Ascent of First Brother on 2006-07-24

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Date:Monday, July 24, 2006
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:First Brother
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:2986 ft / 910 m

Ascent Trip Report


After a 2 1/2 hour drive, I arrived at the Garden parking (5$/d) in keene Valley. I had reservations at the JBL (50$/night,c/w meals), located 3 1/2 miles up the Phelps trail (at elev 2316 ft), on way to Mount Marcy from the Garden parking. I have been here a number of times, and I've climbed all of the peaks in the area, more than once ..... on this trip I will climb Marcy, highest in NY state, for the 5th time. I like hiking in this area because of the luxury and isolation of staying at JBL.

Intead of hiking straight up Phelps trail to JBL from the Garden, I hiked over the Three Brothers and Big Slide Mountain, for a more interesting/tougher day, all of which offer execellent views. The trails throughout the ADK"S are rough for the most part, lots of roots with some rocks and few smooth sections. When wet, the trails are muddy and swampy in places.

When I arrived at JBL the caretakers were out, so I took the Down-river bunk room, settled in and went for a dip in Phelps brook. A short while later Nate, one of the caretakers, showed up. I know him from last year. This year he is working full time for ADK Mountain Club, and today he was up on Haystack doing trail work. We both have Limmer boots.

17h00 hrs - George and his son Sam, came rushing down from an up-river Leanto, stressed out and looking pale as a ghost ! ! He told us that a black bear, wearing a big collar, cornered his son in the Leanto for 30 minutes. George was outside the Leanto making all sorts of noise and gestures, trying to get the bear to leave. The bear growled at him a few times, and chewed up all of their gear, looking for food ..... all the while, the son alone in the corner of the Leanto. When the bear finally left, George grabbed his wallet and with his son rushed down to JBL looking for the Ranger, leaving all of his gear behind. Nate knew that the Ranger (whose Station is just down the trail) was not in , so Nate gave him a form to fill out. After filling out the form, they headed straight for the Garden parking, with no intentions of going back for their gear, "I don't care about that stuff, the Ranger can do what he wants with it", he said as they started down the trail.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1463 ft / 446 m
    Elevation Loss:670 ft / 205 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Hut Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1463 ft / 446 m
    Distance:6.2 mi / 10 km
    Route:the garden/brothers trail/slide mt brook trail/JBL
    Trailhead:the garden parking, in keen valley NY  1523 ft / 464 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:670 ft / 205 m
    Route:the brothers trail to slide mt brook trail
    Trailhead:johns brook lodge past ranger station, on phelps t  2316 ft / 705 m

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