Ascent of Blackhead on 2012-04-01
|Date:||Sunday, April 1, 2012|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Location:||USA-New York|
| Elevation:||3940 ft / 1200 m|
Ascent Trip ReportWe began our 12 mile journey at the Elk Ridge Paking lot south of Windham. We climbed up to Elk Ridge, geocaching along the way. Just after the lean-to we began to encounter snow at 2500 ft and soon found ourselves well trodden clean path surrounded by snow. The areas of the trail pass through heavy conifer cover and we began to see snow on the trail. This would then continue for the rest of our 12 mile hike to the Batavia Kill parking. The clouds lifted around 8AM and visibility of the valley improved to a point where we were able to see mountain peaks and the valley to our south. The trail to Windham had a beaten path to the peak and viewpoint just to the east. We also noticed a good deal if riming on the trees of the Batavia Kill facing slopes above 3500 ft. I suspect the valley trapped some fog/clouds last night and created the riming conditions.
Unlike Windham, points eastward were through virgin snow as there had been no hikers on our path since the last snow. The hike from Windham High Peak to Acra Point was through Thursday's snow but it did nothing to the hike except add beauty to our walk. While on the Escarpment trail we were able to have nice views of the Valleys below (north, east and west). We were able to make out the buildings in Albany 29 miles away. We continued our journey to the trail intersection near the shelter north of Blackhead. I continued up and saw the first hikers of the day (10 miles after we started!)
Realizing that the east flank of Blackhead should have ice on it given the conditions, at the trail intersection with the kill I put on microspikes and made the ascent up Blackhead. I climbed Blackhead and encountered ice above 3600 feet but snow only above 3850 ft. Blackhead was cloud covered and I descended below the clouds to a nice fire my buddies built at the shelter. We continued down the kill to where we had parked our second car 6 hours earlier. Overall, a very nice hike on a snow covered April 1st--no foolin'.
Trail Conditions Summary:
Snow 2500 ft and up—1-3 inches
Ice 3700-3850 ft.
Riming: 3500 ft and higher
Best views today: Windham High Point, locations west of Acra Point
Most rewarding spot: the clear view points just west of Acra Point looking over the Batavia Kill with the peaks o f the Blackhead range poking through the clouds.
In the Clouds: Blackhead above 3700 ft.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||1140 ft / 347 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||1690 ft / 515 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||3.3 mi / 5.3 km|
| Quality:||4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb|
| Gear Used:||Crampons, Ski Poles|
| Weather:||Cool, Calm, Overcast|
| Gain on way in:||1140 ft / 347 m|
| Distance:||0.9 mi / 1.5 km|
| Route:||Escaprment Trail|
| Start Trailhead:||Trail intersection with Batavia kill 2800 ft / 853 m|
| Time:||1 Hours |
| Loss on way out:||1690 ft / 515 m|
| Distance:||2.4 mi / 3.9 km|
| Route:||Escarpment trail to Batavia kill to black dome|
| End Trailhead:||2250 ft / 685 m|
| Time:||1 Hours |
|Ascent Part of Trip: WABh|
Complete Trip Sequence:
Total Trip Gain: 3254 ft / 991 m Total Trip Loss: 3154 ft / 961 m
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