Trout Lake Mountain Bushwhack and Chub Mt. Revisit.
It’s been nearly two years since my last Trails-less Traveled post. After a busy week, and a busy morning, including planting and weeding in the garden, I slipped over to a favorite spot on route 10 in the Town of Arietta to hike out to Trout Lake Mt.. I have climbed many mountains in that area, and visit there often, as it is close to home. Trout Lake Mt. is visible as I travel route 10, across a wetland that runs alongside the road, and has some nice rock outcroppings that are very enticing.
So this morning I took some bearings from my map, made a plan, had lunch, and hit the road. Having climbed several neighboring mountains, I knew the herd path out in the general direction well, and the outlet crossing where I would leave the herd path and head into the woods (see pics). While it may seem that a direct route from the Chub Mt./Lake parking area would reduce distance, having paddled that area, I know that there is a wetland and a deep, beaver infested (well, they do make their presence known), water crossing that is not possible unless one wants to swim. So out, around and up to the desired mountain I headed.
The bushwhack from the water crossing (see pics) would be 2.4 miles out and back; not a difficult distance. With a full canopy of leaves above, and everything leafed out at ground level, having the correct bearing, and a solid mental picture of the surrounding geographical features, natural backstops, and siderails to aid in direction, is vital. I chose to follow the shoulder of Sherman Mountain, then a quick drop to being the ascent up Trout Lake Mt. as the most obvious route.
Having done a quick measure of the expected mileage between points, I engaged my Fitbit at the trailhead, which allowed me to accurately gage expected arrival times to my predetermined points of travel, to include the summit of Trout Lake Mt.
When properly done, and executed, it is amazing how accurate compass coordinates are, not surprising really, but super fun! As I approached the wooded summit of Trout Lake Mt. I could see rock outcroppings along the shoulder of the summit that looked so enticing to say, “There it is!” But no, I carried on, to the high point, confirmed with GPS. Then off to some nice lookouts facing Good Luke Mt. and Cliffs, as well as State Brook Mountain, all on the opposite side of route 10.
I spent some time up top, until I could not stand the swarm of horse flies, or dear flies, any longer. Then, since I had planned to head over to Sherman Mt. after and the flies were just too annoying, I did a reverse (or back) azimuth, basically setting my compass to the opposite bearing than I headed out with, back to the water crossing.
Uneventful, and I ended up exactly where I had entered the bushwhack. At that point I visited the beautiful clearing that the water passes through, and admired the scenery for a time (see pics), then moved on.
As it was early, and I had changed plans by not going over to Sherman Mt., I decided to revisit Chub Mt, a local rock climbing favorite. For its size, it is a wonderful mountain to climb. The numerous rock climbers who visit the mountain have made some beautiful and easy to follow herd paths, that end just short of the summit. The path I took today was right along the top of the wall that they climb, so views of Trout Lake Mt. and Sherman Mt. are plentiful (see pics). A quick up and down, then back to the car.
The total mileage of today’s adventure was 5.6 miles, with a 2.4 mile bushwhack. On this beautiful day, it was perfect … except for the flies!!! … and a nice soul boost.
While I would only recommend bushwhacking to experienced backcountry adventurers, going out to the backcountry on marked and groomed trails can be very refreshing. Still, even on a short adventure, always make sure that you have the “10 essentials” in your pack, just google it, and someone who knows where you are going.
Even on today’s short outing, I had everything I needed in my chest pack, and in my 20 liter backpack was everything I would need to survive a night in the woods in the event of an emergency. Thankfully, I was able to enjoy a cold drink and a candy bar when I got back to my Jeep!
Get out there! There is so much to explore!
Be well. Shalom.