Ascent of Mount Haystack on 2017-11-15

Climber: Mike Wright

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Haystack
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4961 ft / 1512 m

Ascent Trip Report

Hiked in from the Garden lot with only 3 other cars parked there. Made it to the Slant Rock leanto in about 3.5 hrs. Lots of blow-down between the leanto at 5 miles and Slant rock. Some tough to negotiate. Lots of ice on the trail, most small streams were completely solid. 1-2” of powder on everything made the ice a little more interesting. I noticed only one name signed in ahead of me for a day hike of Haystack and I was hoping to run into him to get some info about trail conditions. I finally did run into him in the section of heavy blowdown. He said that he’d gone up Phelps to the connector trail then after summiting decided to take the Shory Shortcut down. He remarked that there was 4+inches of snow on the SSC and should have taken Phelps back down. He thought the SSC was pretty rough going. I remembered it being rough from the only time I’d been on it many years ago but couldn’t remember details about it. So, My route plans now decided as an out and back via Phelps trail.
I Arrived at the leanto around 4, are and was in my bag by 6. Woke up at 630 and was hiking by 7. I didn’t feel the need to don micrspikes until about half mile up where I encountered the first real ice of the trail. I would leave them on until I returned to JBL. I found the “near vertical” pitch described in the guide book to be not so and easily managed. Just a few steep spots of ice to be extra careful with.
The view from the high point of the connector is great. You can get a glimpse of what lies ahead. the climb up little haystack was pretty challenging with a few places of steep slippery rock,snow,ice. Otherwise it was very straight forward with cairns to lead the way. The descent down the other side looks dangerous but was very easy. The same goes for Haystack being that there were a few spots where care needed to be taken but overall straight forward. Arrived on the summit at 9. The views were as advertised! Awesome all around. I’m glad I saved it for my 46th. Alone on the summit on a beautiful day and probably only a few other souls in the park felt as if I was “out of time” adventuring like explorers of our past. I’m so fortunate and grateful to have had the opportunity to explore these wonderful places.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Crampons, Ski Poles
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Clear
Cold morning with temps overnight in the teens gradual rising to over freezing
Ascent Part of Trip: Haystack  (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Little Haystack2017-11-15 
2Mount Haystack2017-11-15 

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