Friday, October 11, 2013

Western MA peakbagging - day 2

Day two of the Mass 100 highest hike with Al started with a pre-sunrise jog up and down Beebe Hill in NY.   This was just a bonus hike to bag a peak with a fire tower and the early hour warranted finding a peak with a road up.  It was a pretty easy hustle from the parking area (1,400') to the top (1,762) although the sign listed it as "Fire Tower .5" it was easily a mile up.  We jogged it in 24 minutes round trip (plus a couple of minutes to climb the tower and check out approaching sunrise...which was still 30 minutes away.

Our second peak of the day was Harvey Mountain (2,057') which was right on the MA/NY border.  We approached from the west.  We drove in pretty far on the road and parked at the turn at 1850'.  We again did a nice easy jog up to the top.  There was a big clearing near the top which apparently is a blueberry field.  The top of the mountain has a NY/MA monument.  We headed down just as the sun was rising.

The third peak of the day was part trail and part bushwhack.  We headed to Lenox Mountain south peak (1,850') and parked on Reservoir road.  The trail up from 1,580' was nice and we just had a little bushwhacking to do.  Al got us to the highest bump then we kicked around in the woods looking for the other two possible highest points.  We descended via the same trail.  The woods were very open, unlike the crap we were in the day before.

Our fourth peak of the day was a lot of fun.  Our goal was West Stockbridge mountain (1,860).  Unlike most approaches we went in from the south near the junction of Averic Rd and Rt 41 at 950'.  There was a nice jeep trail that was signed for the watershed area and restricted for hunting.  We stayed out of the woods until pretty high up on the ridge.  Then it was a bushwhack to the ridge and a hike along the ridge to the summit, we bagged the West Stockbridge/Stockbridge town line marker that was part way along the ridge.  On the way back down we stayed to the west of the ridge on a trail then came over the ridge at the very end of the nose.  There were some great views from there on the open rock.  It was a beautiful day to be out in the woods.

Our fifth and final peak of the day was the north peak of "Tri Top" at 1,944'.  We drove to Tyringham and headed to the end of Fenn Road.  We parked at the sign for the Mclennan Reservation (1,400'), but there were no maps of the reservation so we relied on Al's topo.  We hiked up one of the woods roads for a while then bushwhacked our way to the top.  We drifted a bit on the way down and missed the woods road but Al relocated and we contoured our way right to the car.  Al is pretty damn good with a topo map!

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