Ascent of Friday Mountain on 2015-05-03

Climber: Mike Wright

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, May 3, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Friday Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:3694 ft / 1125 m

Ascent Trip Report

With 5 peaks left on my list I thought it high time to get em done. Though in hindsight I should have done a few more long hikes before tackling this one after a long winter of no hiking, only BC skiing. Started from the PA on Moon Haw road, hiked up the old logging road till the road veered off my azimuth then began the bushwhack. I stayed on the ridge hitting all the cliffs where they were expected to be as well as the cabin which I avoided by swinging all the way to the left of their property, that being their mowed field. I did not see any private property signs so I assumed I was ok being in the woods. After avoiding the last cliff to the left, I picked up the rim trail which is fairly easy to follow, passed whale rocks and continued on the rim trail to Balsam Cap at times following herd paths and at times bushwhacking. That said, after summiting BC I lost the location of the rim trail. My plan was to return to Whale rocks on the rim trail and summit Friday from there. But as it turns out I passed the fire ring on the saddle and eventually came up on a party of 2 (the only people I saw all day) who told me that I was very close to the last 100ft cliff of Friday. So I continued on through the first small rock band then up through a weakness in the center area of the cliff which was fairly easy to hike. I made a cross on the ground with some sticks at the top so I wouldn't loose the location of the decent and took off looking for the canister. I walked a bit down the center of the summit plateau till I reached the other side (north), turned around and moved east and eventually found it. View was pretty good, better than expected. Snacked and moved on back to find the decent which I found and descended easily. Now comes the fun part. I thought I picked up the herd path of the rim trail but it ran out, I searched around a bit more but just could not find it. I found the fire ring again which at this point felt like it was mocking me. I had no understanding of where the fire ring existed in reference to the rim trail. Anyway, I noticed the time and decided I needed to move along, so I picked a spot that looked least dangerous and walked due east off the col. Ugh, the going was steep and slow. Trying not to blow it in spots and involuntary leaf glisading was the order of business. I navigated down a 30ft cliffy section around 33oo ft and the angle eased off. Hoping to run across the rim trail I began descending and traversing back to the Friday ridge which I could see and thus just b-lined to. I went as low as 2900ft and hit the cliff just down from the whales rocks. Rested my slightly cramping legs, ate a ton and drank. Continued on back to the car along the ridge I ascended. Passed the cabin to the left this time, and this time the decent from there felt really hard and steep and loose. My legs continued to cramp up on occasion but it was workable. Adjusted my azimuth slightly which brought me back to the logging road I ascended. Arrived back to the car at 5pm. Epic.
Lessons learned: If I were to do this hike again (which I won't) I would pay much more attention to the location of the rim trail as I pop up onto the col. Either way you go, pace count is critical for this. If you are unable to locate this rim trail, your day has just gone from casual bushwhack to a full on sufferfest. I will not make this mistake again.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Drizzle, Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Beautiful with only a quick passing shower
Ascent Part of Trip: Friday BalsamCap

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Balsam Cap2015-05-03 
2Friday Mountain2015-05-03 

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