Ascent of Mount Skylight on 1998-08-16

Climber: Alan Bangel

Others in Party:alone
Date:Sunday, August 16, 1998
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Skylight
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4925 ft / 1501 m

Ascent Trip Report

This is my twenty-second hike report. (August 16th, 1998 hike (originally written on August 18th 1998), report entered May 13th 2010)

On 8-15-98 I drove up to the Tahawus area (Upper Works) and hiked into the Calamity Brook lean-tos. The place was pretty crowded as this was a Saturday and there was little chance to get a lean-to. The night was spent in my tent situated some distance from the other campers. It took about 2 1/2 hrs to hike in and I arrived around 6:00 or soon after. My evening consisted of getting water from the spring, writing in my log, eating the turkey and ham sub. That I had carried, and finally reading the trail descriptions for the planned hikes for tomorrow. By 9:00PM it was black out and I was snuggled deep into my sleeping bag. I woke at early light around 5:50 and was contemplating the day when at 6:00 it started to rain. It steadily increased in volume for ten minutes and then after a brief sustained pour slowly subsided and stopped. By 6:25 I finally evacuated the tent, grabbed some food from my bear bag and started to the Colden Dam. This day I was planning to climb Gray and Skylight. After the Uphill Lean-to the trail was new to me but it was easy to follow, I made a note as to the location of the Cairns indicating the herd path to Cliff. I planned to return tomorrow to complete that climb. According to my watch I reached the summit of Gray close to 10:00. It’s worth noting here that I reached the summit of Skylight at 10:06. (So much for a trustworthy watch.) There was another person on Skylight and I was informed that the time was 12:40. In any case I did manage to complete both peaks that day, 8-16-98 (what a fabulous area and one of the best hikes). Yes, I want to go back.
I took several pictures, and I usually take one with my hat on top of the canister, but on this peak, Gray, I forgot. The 360-degree view from Skylight was beyond description, it was so worth the trip and I still wish I had someone to share that inner feeling that you get when you see beauty that surrounds you. I stayed on the peak for about 40 minutes, took a picture of my hat on the cairn, and then headed back to my tent site.
I tried to wash out some clothes in the Opalescent River below Colden Dam, and washed up myself as best I could. The lack of moving water near my campsite did not make it easy to wash. I was back by my tent some time around 5:45 according to my trusty watch. A fire a hot meal of spaghetti with meat sauce and Lipton’s Lentil Soup, some pretzels and several quarts of water and I started to feel pretty good again. This being Sunday evening many hikers were on their way out, by 8:00 I had relocated from the tent site to the first lean-to. I thought sleep would come easy after the days hike but I was wrong. The air was absolutely still. I slept poorly, if at all but at 6:30AM I was ready to climb Cliff. (See Cliff for more details)
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:577 ft / 176 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:577 ft / 176 m
    Trailhead:4348 ft / 1325 m
Descent Statistics

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