Ascent of Couchsachraga Peak on 2011-08-13

Climber: Kevin Withers

Others in Party:Candelin
Date:Saturday, August 13, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Couchsachraga Peak
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:3793 ft / 1156 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a second attempt to reach this peak after taking the wrong herdpath from the Santanoni-Panther ridge on a trip in 2004. We (a party of two) ascended to the ridge by way of the marked trail from Upper Works to Bradley Pond and then by the unblazed path from Bradley Pond, to Panther Brook, to the cairn at "Times Square" on the S-P ridge.

The trail into Bradley Pond from Upper Works was a quagmire for much of the way (4.3 miles) even after a recent dry spell. At the north end of Bradley Pond, there is a cairn where you turn off the marked trail. The old beaver dam, which previously served as a bridge over the stream and marsh at that point, has washed away. There is a narrow, unsteady tree branch across the stream in its place. The stream is about 10 feet wide and 6 feet deep at that point. Not wanting to fall with our loaded backpacks we looked for alternatives. A short distance north, there is a shorter (c. 4-6 feet) but still wobbly tree branch over the stream and a little north of that there is point where you can step over the stream. Using either alternative crossing you can follow a visible winding path on mostly firm ground to the point where the path to Panther Brook begins on the far side.

The path from there is not blazed but is easy enough to follow. It goes about one-third of the way around Bradley Pond and then veers to the right and uphill. The campsite is on the left, a short distance (8 minute walk) before you reach Panther Brook. (This site is about 0.9 miles from the Bradley Pond cairn.) From there we followed the brook and then an obvious trail to "Times Square" on the Santanoni-Panther ridge.

When you reach the ridge above Panther Brook, there is a cairn. Turn left there to go to "Times Square" where there is a large boulder with another cairn beside it. Continuing around the boulder to the south will take you to Santanoni. Going west from this ciarn takes you to Couchsachraga.

Other reports on this site and elsewhere comment on the bog in the col between the Santanoni-Panther ridge and Coochie. A number of branches and tree trunks have been laid down making it easier to cross this bog. We may have been lucky because the weather was dry for a spell before the day of our climb but it only took us a few minutes to cross the marsh and it's condition was not as bad as we had expected. The rest of the trip is relatively short and moderately steep with a few false peaks and rock scrambles between the deepest col and Coochie's summit. Also contrary to prior reports, the views from Coochie were pretty good.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Beautiful day

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