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Old 11-13-2017, 02:30 PM   #1
Neil
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Some Cedar River/Wakely Dam peaks.

Spent the weekend doing some “hardness training” sleeping 3 nights at Wakely Dam in the back of my Outback, drinking cold coffee laced with protein powder for breakfast and tramping through snowy woods all day. I had bins full of winter gear and went through most of it.

This weekend trip was for researching routes and logistics this winter's project.

On day one we did the Twin Blues (Blue Ridge #90 and #99 on the ADK-HH list) from the Cedar River Rd. heading for BR90 first by sliding past Round Top, which we passed to its west. Slithered on our bellies across a fallen tree over a swollen Browns Brook. Was cold, cloudy and windy all day, couldn't stop for more than 5 minutes and fought the cold constantly. Uneventful hike otherwise. After the second peak and on our return leg we benefited from an old woods road as we paralleled in reverse our route between the peaks back to our inbound tracks near Browns Brook crossing. Decided for a winter attempt to not do a loop but after 99 to simply follow snowshoe trail back over 90 and out.

Very chilly night and start the next morning for the lengthy Buell-Panther-Brown Pond loop. But, no clouds, no wind and low humidity, plus the hardening of day one's hike made for a stellar hike up Buell, around the circle to Panther and finally up the steep eastern slopes of Brown Pond. Excellent research, this route after some tweaking should be dialed in. Long way home in the chilly late afternoon from Brown Pond. Lots of wide open woods with Glen 30 feet behind me with the compass keeping me on the straight and narrow. The gorgeous sunset faded to black through the various hues and shades of yellows and reds. Just as it was headlamp time we hit an excellent road and rather than stop and change clothes we jogged back to Wakely to keep warm. Once there we walked by a humongous bonfire. It was the boys annual camp-out and we invited ourselves to the party reveling in the intense heat as our hosts plied us with beer. Much easier night at -7 C.

For the final day we drove through Indian Lake (hot coffee!) and did a quick (5-6 hours) trip up Lewey in mostly open woods with blazing sun reflecting off the snow. Wore long-sleeved t-shirts most of the way.

6 peaks, none of which Glen had done, and a lot of talk that revolved around endless logistics, strategies and route ideas.
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Last edited by Neil; 11-13-2017 at 03:16 PM..
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Old 11-13-2017, 04:51 PM   #2
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Thanks. Nice report. I had heard that the "new" NPT bridge over Brown's Brook had washed out...I think you confirmed that here? Alternately you could ask Mrs. Elva Brown for permission to hike up the tote road through her land on the E side of Brown's Brook to the state land boundary, thus saving the water crossing and some miles for your winter adventure.
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:15 PM   #3
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Nice report!! Thanks Neil!! Just curious, was this official route finding or just bushwhacking adventure?? The reason I ask....I'm a member of the Deer Valley Club. I believe a future route,"public access" of Buell and Panther is something in the works for our current property owner as a result of the purchase from TNC. I was unable to make our annual meeting this fall, so I may be a little behind on info.
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Blueliner View Post
Nice report!! Thanks Neil!! Just curious, was this official route finding or just bushwhacking adventure?? The reason I ask....I'm a member of the Deer Valley Club. I believe a future route,"public access" of Buell and Panther is something in the works for our current property owner as a result of the purchase from TNC. I was unable to make our annual meeting this fall, so I may be a little behind on info.
Would this future route towards Buell and Panther be from Snowy? If so, I have heard talk of such a "corridor" (and even a trail) for many a year now with no action. Spencer Morrissey would know what's going on.
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:11 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bark Eater Too View Post
Thanks. Nice report. I had heard that the "new" NPT bridge over Brown's Brook had washed out...I think you confirmed that here? Alternately you could ask Mrs. Elva Brown for permission to hike up the tote road through her land on the E side of Brown's Brook to the state land boundary, thus saving the water crossing and some miles for your winter adventure.
No, we crossed Browns Brk. higher upstream. We intersected the NPT and followed it for only about 5 minutes.

If possible, I would be interested in ascertaining the location of the tote road you mention and obtaining contact info for Mrs. Brown.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:09 AM   #6
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The tote road leaves the Cedar River Road directly E of Brown's Brook. It is between the brook and a family camp up on the hill. It's perhaps 1.25 miles to the state property line. Mrs. Brown lives in the farmhouse perhaps 200 yards the other direction from the brook. Her phone number is publicly listed. In the past she's been OK granting permission to hike...just not keen about people hunting or fishing.

If you go back in winter you likely will be parking with the snowmobilers at her property.

I too would be interested in learning more about the public access route to Panther and Buell.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:29 AM   #7
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I've never heard details of an actual route. Public access to both of them has been the general topic. A westerly route from Snowy would definitely cross through the property down into Squaw valley and up to Buell and Panther.

There are 58 camps throughout the property and I saw a few eyebrows raise when public access was first mentioned. As a former camp owner, I was one of them. Many of us from this forum, myself included, have experience with placing a boot on other's private property, by permission, for access to a particular place. The AMR access is probably the most notable example.

I personally would prefer a route from the Wakely Dam, WCLW just to Buell and Panther. My fear of a path from Snowy would be the urge to camp or rest at the large beaver pond on the valley floor. This area is a popular spot for club members to fish and picnic.

Either way, it's a large lease of land and hopefully everyone will benefit from a well routed access with minimal impact.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:45 PM   #8
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Awesome report Neil! This winter project you are doing is awesome, if there's one person who can pull it off, it's you!
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:36 PM   #9
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6 more !!
great " hardening "
good research and development
The bonfire at the end of the road / hike / cold was " paradise found "
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