Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Trip Report: Bear Mountain 4/5/14 – 4/6/14

The weather here continues to be all over the place. This past weekend my friend John and I got together for a little trip. John has a lot of experience climbing, but not so much with general woods travel, so we decided to take it easy, and stay at lower elevation, where the snow has mostly melted away, and the temperatures are not much below 32F (0C). We picked some terrain in the northern portion of Bear Mountain and got started.


In this area you get above tree line fairly quickly even at low elevations. The winds were strong, blowing at about 45 mph, and it was cloudy and overcast the whole day.


Oh yeah, and if you look at the above picture by my right trekking pole, you can see Rhea hiding behind a rock. I brought her along.

Before long it was noon, and we stopped for lunch.

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Along the way we passed by few 18th century mines.


We quickly made our way to the ridge of the mountain, and kept going along it, heading for the spot where we planned to overnight.

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Both John and I were moving at a very good pace and we arrived at our intended overnight area way sooner than we expected. The sky was darkened by clouds, but it was still only 2pm. We got busy selecting an area to camp and setting up. A Boy Scout troop had set up their overnight camp in the same area, but for some reason they had selected to camp right on top of the ridge.


With the strong winds I can’t imagine they had a comfortable night. They were lucky the rain held off. On an exposed ridge like that, even a small storm can be brutal. John and I decided to go into a small valley which was sheltered from the winds.


We quickly gathered firewood for the evening and got the fire going. Even though it has been warming up lately, in the evening the temperatures were getting close to 32F (0C). We sat around, cooked food, and killed time until sundown.


Rhea spent her time in the tent trying to stay warm.


The night was chilly. It dropped down to 28F (-2C). Both John and I had overdone the sleeping bag insulation, so we were nice and warm. Again, surprisingly, I had no condensation at all in the Mountain Hardwear Direkt 2 tent. I only had the small vent open, but there was no condensation at all.

In the morning we woke up to some wonderful sunshine. I warmed up Rhea, got the fire going again, and made some breakfast.

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We then packed up and made quick time down the mountain along a different route. The trip wasn’t particularly challenging, and the weather cooperated the whole way. We did about 10 miles all together with about 500 ft of elevation gain.


It was my first trip with John, and he was a great partner. I’m looking forward to much more challenging trips in the future.

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