Lake George

Lake George
Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Barton High Cliffs - Pharaoh Lake Wilderness - 4/22/17

Saturday Rev and I ventured off to the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness explore some of the terrain on the north side of Route 8 near Brant Lake.  I started by climbing Brace Hill from one of the parking pulloffs.  The first thing I noticed was a survey marker encased in concrete near the parking lot.

As I started to climb, the woods were very open hardwoods.  There were many scattered piles of rocks that seemed to have no rhyme or reason as to why they were placed that way.  I've seen this before in other areas.

Survey Marker adjacent to the parking lot

One of many rockpiles in the lower hardwoods just above the parking lot.
Brace Hill was an easy climb and was rather nondescript.  I was planning on continuing on to Barton Mountain.  There are two mountains labeled as Barton Mountain on the topo map.  I was intending to head for the higher more northerly peak.

I could see Barton Mountain from the top of Brace Hill.  What caught my eye though was the cliffs to the right of Barton.  They were on the northwest face of the hill labeled with an elevation of 1910 on the topo map.  I would later learn these cliffs are known as the Barton High Cliffs; which I had heard of before, but I didn't make the association at the time.

I decided to head for the cliffs and check them out.  I could see a massive vertical face and a huge rockpile at the bottom.

Barton High Cliffs in the back right of the photo as seen from Brace Hill.

Spuytenduivel Brook.

Approaching Barton High Cliffs from the southwest.

As I neared the base of the cliffs, I stayed on the opposite side of the draw from the cliffs and soon found a herd path which is likely used by rock climbers.  Cairns marked the faint path.  I was amazed at the sheer size of the cliffs.  They weren't that much smaller than the Wallface Cliffs in the High Peaks.  As I traversed the herd path near the base of the cliffs, I was looked carefully at the top to see if there were open level ledges that would be reachable.  If so, they would most certainly offer views.
It did appear that the top of the cliffs would be approachable, so I looked to see how I could get up there.

Climbing the cliff face is not an option.  I continued past the cliffs and hooked around the north side until I was able to climb.  once I found a way up, I made my way over to the top of the ledge and then began a traverse southwest along the ridge.         

An interesting tree along the way.

The summit ledges looked like they'd be approachable from the top.
The climb to the top of the high cliffs was worth it.  There were two locations on top that offered ledges with nice views.

Brant Lake in the distance with 2nd Brother and 3rd Brother on the right.

Stevens Mountain in the right rear.

Rev... always a hiking partner. 
Once I finishing the traverse of the ledges on top of Barton High Cliffs, I decided to head back to the car instead of looping back to the north to Barton Mountain.  

Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  4.6 miles
Hike Time:  3 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 1300'

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