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green_fire
05-05-2004, 01:53 PM
Can anyone tell me the best way to access Fir Mountain? I'm setting up a research project dealing with atmospheric deposition (in conjunction with the Institute of Ecosystem Studies and USGS) where I will need to return to sites along an elevational gradient every 2 weeks. From what I can tell from maps and trip reports, there is no trail. Is there a route that is traditionally taken to the summit?

Thanks so much for any hints you can provide!

imarchant
05-05-2004, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by green_fire
Can anyone tell me the best way to access Fir Mountain? I'm setting up a research project dealing with atmospheric deposition (in conjunction with the Institute of Ecosystem Studies and USGS) where I will need to return to sites along an elevational gradient every 2 weeks. From what I can tell from maps and trip reports, there is no trail. Is there a route that is traditionally taken to the summit?

Thanks so much for any hints you can provide!

I have not yet climbed this mountain, but here is the information from the Catskill 3500 club: http://www.catskill-3500-club.org/

Fir 3620
USGS Map: Shandaken

NY-NJ Trail Conference Map: #42

Access: Via Bushwhack

Description: Fir is the easternmost peak in the range west of Esopus Creek. There are no views near the summit. Fir is commonly climbed in conjunction with Big Indian. Most common routes follow the ridge up from Burnham Hollow. It is also possible to bushwhack up from the Pine Hill-West Branch Trail west of Biscuit Brook. Be sure to sign in at the summit canister.

woodstrider
05-05-2004, 04:40 PM
I've been up there many times, at all seasons. It is a trailless peak, so you will need a map and a compass in order to get up there and find your way around. The shortest way to the summit is from the East, off of Route 47. Turn west off of 47 onto the road that parallels The Bushkill. There is a DEC parking lot on this road. A short walk further along this road past the PA will lead you to an access to public lands, it is a very narrow corridor. On a good hiking map of the area, like the NYNJ Trail Conference's, you will see what I mean. It is a south bearing to the summit- a straight shoot and very straight forward bushwhack. No cliffs or spruce to have to deal with.
A longer approach would be up the trail, starting further south on 47, and then bushwhacking.

LOL

Mark Schaefer
05-05-2004, 06:43 PM
The route from Burnham Hollow Road that Woodstrider describes is the shortest. Porky Pine wrote up a trail condition report of that route 2/20/04. (http://www.vftt.org/trail/ny/920.html)

I always like the slightly longer route that leaves the Pine Hill West Branch (PW) Trail just north of the Biscuit Brook Lean-to. If you prefer to have a less travelled route so that your equipment might be less disturbed by hikers, you might want to consider leaving the PW Trail at a sharp bend about 0.5 miles from the trailhead. From there you follow the ridge line that leads up between Fir and Spruce Mts on the east side of Fir. These southern exposure routes will likely be drier at present, but in a few weeks there may not be much difference.

The west ridge gets a fair amount of hiker traffic to combine climbs of Fir and Big Indian Mts.

John Graham
05-06-2004, 05:35 AM
I think the Burnham Hollow approach is not great for long term access as you must cross a sliver of private land to reach the point of state land in the valley. It is only about 100 yrds to the state land, but if you were carrying equipment, you might be liable to challenge by the property owner. I agree that the better approach would be from the Biscuit Brook trailhead, using the ridgeline to approach the peak. There is a faint hunters trail that will get you about half way there.

I trust that you have already been in contact with the DEC about obtaining permission for placing such equipment. This peak is in the Big Indian Wilderness Area, and regulations specifically ban the leaving of private property unattended for more than a short time. For this reason, the Catskill 3500 Club had to come to an agreement to make the summit canisters in wilderness areas State property in order to get around this ban.

Jay H
05-06-2004, 07:22 AM
I have done Fir from Biscuit Brook. It is an easy gradually uphill hike to get to the lean to that is a really nice one on the brook itself. After you cross the streams there on the trail, you can then take a bearing to the summit and hike towards Fir. As you sound like not a hiker meaning to bag the canister, not sure if you want to know where the canister is. But I have taken a GPS reading there I believe so if you want it, just email me or PM me and I'll see if I have it.

The hike up is a nice short one but I'm not sure if there is a defined trail, I did this peak in winter with snowshoes so it's hard to see if there's a trail like say Halcott or Rusk where there is a really well defined path.

Jay

green_fire
05-07-2004, 09:13 AM
Thanks so much for all your replies! This is very helpful. Yes, we are in the process of obtaining permission from the DEC, but need to tell them just where things will go. Our equipment is very minimal (black posts with white funnels and gallon_sized jugs) so hopefully it won't be too noticable.

Thanks again!!