Ascent of MacNaughton Mountain on 2016-09-11

Climber: Mary Ruth Merkel

Date:Sunday, September 11, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:MacNaughton Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:3983 ft / 1214 m

Ascent Trip Report

Myself and 2 other 46r's from the class of 2015 decided to take on the "47th" peak; MacNaughton. This was a weekend of firsts for me:
1. This was my 1st backpacking excursion using my own gear without a guide. We decided to make this a 3 day/2 night weekend. 2 of us started from Upper Works and followed the Indian Pass trail to Scott's Clearing lean to.
2. This was the 1st time I stayed in a lean to. As I said, we spent 2 nights, just the 3 of us. It was a nice lean to and provided excellent shelter for the thunderstorm that rolled through the 1st night.
3. This was my 1st successful bushwack in the Dacks. It was tough, but I'm glad I did it.

Generally speaking, the conditions in the Dacks have been fairly dry this year. The lean to is right near a stream which was running low until the rain came through. We hiked to MacNaughton from the lean to following marked trails up to Wallface Ponds. As you approach the ponds, the terrain is boggy but it was passable. It's a fairly straight forward trail so we stopped to eat before heading out.

We passed between the ponds: the 2 guys stayed by the water but I followed a herd path that ran parallel to the water. Once we crossed the water, we found a herd path which we followed at first but quickly lost. There were some illegal flags placed on trees. Once we realized we were no longer on a path, we tried to keep a SouthWest course to the top. The forest was thick and our progress was slow but that's normal for a bushwack. As we approached the top ridge, we located the herd path again and followed that to the SE summit. There were some great views as the skies had cleared. We followed the herd path across the top of the mountain to the W summit where the sign was.

For our descent, we went back to the summit and followed the herd path most of the way down. It was marked with illegal flags and the closer you got to the bottom, the thicker the path was giving it a bushwack feel again.

Here are my Map My Hike stats:

9/10/16 - Upper Works to Scotts Clearing lean to: 7.3 miles; 1,407'gain; 4:58:36 with full pack.
9/11/16 - MacNaughton from lean to: 9.4 miles; 2,151' gain; 9:07:07 with day pack.
9/12/16 - Scotts Clearing to the Loj: 3.9 miles; 348' gain; 1:51:16 with full pack.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Bivouac

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