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Beacon Mountain firetower and beyond

  • Mar 1, 2014 · 10:00 AM
  • Beacon Mountain Gateway park trailhead

--Rescheduled from 2/15--

Join me on this hike up and around Beacon Mountain. We will start and end on the steep casino trail climbing 1000 ft in 0.8 mile. The hike will include the fire-tower, reservoir and some less visited spots! Exact route will depend on the conditions but we will likely be on unmarked trails for some of the hike.

This hike is only for intermediate hikers who can keep a moderate pace, and have some winter hiking experience.

It will be mandatory to have traction devices (regular 17 studded (not lite) stabilicers or micro-spikes only) and not wear cotton or jeans, see "what to bring/wear" section below.

Distance: ~ 6 miles

Terrain: Moderate with some steep hill climbs.

Elevation gain: 1000 ft in 0.8 mile, total ~[masked] ft.

Pace: Moderate, with time to enjoy the views.

Dogs: No dogs please.

You must be in good physical shape to attend this hike, and be able to keep pace with the group, remember it is winter and the conditions make all hikes harder. If you are not sure of your abilities please attend an easier hike first.

Prior to RSVP'ing please be familiar with our RSVP policy:

This is a members only event (writing plus 1 in your RSVP does not count as signing up a guest).

What to bring and wear: Bring water, snacks, hiking poles, gaitors or waterproof pants, and anything else you need to enjoy the hike.

On this hike it will be mandatory to have:

- Waterproof hiking boots

- Traction devices – regular (not lite) stabilicers or microspikes only. Yaktraks/other lighter duty kinds are not enough for this hike.

- No cotton or jeans.

If you come without these items I will have to turn you away, so please come prepared for your safety and that of the group.

After hike lunch

We will likely go to lunch at Max's in Beacon after the hike, please indicate via the RSVP question whether you are interested in joining.

Cancellation notices: I will be monitoring the weather prior to the hike and if conditions do not look good the hike is subject to cancellation. Please make sure to check your email/site prior to leaving for the hike, cancellation notices will be sent prior to 8.30 am if required.

Liability Waiver: This is a social group of like minded individuals that enjoy hiking, it is not organized by a professional hiker.  Hiking or outdoor activities have inherent risks. Your participation in our hikes or other events could be dangerous and can result in serious injury, medical emergency, even death. You agree to participate in this event completely at your own risk and to take full responsibility for your own safety and well being, including those of your guests.


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  • Anthony C.

    Thanks Heike for leading a great hike! Really enjoyed meeting everyone. Real friendly group!

    March 3, 2014

  • john c

    thank you heike. great day for hiking mt beacon and after wards going to max's

    March 2, 2014

  • Barbara

    What a great day! Being in the great outdoors on days like this really make you appreciate this beautiful valley, thanks Heike for organizing a wonderful event :)

    March 2, 2014

  • Patrizia

    No post holing this time, thanks to the rock hard snow... We were actually even able to walk on water! Thank you for a very nice day, Heike. It was so nice to see you! Great food on Max's on Main !

    March 2, 2014

  • Renuka

    Great day and hike especially the walk on the reservoir! Thanks Heike for leading and Patrizia for the cookies. Fun group.

    1 · March 2, 2014

  • Heike

    What a fun day, great conditions (sunny and we floated on top of the deep snow!) and a happy, adventurous group. With the deep freeze we even got to experience walking on the frozen reservoir. The meal and drinks at Max's in Beacon afterwards was great. Thanks all for coming.

    March 2, 2014

  • Jim P

    Nice group, fun hike. Thank you for arranging Heike. Thank you for the cookies Patrizia!

    1 · March 2, 2014

  • Jennie + k.

    Thank you Heike for hosting this scenic hike.…loved going uphill, through the terrain and of course, walking over the reservoir. The post hike lunch at Max's was great. Thanks again!

    March 2, 2014

  • Heike

    I expect some varied conditions at Mount Beacon tomorrow, given the partial melt last weekend and the arctic weather this week, we are likely to encounter both snow and ice. We will play the route by ear, but I will likely still do the planned course, which will take us on unmarked trails, which will likely be unbroken. They are mainly downhill, but the snow will likely be somewhat deep in places and I will ask that the group take it in turns to break trail.

    In the interest of our overall enjoyment and safety of the group, it will be mandatory to wear either microspikes/stabilicers (not the light version - those with 17 studs), or snowshoes (remember there is a steep climb to start so bring those that work well for mountains), along with hiking boots. Wearing gaitors, waterproof pants, dressing in layers and having a spare pair of socks will all aid in your comfort and are strongly recommended. Having hiking poles to help with balance may also prove useful. thanks Heike

    February 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Amit, excellent advice. I did a fifteen mile mountain hike three weeks ago North of Harrisburg Pa, and we had to take turns breaking trail. A few got cuts (small) from breaking through the ice crust, so the gaiters would offer protection, as well as keeping the snow out. Hope this doesn't discourage anyone. The views should be spectacular!

    1 · February 24, 2014

  • Amit

    Heike, since I just did this hike on Saturday, and the conditions won't be much better this coming weekend, I am posting the gear people must bring beyond the basic "no cotton pants/socks, etc."

    Bare minimum for people following and stepping in pre-made footholes by hike leaders: You MUST bring waterproof shoes or boots and you MUST wear gaiters to prevent snow from getting in your shoes. Absolutely no cotton socks or they may get soaked fast and your toes could freeze/get frostbitten. You MUST bring a spare pair of socks in your backpack in case they do get wet, another pair left in your car, and also a spare pair of shoes for after the hike. Preferably, everyone has snowshoes, but if your feet are protected by waterproof boots, wool socks, and gaiters you should be just fine. We broke the trail on Saturday (it was deep, untouched snow), so there should be plenty of places to walk without sinking. Without gaiters, though, you will get your socks wet and that is unsafe.

    February 24, 2014

    • Amit

      The conditions were borderline mountaineering on Saturday, and it is unlikely that that will change by this Saturday based on the cold weather we will have all week. Fortunately, the six of us HVH'ers broke the trail and we are not supposed to get more snow, so it should be easier for this group. Regarding hiking on unmarked trails, however, please keep in mind that conditions will not be very conducive to that unless people want to take turns making footholes, or everyone has snowshoes (not likely). I have no problem assisting with making footholes, but it is tiring on your calves and quads, so taking turns is recommended with the rest of the group "following in our footsteps." Heike, if you have any questions regarding the conditions so you can send a detailed Email to the group, please PM me and we can discuss on the phone as well. I'm not trying to scare people but if you are not properly geared up, you will have a bad time.

      February 24, 2014

    • Amit

      Last comment: The path to the tower and back is well groomed now, but side trails are not. Sorry about the wall of text.

      February 24, 2014

  • Barbara

    do you wear snowshoes for this hike since we are anticipating so much snow?

    February 12, 2014

    • Amit

      Regarding snowshoes, I hiked Breakneck to Beacon with a small group on Saturday (led by Dorothy from HVH) and the conditions were mountaineering-level. The weather was warm and we didn't think we needed snowshoes, but we were most certainly wrong. Nobody had even made footprints in the snow, and every step sunk our feet more than 1 foot deep. This isn't my hike, but I am going to post recommended gear in a separate comment.

      February 24, 2014

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