Ascent to Balsam Lake Mountain-Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower on 2011-06-29
|Others in Party:||alone|
|Date:||Wednesday, June 29, 2011|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
|Point Reached:||Balsam Lake Mountain - Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower|
| Location:||USA-New York|
| Elevation:||3720 ft / 1133 m|
Ascent Trip ReportHello all,
The weather was cool, high around 71 or 2 occasional squirts of sun but for the most it was overcast and threatening rain (gloomy).
I was up at 6:30 with the alarm but didn't get out of the house until 7:13. I did a fast tire pressure check at Scott Smith and Son, picked up breakfast,
(a garlic bagel, this time, which stayed with me all day, and a large coffee) at 7:39 I was on the highway.
A brief stop at Starbucks in Vestal but there were no coffee grounds in the bin.
At 8:23 I spotted a Kayaker and a canoe on the Susquahanna close to where I had seen deer on a previous hike drive.
At 8:48 I made a brief stop at Hancock, potty stop, then quickly moved on.
At 10:04 I reached a Trailhead for Alder Lake and dropped off the bike, chaining it to the Kiosk instead of hiding it in the woods.
I figured anyone seeing it would think I was close, fishing at the lake or hiking around it.
I zeroed the trip odometer and used the car to measure the distance from the bike drop-off to where I was parking the car at the Hardenburgh Trailhead. (8.8 miles)
At 10:26 I was getting my keys ready, changing into hiking gear, and leaving the car. I had put new batteries in the GPS the night before but I guess I had failed to turn the unit off.
The GPS was dead, so I was not going to have the time, or the altitude readings that I like to use it for.
I did the 1.9 miles of dirt road and reached the Balsam Lake Trailhead at almost 11:30. There was a woman and her 2 dogs at the trailhead and I asked her for the time.
She was a local and was going out to do some "trail maintenance" for the day. She was the last person I saw and spoke to until the end of my hike.
At 12:46 I was on the Fire Tower, I tried calling home three times and actually made a short connection long enough to let Chris know I had made it that far.
I was getting cold due to the wind, I got off the tower, and after that last "time stamp" the cell phone was useless for the rest of the day.
(not enough signal to even get the time, it's such an important emergency tool that I have to carry for ten miles. OHHHHH, DON"T GET ME GOING)
My mistake, I did find a small overlook, took some pictures and got a time of 2:15 from the cell.
The hike was long and the weather was very gloomy, there were several times when I thought the skies were going to open up and cover me with liquid sunshine.
I did reach the Beecher Lake vista and I was able to locate the High point on the Mill Brook Ridge Trail (3480")
At some point I also reached the lean-to overlooking Beaver Pond Meadow. I took a break, inspected a good spring, was I did not need water,
there are several good "piped" springs on this hike.
Alder Lake was a nice looking area. There are pictures, to be sent separately. I spotted a tent but did not break their solitude, I moved on.
The bike ride was long, small hills seemed like big challenges. I did walk the bike down a steep gravel slope about .2 miles leaving Alder Lake and again a short distance up hill on Beaver Kill Road
because I was busy rubber-necking the Beaver kill river. I saw this area that would have made a great photo but it was fenced off because of the steep bank and private land.
I couldn't get into a position to shoot a photo. I walked looking for a place to break through.
At 7:11 I reached the car and was able to check the car clock. At 7:26 I was changed and the bike was stored and I was pulling out for the drive home.
I called Chris from the side of 17 when I was a few miles from Hancock, it was after 8:00 already. I stopped for dinner and ate during the trip home.
I did not note when I made it home.
Hike milage will be listed as 10.5 miles. (dirt road 1.9, 1.5 to Junction of Mill Brook Ridge Trail, .25 to and from the Fire Tower, 6.6 Mill Brook Ridge Trail)
FLT miles 8.1
|Summary Total Data|
| Elevation Gain:||1260 ft / 384 m|
| Quality:||1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Road Hike, Maintained Trail|
| Gear Used:||Bicycle, Ski Poles|
| Weather:||Cool, Breezy, Overcast|
Cloudy, 72 day high
| Elevation Gain:||1260 ft / 384 m|
| Distance:||8.1 mi / 13 km|
| Route:||Traveling West on FLT|
| Trailhead:||Hardenburgh Trailhead 2460 ft / 749 m|
| Route:||Mill brook Ridge Trail|
| Trailhead:||Alder Lake Trailhead |
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