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View Full Version : Bushwhack from Tabletop to Phelps?



ebbinghaus
10-04-2004, 07:10 PM
By the map, it looks as if Tabletop and Phelps are part of the same ridgeline. Looks like a fairly flat walk.

I have summitted both the usual way and have given some thought to bushwhacking between them along the ridge.

Does anyone have any stories or advice about this trip? I guess this is a spruce/blowdown question.

Thanks!

Peakbagr
10-04-2004, 07:27 PM
I know folks who have done it. An old hiking buddy, John Winkler, the first modern 46er to have done true bushwacks of each of the 46 described it in a way that would make me think twice about blowdown so thick that you could take a rest by simply going limp and letting the thick stuff carry your weight.
Uggh!

Guinness
10-04-2004, 07:49 PM
I have the same thought, a direct route between Phelps and Tabletop. Should you get a desire to do it, let me know. I have done many indirect routes over the years. I plan on doing something this weekend (10-8/9) just not sure what yet.

Other possibilities are:

- Straight off Rocky Peak toward 73. Looks like a long, gradual ridge.

- Seward to Seymour

- Nippletop to Dix

- Skylight to Allen

Just thoughts......

TCD
10-04-2004, 09:22 PM
Many of those possible routes are very thick and painful travel.

Tabletop to Phelps: I have read that it is bad.

Rocky to 73: Beware of areas affected by Hurricane Floyd. There are some inpassable spots. (A very nice trip, up or down, is Dipper Brook which flows from the Giant RPR col and comes out at the iron bridge S of Chapel Pond.)

Seward to Seymour: Don't know, but the guidebook warns that Ouluska Pass is "complicated by blowdown and cliffs."

Nippletop to Dix: Did that a few years ago. Extremely thick, but not much blowdown, and it was kind of pretty. Now after the Hurricane, I think there's more...

Skylight to Allen: Try to get in touch with Tom Haskins, who's been all over that area. I got the impression from him that it's still pretty bad. Again, according to the guidebook, that was the standard route to Allen before the 1950 Hurricane covered the ridge with blowdown.

TCD

Neil
10-04-2004, 09:31 PM
I like bushwhacking and trying quirky stuff. So when I was on Phelps (via the normal route) I couldn't help checking out the terrain between it and T-Top. My assessment: you'd have to be nuts. Got any other questions?

Peakbagr
10-04-2004, 09:45 PM
Neil,

I'm still laughing....great reply !

;)

oldfogie
10-04-2004, 10:11 PM
I too have heard it's pretty rough and about a third of my hikes are bushwhacked. I tried going a few hundred yards once from Tabletop toward Phelps. I turned back. It might be better in Feb/March if the snow has consolidated.

But if you DO do it, post all the details!

--3102W

Mark Schaefer
10-04-2004, 10:52 PM
I have been a little curious also, but I always assessed the route as impenetrable. Considering that the next 4300' peak of Tabletop is on the northeast 3K list we know that at least John S and Dennis C have gone that far. On the 1953 quad that "unknown high peak" had a 300' rise from the col which would fully qualify it for 46er status. With the current metric maps the rise is 92m (301.837'). Seems like we should all be climbing it, that is if we were all nuts.

Raymond
10-05-2004, 12:28 AM
In "Exploring the 46 Adirondack High Peaks," James R. Burnside describes meeting Fred Hunt on Phelps, and Hunt said he had just bushwhacked over from Table Top. (Or maybe it was the other way around; met him on Table Top, he'd come over from Phelps. Don't remember for sure.) Either way, it was a long time ago. Ditto Winkler's feat, so conditions are probably different nowadays.

PinPinJr recently mentioned his new personal best for the Seward Range, and said he bushwhacked from Seymour to Seward.

Regarding Rocky Peak Ridge to Route 73, the Route 73 end looks to me like it's all cliffs.

Tom Haskins has bushwhacked from Redfield to Allen; don't recall anything about Skylight to Allen.

Didn't Cave Dog go between Nippletop and Dix, or maybe Dial and Dix, on his Marshall Marathon?

