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Ascent of Saddleback Mountain on 1998-08-05

Climber: Alan Bangel

Others in Party:alone
Date:Wednesday, August 5, 1998
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Saddleback Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4528 ft / 1380 m

Ascent Trip Report

This is my twenty-first hike report. (August 5th, 1998 hike (originally written on August 18th 1998), report entered May 12th 2010)

After several days at home Jerry Leek and I managed to contact each other and we made plans to hike Saddleback and Basin on 8-5-98. We would meet at John Brook Lodge at 8:00AM on the 5th. We both planned to hike in and set up a base camp the day before, on the 4th. As it turned out we both got late starts and when I reached the Garden parking lot at 4:45 Jerry who was suppose to have been there at 2:00 had only arrived 15 minutes before me. It had started raining at 4:00 and had continued, and would continue until 6:30.
The weather was not conducive to a good start. (We would have had to hike in 3.5 miles in the rain to set up base camps.) Jerry decided he would leave and come back on the 5th. hike in and try the climb on the 6th. I decided to spend the night in the van and try to complete the hike as planned with the addition of 7 miles since I would be starting and ending from the Garden. I slept well and awoke at 5:30. By 6:15 I was on my way. I expected an easier better trail into John Brook since I knew it was heavily used. I did not expect as much up hill hiking as I encountered. The trail was fairly well marked and at 10:00 I was on the summit of Saddleback. I didn’t plan to spend much time here because our plans called for a hike to Basin and then a retrace of our tracks back over Saddleback. I started over the top and descended about 20 to 25 feet when my fear of heights and worry about doing some serious bodily damage made me stop, I also could not locate where I should go next. (At that moment I remembered why I planned this hike with Jerry in the first place) I climbed back to the summit and spent about a half hour trying to decide what to do. For the first time I was not going to get to complete the climb I had wanted to make.
I was angry with myself and stayed that way for more than a week after the climb. When I arrived back at the Garden it was about 2:20, Jerry his daughter and other members of his family were just arriving to do their hike-in for tomorrows climb. As of tonight (10 days later) I haven’t contacted Jerry to see how he did on his attempt. (Number 40, Saddleback)
In retrospect 12 years later I do not understand why I did not just hike back in on the 5th and re-climb Saddleback and attempt Basin with the Leeks. Considering the time of day the additional 3.5 miles in would have been possible, unless using August 6th was out of the question.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3209 ft / 978 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Overcast
Wet, cold, windy from the day before.
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:3209 ft / 978 m
    Trailhead:1319 ft / 402 m
Descent Statistics



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