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newcomb family
10-19-2004, 07:04 PM
I am wondering if anyone has summited Santanoni via. the Ermine Brook slide this season?
About 10 years ago, a friend and I started in Newcomb, spent 1 night at Newcomb Lake, continued to Ermine Brook the following day for night 2.
Rose early, ascended the slide to crippling bush and a mile or so of the meanest off trail crawling I've ever experienced. Made the summit and continued on to Panther and down to Couchie. Went off the summit of Couch. towards Calahan Brook, linked up with it and followed it down to the horse trail that led us back to our site. Spent another night at the brook and made our way back to Newcomb the following day.
it was so brutal up on the ridge and going off Couch. that I question weather it was worth the trip. I would like to do it again though, since it was one of the best circuits I've done in that area.

Johnnycakes
10-19-2004, 07:23 PM
We did this trip last season. We started in Newcomb, but spotted a car at the Bradley Pond trailhead first, so as to avoid a second bushwhack. We were very surprised to find a faint herd path from the top of the slide to about 0.3 miles shy of the Santanonit summit. I'm not making this up. It was relatively easy to follow and hugged the very top of the ridge for the most part. The last 0.3 miles were thick though (and no path was evident), but the distance along the faint herd path was quite easy going. We headed to Couchie and Panther from Santanoni, and then out via Bradley Pond. We did it as a long day trip (11 hours of hiking time) covering 22 miles and 4,900 feet of elevation gain.

John

newcomb family
10-19-2004, 07:56 PM
John,
Thats great. Sounds like you had an awesome hike. It's good to hear that there is a little path started. When I went there was none. You just had to use the edges of the ridge to keep you going the right way. It was interesting to be in the trees with such a steep drop off on you sides. I may go back there next summer. I like being in spots such as those. Thanks for the info.
Zeke

MarkL
10-24-2004, 05:44 PM
I did a similar climb of Santanoni in October 2002. Here's a brief summary and suggestion, with more details below: I'd just climbed Little Santanoni, and by luck or by grace, hit the only or one of the few outcroppings with a view. From that outcropping, I saw that there was another, lesser slide to the left of the Ermine Brook slide. Having heard how hard and slow the summit scrub was from the top of the EB slide, I decided to use the lesser slide. It was still slow and miserable, but here's a suggestion: If you want to use the other slide, head for it much lower/earlier than I did. Maybe the scrub won't be as thick. I'm pretty sure the other slide started higher up than the EB slide, but am less sure that it goes higher up the ridge than the EB.
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DETAILS: I left the EB slide pretty high up, but still well below the bottom of the head wall. I hoped the lower elevation would mean friendlier forest. The plan was to make my way north and northeast, contouring or very gradually gaining altitude, and wait till I got to the second slide to suddenly gain easy altitude before confronting the last section of summit scrub. After having traveled perhaps 1/5 mile in the :50 since leaving the slide, I [bivouacked].

I resumed hiking at 7 the next morning, and based on bearings to Little Sant. and Couchie, and later work with my Topo! program, I figured I was almost exactly a mile from the summit. I overshot the second slide because there wasn’t much to it where I hit it, and the early morning light on the tree tops fooled me into thinking there was a big, open slide further ahead. Realizing my mistake, I backtracked. That mistake cost half an hour. It took half an hour to reach the top of that slide. Although the forest was bad between the first and second slides, from the top of the second slide it was worse. Despite having started at close to 4,000’ that morning, it took another 3 ¾ hours to summit! Part of the problem was having an overnight pack. And half an hour of that was due to the overshoot and correction.
Made summit at 10:45AM.
Hope this is helpful.
Mark

newcomb family
10-25-2004, 07:08 AM
Thanks Mark, I'll have to check it out.