Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Trip Report: Bear Mountain 3/8/14 – 3/9/14

We had some wonderful weather this weekend so I decided to get out for a bit. Because the weather was so nice, there were a lot of people on Bear Mountain, which is a popular destination. However, further north on the mountain, some of the access roads have been closed. So, if you are willing to ditch the car and go on foot, you can reach some very secluded locations. That exactly what I did.

I picked a random direction through the mountains and got going. I was the only person anywhere near the area, which is exactly how I like it.


The area was covered in deer sign. I was a bit surprised because it was really steep terrain, but there were tracks and scat everywhere.



I wasn’t headed anywhere in particular. I just wanted to spend some time heading up the mountain, picking entertaining routes.


The pack you see on my back in the Black Diamond Speed 40. I’ve used it on a few trips so far. The reason I got it was that my gear keeps getting smaller, and my 62L pack was starting to be too big, even for my winter gear. I’ve been managing to comfortably fit all my winter gear into the new 40L pack. It’s by no means a perfect pack, and I’ve made quite a few modifications to it, but the size is right.


I also wanted to use the opportunity to test out a new tent that was given to me for testing purposes. The tent is the Mountain Hardwear Direkt 2. At first I was reluctant to accept it because I don’t typically use fully enclosed tents, but I have been looking at free standing designs recently, and decided to give it a try.


It required quite a bit of readjustment to use this tent. It’s been over a decade since I have used a fully enclosed shelter like this. It has a very different set of advantages and disadvantages when compared to a tarp-tent shelter like the Shangri-La 3. It is not better or worse, just different. After figuring out what I’m doing, I quite enjoyed using the tent. It is a very comfortable size for one person, and I had a good night. I’ll have more details on the tent later.

I woke up early because I had to get back home. I ate breakfast and headed back.


And that’s it. I quickly made my way down the mountain. The new gear looks promising, but only time will tell how well it will perform under different conditions.

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