Ascent of Giant Ledge on 2018-07-15

Climber: Jacob Kitson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, July 15, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Giant Ledge
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:3200 ft / 975 m

Ascent Trip Report

Of the two main approaches to Panther Mountain, the southern is far more popular, as it is shorter, involves less elevation gain, and also ascends Giant Ledge. The trailhead at Oliverea Road is actually some distance from the start of the trail itself. The trail is initially rather steep, as its first half climbs the col between Panther Mountain to the north and Slide Mountain to the south. From here it levels out for maybe half a mile before turning to a series of scrambles that approach the ledge. The summit area is a designated camping area, one of the highest in the Catskills, and a number of trails connect the various campsites with views on both sides of the ledge, running over the highest point at the summit.

The ledge itself is very impressive. The trail runs right along the side of the cliff at the summit's eastern edge, a drop of over two hundred feet at its highest point. The trail runs along the cliff's edge for about a third of a mile, weaving in and out from the edge of the deciduous forest that covers the summit. The ledge is open and accessible, and is quite sheer at some points, and walking its edge is a bit of a thrill. The views from the side of the ledge are absolutely incredible, by far some of the best in the region. While I was there some clouds moved in, and I could watch them envelope Slide Mountain and the Burroughs Range to the south. The valley to the west and hills to the north are almost untouched wilderness, just an incredible vast expanse of unbroken forest.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1035 ft / 315 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.1 mi / 5.1 km
    Route:Panther Mountain-Giant Ledge Trail
    Trailhead:Oliverea Road  2165 ft / 659 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:55 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Panther Mountain 2018 (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Giant Ledge2018-07-151035 ft / 315 m
2Panther Mountain2018-07-15916 ft / 279 m
Total Trip Gain: 1951 ft / 594 m    Total Trip Loss: 1951 ft / 594 m

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