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Adirondack 46er Series - Couchsachraga Base Camping, Maybe Santanoni and Panther

Hudson Valley Hikers
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Endorsed by Curators:
Aug 12 7:30AM - 8:30AM

Adirondack 46er Series
Couchsachraga with optional Panther and Santanoni base camping at Bradley Pond Lean-To

If you orphaned Couchsachraga this is the trip for you. I attempted to do the full Santanoni Range as a day hike over Labor Day weekend 2015. We started too late and the heat and lack of water at elevation was pretty intense so I opted to orphan Couchsachraga. Now it's time to pay the piper for that decision.

It's a pretty nice area and the route into the Bradley Pond lean-to has a moderate grade, so this time I am going to make a weekend of it and stay at Bradley Pond Saturday night. If you want to do the whole thing as a day hike, you are welcome to join us, but those who backpack will probably be going at a slower pace than you.

Please expect a moderately fast paced hike with significant elevation gain - know your abilities and read entire posting please.

Approximate mileage/elevation gain:

Base Campers

4.5 miles on Saturday morning, 1500ft gain - 3 hrs
7 miles on Saturday afternoon, 3000ft gain - 5-6 hrs
4.5 miles on Sunday 2hrs

Base Camper Required Gear:


Backpack with Capacity for 4,000 - 6,000 Cubic Inches

Light Weight Tent (Don't try to carry anything heavier than 6 pounds) (0r make arrangements to share)

20 Sleeping Bag (or warmer)

Light weight sleeping pad or air mattress

Some sort of pack to reach Couch summit from base camp.


Synthetic pants,

Long sleeve shirt,

Short sleeve shirt

Synthetic Underwear and Socks

Rain Coat or Outer Shell

Waterproof Hiking Boots

Camp shoes, most prefer Crocks these days.


Waterfilter/purifyer (Or Make Arrangements to Share)

Lighter and/or Waterproof Matches


Camp Stove such as Jet Boil or Whisper Light (0r make arrangements to Share)

Lightweight metal pot with lid

Durable acrylic or metal plate

Durable acrylic forks and spoons

Acrylic coffee cup

Nalgene or Aluminum Water Bottle

Bear Canister or Waterproof Bear Bag and 25-50 feet of lightweight rope (non-climbing) to hang your food at night. Bears in the high peaks have become quite emboldened in recent years. Please be familiar with proper bear Etiquette.

We will be eating 3 meals in the wilderness. You are responsible for bringing and carrying your own food. It should be dry and lightweight. Remember you'll have to carry everything you bring. A few Suggestions include:

Teabags or Coffee bags

At Least Two Liters of water


Peanuts and Raisins

Beef Jerky

Smoked Cheese


Pasta and dry sauce or pesto packets or a can of tomato paste

Instant Dehydrated Backpacking Meals (boring)

Tortillas or Pita Bread

Peanut Butter and Jelly (pre-portioned)

Durable Fruit (Apples and Oranges)

Cup o' Soup Packets/Dried Soup

Crystal Light, Gatoraid or Juice Mix

Whiskey or your choice in poison

Trekking Poles


Toilet Paper

Biodegradable Soap

Steel Wool (For Pots)

First Aid Kit

Compass and Map


A Sense of Humor


Day Hikers:
16 miles, 4500 feet rise, 11-13 hours

Day Hiker Required Gear

Map of the area, Backpack, enough food for the day and evening in case you get out late, headlamp, 2-3 liters of water, windbreaker, rain jacket,

Leave no Trace

GPS track, as per

Important Notes about this Trip

If weather is conducive, I will most likely be camping in the area somewhere Friday night. The location is yet to be determined.

We will be base camping at Bradley Pond Lean-to Saturday night. We will do an in/out to hit the rest of the summits from Times Square. My plan at time of posting is to hit Couch first, then possibly Panther and/or Santanoni for those who need/want to, before heading back down to the lean-to.

Depending on timing, the group's physical condition and/or morale, I may change the route as described below during the event. I'm not sure whether I want to take the Santanoni Express Up, or the Panther Brook Herd Path up, at the time of posting. This will be a game day decision, made once we reach the lean-to.

It will depend on what time we get situated at the lean-to on Saturday. I've been told it is easier to go up the Santanoni Express Route, than the Panther Brook Herd Path. I believe this because Panther Brook really kicked my ass last time. However, doing so will add some mileage as we have to backtrack to the Express trail. I went down Santanoni Express last time and I think it would be a really fun/challenging climb. However, we might need to backtrack quite a way to get to Express from the lean-to. I can't really remember how far it was now. It would also make the most sense to hit Santanoni first if we were to go up the Santanoni Express route. My only objective on this trip isCouchsachraga so I will skip the other two peaks if I am having difficulty with the ascent up to Times Square for some reason.

Hike Description
We start on an access road, then turn right into the woods on the Blue trail from the parking area to Bradley Pond. There was a bridge that was out along this path the last time I did it, which made for a somewhat tricky stream crossing. I'm not sure if it has been rebuilt, yet, or not.We will then continue on the blue-blazed trail for about 4.5 miles (ignoring cairns for Santanoni Express and the Panther Brook Herd Path) to the Bradley Pond Lean-to.

We then will backtrack down the blue trail for a short distance, looking for a right turn onto the herd Path near Bradley Pond. However, we may instead go all the way back to Santanoni Express if conditions allow. Assuming we take the herd path which will be the shortest distance from the lean-to, it will steeply rise up to Panther's shoulder to 'Herald Square', where we will then go slightly left to a junction known as 'Times Square'. From here, we will take a right to go to Couch. It is about a 2.8-3mile round trip out to Couch, after which we will return to Times Square and make decisions regarding whether we are doing Panther and/or Santanoni.

Once back at Times Square, we turn left to go up to Panther (about .7 mile round trip), and then return once again to Times Square. We can then continue straight towards Santanoni (passing through Herald Square and Times Square). It is about 2.2 miles round trip, which I may skip since I have Panther and Santanoni already.

Once back at Herald Square, we take the Panther Brook herd path back down to the Blue Trail, then back down to camp for the night.

On Sunday we will follow the Blue Trail all the way back out to the cars.

This is a long hike with a lot of elevation gain mostly just getting up to Times Square with the added bonus of the return trip from Couch. Up hill both ways, Yeah!!! Know your abilities before signing up for this hike. You should have recent hiking experience of over 15 miles with similar elevation gain before attempting this hike.

^^Bradley Pond Leanto


NOTE: You are responsible for bringing appropriate gear, supplies, clothing, first aid, and lights. You should review topographic maps and trail features carefully; understanding topography of any hike is key to your knowing where you are, where you're going, and how to get back. See suggestions for GEAR on the "About" page for additional gear ideas.

You agree when you sign up for this group or any of the events that you have read and understand the below.

If you join us for a hike (or any other event), please understand that you are responsible for your own preparedness and well-being and will hold no one else liable in case of injury or mishap. You agree not to hold the Organizer, Assistant Organizers, or any other members responsible for any injuries, mishaps, or any other situation that may happen at a planned event. You are responsible to research the event, know the area, and bring the proper gear.

Your attendance on a hike signifies that you have read and accept the terms of this liability waiver. Full waiver can be found on the ABOUT page.

How to find us:Eric - Gray Hyundai Sonata- (914) 424-7160- no calls/texts prior to final 24 hours please

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