There were ski tracks along side of the snowshoe tracks, basically all the way from the parking area to the top of the mountain. I was definitely wishing I had my skis for that last 2 miles back to the parking area. I think it would be safe to say that the conditions are absolutely perfect for skiing or snowshoeing in the Pharaoh Wilderness!

Scott, because of our late start, and my dog's issues with her paws, we were unable to continue down to Pharaoh Lake. I did noticed that the trail had not been broken from that direction yet. I hope you made it up to the mountain ok on Sunday anyway!

A few pics:
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:53 PM   #12
sd11856g
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Hi Justin!
Great pics! My wife and I had to reschedule our trip due to a nasty cold we both got. We plan to go first weekend in feb. now. I wish we could have met up! looks like it was a great day!
Scott
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:20 PM   #13
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Justin,
Have you tried doggie booties? We haven't yet because we figured the girls would just pull them off, but we were surprised they took to doggie backpacks. So maybe they will work.
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:25 PM   #14
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Justin,
Have you tried doggie booties? We haven't yet because we figured the girls would just pull them off, but we were surprised they took to doggie backpacks. So maybe they will work.
I have, and have you ever seen how well a bull behaves in a china shop?...
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:29 PM   #15
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I have, and have you ever seen how well a bull behaves in a china shop?...
YUP! They said with the backpacks to put them on and immediately take the dogs out for a run so they are distracted from the packs...it worked ,they now associate the packs with long hikes and cramped tents/den.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:44 PM   #16
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Thanks!
For the most part, Jenny does just fine and always seems to have as much fun as the rest of us, even when it's very cold out. It's later in the day when we stop for a few minutes to take a break and enjoy the view when she starts to show her discomforts.

Today, she seems like she's ready for another 10 miles out in the 3 feet of snow in the sub-zero temps!


Scott, ...Maybe next time!
I just got over being pretty sick myself.
I think getting out and going for that hike helped me feel better, more than it did for making matters worse.
I hope you feel better soon, and let us know how you make out if and when you go!

Last edited by Justin; 01-18-2009 at 07:56 PM..
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:29 PM   #17
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Justin and the rest--
Thanks for the super trip report. Looks like ice is not a problem on the top of Pharoah and the snow is bountiful.
Walt
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