This was a successful bushwhack of Leavitt Peak (Southwest Hunter), although not exactly in the manner planned. The mountain and the December weather were very much out of character and provided a good, if unexpected experience. No photos were taken (also out of character and unexpected), but our snarky musings on the days events hopefully provide a few good nuggets on expecting the unexpected in the mountains.
Just a quick report; no pictures. Hiked Leavitt from Spruceton despite the forecasted rain on an early winter day.
Stripped down to shorts before the West Kill bridge.
Black flies were biting fiercely, but they stopped before the mosquitos came out. Or maybe I imagined the insects.
It got warmer as we climbed, but there was nothing left to peel off.
The Devil’s Path was a river except where it was a thin layer of snow concealing a river or lake.
Someone moved the rail bed /herd path, so we whacked from the spring. Messed around trying to keep the ridge to the left and then followed a westerly bearing side hilling but not too bad. Tried heading north a few times to find the herdpath and return it to its proper location, but didn’t find it and chickened out not wanting to bushwhack down to Diamond Notch.
Continued west until we could see the Hunter firetower. A quick bearing to the Tower and a check of the map indicated that we were standing right on top of the canister. Obviously that is wrong and we need to go back to map and compass school.
It was nearing our turn around time of 2PM so we said screw it, lets just head for the highest ground so that at least we were on top of the ridge. Turned left and headed for what looked like the highest ground and there was the cannister. Found the dang thing in spite of ourselves…at 1:59PM.
Figured to have an easier and less bloody hike out by heading north to the herdpath. Alas it was still missing. Dropped down the ridge a little more and looked around for it and found a couple of sets of foot prints. Upon close examination, they were our own. No idea how that happened, At least we know a sure thing when we see it and went back the way we came.
Popped back out on the Devil’s Path by the spring and headed back home. On the way we noticed that the practical joker had returned the herd path to it’s former location but he is still causing trouble; now he seems to have stolen Geiger Point.
Got back to the car, turned the air conditioning on, cleaned the bugs off the windshield and headed home. I may have been hallucinating, but at least the moths in the headlight were not my imagination.
Does this really count as winter?