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Ascent of Woodchuck Hill on 2010-09-02

Climber: Michael Schwartz

Date:Thursday, September 2, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Woodchuck Hill
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:2680 ft / 816 m

Ascent Trip Report

For this area, the "hybrid" aerial photo on Acme Mapper is much more useful than the topo, which shows many of what are now paved or good gravel roads as mere trails, and omits others completely.

From the junction of NY-23 and CR-10 in Stamford, go north 1.1 miles on CR-10, and turn left (NW) onto CR-45/Taylor Road. Take CR-45 1.9 miles to a T-junction where CR-45 goes left, but where you turn right onto Churchill Road. After less than 1/10 mile, turn left (N) onto Mt. Jefferson Road. Follow this for 0.6 miles to a crest, from which Sunrise Sunset Drive goes west and a posted dirt road heads east toward Woodchuck Hill, 0.62 miles distant.

I walked the dirt road east until its end at N45.45987 W74.60944. From there a trail continued east for a while, but eventually dropped off the mountain to the south. I tried bushwhacking east along the ridgeline, but the thick, head-high blackberries defeated me. I then tried the trail again which I left after a time when it lost too much elevation and headed south. The bushwhacking lower down was not as bad, and I soon reached a large open field south and east of the main summit, which I used to gain some elevation. From there I bushwhacked NW to the ridgeline and the summit. I passed a tree stand and some other signs of life, but not much else.

Returning, I stayed on the ridgeline as long as possible, but eventually dropped off to the north, on the theory that the underbrush on the north slope might be lower and thinner. This was a mixed bag of crud, and I never went back to the ridgetop to gain the dirt road. After a time I heard a truck climbing Mt. Jefferson Road and finally reached the road about 1/4 north and downhill from the beginning of the dirt road and Sunrise Sunset Drive. The one good decision I made was not wearing shorts, which would have been a disaster.

Afterward, I drove north on Mt. Jefferson Road and turned right onto the decent gravel Jones Hill Road, shown as a trail on the topo. After 0.2 miles a woods road headed uphill, and was 0.48 miles from the summit. I continued further along Jones Hill Road, which climbed steeply to a crest 0.75 miles from Mt. Jefferson Road. Just a few feet past the crest an unposted woods road headed west along the ridgeline, and was only 0.25 miles from the summit. Considering the closeness to the summit, the lesser foliage I found on that side of the summit, and the possibility that the woods road would cover some of the distance to the summit, this is the way to go, IMO.
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