Ascent of Balsam Mountain on 2016-01-30

Climber: Mary Ruth Merkel

Date:Saturday, January 30, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Balsam Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:3600 ft / 1097 m

Ascent Trip Report

This weekend, I travelled to the Catskills with my friend Patty. Today, we hiked Balsam, Hayes & Eagle with Hudson Valley Hikers via the McKinley trail. We used microspikes, there wasn't enough snow for snow shoes but it was a little slippery. Over the bridge, there is a small ascent followed by a descent to cross the creek. We travelled along and crossed back over to begin our ascent. It's a pretty straight ascent with a few switchbacks but mostly straight up. The trail isn't technical at all and there weren't any significant scrambles. Once we reached the junction, we headed right to go to Balsam.

The hike is a steady ascent, fairly easy. We wound up going right past the actual peak to the one place with a view. If someone didn't have a GPS, I never would have found the actual spot where the peak is since it's not clearly marked. After eating, taking some photos and touching the true peak, we headed over to Eagle.

This hike is mostly along a ridge without views. We passed Hayes (our friend with GPS pointed this out) and headed to Eagle. Again, this was a steady ascent, not really difficult. The peak is in the woods and marked by a cairn, there is no view. After fueling up and taking the required pix, we headed back to our cars. It was a fairly easy descent, a little slippery with icy patches but not that bad. It was about 10 miles and took us 5 1/2 hours with breaks.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles

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