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Old 01-21-2021, 05:20 PM   #1
arvinsmee
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 41
Looking for Info on Santatoni / Panther Camping Trip

I’m planning a solo two night camping trip in the Dacks in the next few weeks, and I wanted to throw it up here to see if anyone had good info. I’ve done a handful of 2-3 night winter trips in the Catskills and Dacks, but never a 46er (much less two) so I thought it would be good to run the trip by the experts and make sure I’m not missing anything. I feel confident camping in winter conditions, but I’m less experienced with winter hiking. As far as summits, I’ve only done Pharaoh a couple times, plus a handful of 4000 footers in the Catskills.

The Plan
Park at the Bradley Pond Trailhead lot on a Friday. Ski the first ~2 mi on the forest road to where the trail turns off. Switch to snowshoes and hike up to the lean to at Bradley Pond. Camp there. Next day, take the full pack (25 lbs with food and water) and hike up to Panther, then on to Santanoni if I’m feeling good. Then either down via the Santanoni Express, or if it’s not broken, perhaps back the way I came. Camp at the shelter or somewhere on the mountain before the state land boundary. Hike / ski out the next day.

Gear
Shelter: Zero degree bag / Hexamid tarp / bivy / groundsheet / Neoair Xtherm
Clothes Bottom: 250 merino base / Fleece Pants / Activator Softshell pants
Clothes Top: 250 merino base / R1 Fleece / shell / medium puffy / heavy puffy (Rab Neutrino)
Snow stuff: microspikes / MSR Ascent Snowshoes / ice ax / ski goggles
Safety: Delorme / full med kit
Navigation: compass + maps / Gaia GPS on my phone (with a 10,000 mAh back up battery)

Questions
- Should I expect any running water at the pond outlet? I got plenty of fuel to melt snow either way but it’d be nice to avoid have to do that.
- It seems like the express path gets less travel than the Panther herd path - is this the case?
- I realize both herd paths can be completely obscured if not broken - any hints on navigating? I’ve got enough battery to just stay glued to my gps but that’s not much fun.

I know that these sort of “relative novice goes winter camping” questions often get a “you should reconsider” response (at least, all of mine in the past have) - and I appreciate the honesty. But I want to add that I’ve got 15 years experience under my belt and I know well that discretion is the better part of valor. Bagging a few winter summits would be nice, but if it’s looking too rough, I’ll be more than ok with turning back and calling it a day. So give me your honest assessment, but don’t think I’m some moron charging up the mountain with no regard for my own safety.
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