White Rock and Bald Mountain – New York

January 31, 2009 at 5:28 pm 4 comments

The Taconic Ridge lies along the border between New York and Vermont/Massachusetts, and includes a number of NY cheeseburger summits.  Along the top of the ridge, the Taconic Crest Trail stretches for 35 miles, and crosses many of these summits.  The Taconic Hiking Club offers a number of patches related to completion of this trail.  One is for completion of all sections, and another is for completion of the biannual “End-to-End” hike, which actually only covers about 27-29 miles, but all in one day.  I’ve done both of those, but completely without cheeseburgers.  The third patch can be earned by completing all sections in winter, and that’s what I’m working toward now.

Today (01/31/09), I led a hike for the Schenectady Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) , where 6 of us completed a 6-7 mile section of the trail.  In the process, I logged 2 new cheeseburger summits.

We dropped a car at the Prosser Hollow Access trailhead in North Petersburg, which we would later descend to off the ridge.  Then we drove south and uphill to Petersburg Pass, where NY2 crosses the ridge.  From there, we would proceed north along the ridge to the Prosser Hollow Trail. and descend to the pre-positioned car. The hike was approximately 6.75 miles, with cumulative elevation gain of 1378′, and cumulative loss of 2479′. Downhill all the way. Yeah, right.

Getting started from the Petersburg Pass trailhead proved challenging, with temps hovering around +10F and a biting wind. It was hard enough just gearing up. The delay proved fortuitous in the end, since an Albany ADK trip over the same route got started just ahead of us and left us a nicely broken trail for the first mile or so. After we caught up with them, we all did our part.

Along the way, there are several very nice views to the west from open meadows along the ridge.  This one is from White Rock, the first cheeseburger summit of the day.


With the wind, we didn’t tarry long there. Today, the real scenery was in the woods anyway. The trees were coated with several inches of new snow. In places, they were so bent over and plastered sideways with windblown snow that neither the trail markers nor the trail were visible. Route finding became a bit of a challenge at times for the person in the lead.


The snow was deep, and somewhere within its depth was hidden an icy crust. We rotated turns up front breaking trail, and never knew from one step to the next whether we’d break through the crust or not. It made for a much tougher trip than the mileage would indicate.  About mid-way in our hike along the ridge, we stopped at the famous Snow Hole, a deep fissure in the rocks that often contains snow even in the middle of summer. It’s fun to crawl down in there on a hot day, but today would have been a little treacherous.  (ASIDE:  The USGS has had this wrong for years, as “The Snow Hole” is clearly not the 698-meter summit at the coordinates listed.  It’s neither a summit nor at that location.  More on this in a future post)


Soon after The Snow Hole, we came to Bald Mountain, the second cheeseburger summit of the day.


We stopped for lunch at a relatively wind-free spot along the ridge, and then descended to the junction with the Prosser Hollow Trail, where we left the Albany group as they continued north along the ridge. The trip down to the car went quickly, even though we were now breaking our own trail all the way. Then we all piled in, drove back to Petersburg Pass to retrieve the other car, and headed home after a tiring but satisfying day.


Entry filed under: New York Summits.

Hadley Mountain, Saratoga County, NY Wade Mountain, Huntsville, Alabama

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sirloinofbeef  |  February 2, 2009 at 9:12 am

    The cheeseburgered peaks in NY keep adding up! Looks like you folks have some great snow there.


  • 2. adk46r2783  |  February 2, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Excellent snow – one of the best winters in years!


  • 3. adk46r2783  |  February 18, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Hmm – too bad I can’t read Japanese, though Google Translate thinks it’s a spam about hair loss treatments.

  • 4. Taconic Crest Three-fer « Summit Cheeseburger  |  May 31, 2009 at 8:15 am

    […] Finally back on the main TCT on the ridge, the setting was almost park-like, in stark contrast to the brutal winter conditions of my previous visit. […]


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The Mission

To encourage, enable, and document the consumption of a Cheeseburger on every summit on earth.
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