Neil
10-05-2004, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by Raymond

Didn't Cave Dog go between Nippletop and Dix On another forum under the thread of, 'the worst experience you've ever had' or something like that I read an account of this very traverse in the opposite direction. The author, who soloed it and presumably survived, really, really thought he was going to die. I bet he was thinking of sunny beaches, clean sheets, his mommy and a few other things of that nature on that 'hike'.

rondak46
10-07-2004, 09:38 AM
"On another forum under the thread of, 'the worst experience you've ever had' or something like that I read an account of this very traverse in the opposite direction. The author, who soloed it and presumably survived, really, really thought he was going to die. I bet he was thinking of sunny beaches, clean sheets, his mommy and a few other things of that nature on that 'hike'."

That was me! I got myself into a massive blowdown area. The going got very slow, my clothes were torn to shreds and I started to panic a bit. On my return I ran into some cliffs and had to very carefully pick my way down. In retrospect it was a great bushwhack; to Nippletop and back from Hunter's pass.

Mike

Neil
10-07-2004, 10:20 AM
I suppose the worse the going gets the better the beer tastes at the end of the day. Still, just reading about it makes my beer taste good enough for me.

ken
10-07-2004, 10:37 AM
On the 1953 quad that "unknown high peak" had a 300' rise from the col which would fully qualify it for 46er status. isn't it: only if it is more than 1/2 mile away from the other? - i believe the requirement is 250' col and 1/2 mile away - when i measure i get .48 mile (or maybe that is the catskills with the 250'/.5mile?).

Doc McPeak
10-07-2004, 10:53 AM
Originally posted by ken
only if it is more than 1/2 mile away from the other - i believe the requirement is 250' col and 1/2 mile away - when i measure i get .48 mile.

The criteria used by the 46ers is .75 miles, OR a 300' rise on all sides.

So its an either/or situation... and often an "and" as well.

Mark Schaefer
10-07-2004, 11:46 AM
Ambiguity is another reason I do not like the distance rule. Is it a straight line as the crow flies (simple to measure on a map), or is it as you hike down the height of land and back up the next mountain? I make out the distance from Gray to Marcy as only about .65 mile (with a prominence of only 41 meters (134.514'). The Marshall brothers left Gray off their original list of 42 because they thought it was too close to Marcy. The prominence on their maps was only 62' (1895 Marcy quad). Russell Carson convinced them to add Gray to the list along with Cliff, Blake, and Couchsachraga. Perhaps the distance over the Marcy-Gray height of land would get you to .75 mile.

In any case it seems like that middle peak of Tabletop (and Yard) should be on the NE 111(115) list. In a few years maybe there would be a path through the blowdown. And that may make the entire Tabletop to Phelps route all the more inviting.

WalksWithBlackflies
10-07-2004, 11:55 AM
Rondak -

I'm a bit more confused than normal: are you describing Tabletop-Phelps or Nippletop-Hunters Pass?

rondak46
10-07-2004, 11:37 PM
rico wrote

"Rondak -

I'm a bit more confused than normal: are you describing Tabletop-Phelps or Nippletop-Hunters Pass? "

I was talking about the Nippletop-Hunter's pass route.

Mike

stoopid
10-08-2004, 12:52 AM
I was doing some serious research regarding this route a few months ago. The consensus was that I'd have to be nuts.

[Thanks again to Mike and Neil for setting me straight :p ]

WalksWithBlackflies
10-08-2004, 06:53 AM
I've been researching the Nippletop to Hunters Pass bushwhack as part of a "High Road" loop of Elk Lake. Looks like I'll have to do a little more research.

rondak46
10-08-2004, 07:54 AM
The route from Nip to hunter's pass that is. You just have to skirt the blow-down while heading for the leach trail. And on the way back, just dont hit the pass too high on the cliffs. I was unfortunate enough to get caught up in both.

Mike

peak_bgr
10-09-2004, 08:14 PM
Bushwacker and I looked into it two winters ago. When we got ontop of Phelps, the snow wall that had formed on the branches of the trees scared us straight. It looks pretty doable, maybe a little thick near the summit crowns. I'm game, and I'm sure Brian can be easily convinced as well.

ebbinghaus
10-10-2004, 01:56 PM
Okay. I started this thread. I decided to check out the bushwhack from Tabletop to Phelps for myself.

I did this on Saturday, October 9, 2004.

The complete trip report is available in the appropriate section.

"Bushwhack from Tabletop to Phelps!"

Peakbagr
02-19-2007, 01:09 PM
Someone had recently inquired about this b'whack and I thought it might provide them some useful information.

PB