Bear Mountain Climber's Log
[ Sign the Climber's Log ]
|bidwelldk||Route Climbed: Various|
|Fun hike any time of year. Pretty icy section on the North side in the winter. Some sort of crampon would help unless you want to go off trail.|
|Posted Sep 15, 2006 12:39 am|
|royswkr||Also climbed Gridley & Bald |
Date Climbed: May 3, 1986
|Ranger huddled in lee of cairn, but we ventured NW into wind to bag true HP|
|Posted Jul 10, 2006 10:46 pm|
|Dan the Jones||Night AT hike |
Date Climbed: Jul 15, 2004
|Started at dusk, hiked for several hours into the night. Wanted to camp at Lions Head, I believe that is the name of the first prominant view. Camped in AT shelter, continued on the next morning to the summit stones. Ate a quick snack and we continued on to the great Sages Ravine. This is a beautiful area to cool off, or filter water for the rest of the day. we left the ravine and hiked on the AT to the summit of Mount Everrett and finished up at the know. Partner I was with collapsed of heat exhausted about 1 mile from the finish. Made the hike down the switchbacks much longer. When we got back to the vehicle we did celebrate the completion of the CT segment of the AT.|
|Posted Apr 12, 2006 9:45 pm|
|grfiv||Route Climbed: From AMC parking lot on Mt Washington road Date Climbed: September 23, 2005|
|Bear Mountain (the tallest mountain in CT) and Mt. Frissell South Slope (its highest point, the place where the MA/CT line crosses Mt. Frissell whose peak is in MA) flank a dirt road that runs from South Egremont, MA to Salisbury, CT. The north end of this road is called the Mt. Washington Road and when it emerges in Salisbury, it is called the Mt. Riga Road; in the middle, at a tiny intersection by a diminutive church, it is called East Street. So many names for an obscure, 10-mile-long dirt road through the woods. |
If you drive south from, say, the Stockbridge area, as given in the directions below, Bear will be on the East side of the road (to your left) and Frissell will be on the West (to your right). You will be able to see neither of them because of the trees. The trails for each start at the road, within 100 feet of each other, near an Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) parking lot on the East (left) side of the road.
On September 23, 2005, the second day of Autumn that year, I drove down from Bascom Lodge at the summit of Mt. Greylock, the highest peak in MA. I was going to bag Mt. Frissell, Connecticut's highest point. After parking, I set off at a rapid pace and quickly reached the summit, only to be told (luckily) by another hiker that the mountain I had just climbed was not Mt. Frissell at all, but Bear Mountain.
So on that lovely fall day, I climbed two mountains (three, if you count Round, on the way to Frissell).
Bear Mountain is reached by going around the metal gate at the back of the AMC parking lot. You pass a large AMC sign up on a tree, warning you to behave yourself, and then by a small cabin to your right. After 1/2 mile or so, you come to an intersection. The trail ahead is flat, as is the trail to the left. To the right, the trail ascends through the trees up some natural stone steps, marked with the white AMC blaze; this is the way.
The trail is easy to follow but if you are in doubt, pause and look around for the white AMC blaze which may be on a tree to your left or it may be on the rock itself ahead of you or under your feet.
At the summit is a huge cairn built in 1885 by Owen Travis. It stands some 10 feet high or more, and as I climbed it I marveled at the huge effort that must have gone into its construction. The current structure is a reconstruction done in 1983 after years of deterioration; its current height is less than the original ... when you se it, you will agree that Owen was a prodigious mason.
The Mt. Frissell trail is found by turning right up the dirt road out of the AMC parking lot, back the way you came by my directions, past the stone pillar marking the MA/CT border on your right. On the left, 100 feet up the dirt road (or less) is the trail, marked with red blazes. This trail in parts is harder to follow than the Bear Mountain trail but the advice about pausing to look for blazes applies here, too, particularly blazes on the rocks which sometimes show not only the way, but a turn as well.
After the first scramble, you stand on a ridge, the top of Round Mountain. Bear Mountain is clearly visible behind you, and Mt. Frissell rises ahead of you across a small col or valley. You descend and then ascend, coming nearly to the summit. Straight ahead of you, unmarked, is the short trail to the summit proper with its log book strapped to a tree (in MA). To the left, as indicated by the red blaze on the rock, the trail leads you down and to the right, coming eventually to a small cairn and the green, circular metal marker showing the highest point in Connecticut.
I stayed the night at the White Hart Inn in Salisbury, CT. I can recommend both the Inn and the town as places to spend some time.
Directions to Bear Mountain and Mt. Frissell, CT, from the north
Take Rt 7 South past Great Barrington, MA
Take Rt 23 West to South Egremont, MA
Take Rt 41 South very briefly and then turn right onto the Mt. Washington Road
Go straight through the intersection of East Street and Cross Road (do not turn right to go to Bish Bash Falls State Park)
Past the Mt. Washington State Forest headquarters building on the right, the road goes from paved to dirt
Immediately after the MA/CT border marker on the left (a gray, 4-foot stone pillar nearly overgrown by the side of the road) is a small parking lot with an AMC sign. Park here.
|Posted Sep 24, 2005 9:39 pm|
|Alpinist||Route Climbed: Northeastern route from Mt Washington Road Date Climbed: June 19, 2005|
|Part of a 4-peak day that included Round Mountain, Mt Frissell, Bear Mtn and Greylock.|
|Posted Jun 19, 2005 9:18 pm|
|CBakwin||Date Climbed: June, 1974|
|Picked this up on an appalation trail hike|
|Posted Dec 1, 2004 3:42 pm|
|dspal||Route Climbed: Appalachian Trail Date Climbed: August 1996 and January 2001|
|short, with decent views of the Berkshire hills, short scramble, highest peak in CT, in winter beautifully clear and wide views—snowshoes necessary...|
|Posted Jul 31, 2004 4:03 pm|
|fox5659||Route Climbed: Paradise Lane Trail to AT Date Climbed: September 2002|
|My brother and I took the opportunity of an excellent day to introduce my two nieces to the pleasures of hiking. We hiked up the north side of Bear stopping frequently to allow the girls to take in the views. |
The entire trip took about 6 hours...the girls loved it and I am already being asked which mountain we will hike this year and when.
This is a great family hike.
|Posted Apr 27, 2003 6:19 am|
|big_g||Route Climbed: AT |
Date Climbed: May 23, 2000
|Hit this one on my 2000 AT thruhike.|
|Posted Mar 3, 2003 6:37 pm|
|GuitarWIzard||Route Climbed: Undermountain Trail Date Climbed: April 17, 2002|
|During the heatwave in the Northeast this past week, I decided to climb it in 94 degree weather. Did it in about an hour and a half, and felt like I wanted to die up near the summit. There seemed to be no discernable temperature difference between the valley and the summit. I even lugged my 5 pound camera along to finally get some pictures for the page, however, I realized after I got home that I didn't have my DX setting set to "auto", and forgot to manually set the film speed.....so the pictures will have to wait for another trip. However, we made it to the summit in fairly good time....only took an hour and a half....|
|Posted Apr 18, 2002 10:51 pm|
|GuitarWIzard||Route Climbed: Under Mountain/Paradise Loop Date Climbed: April 2001|
|I guess since I created the page, I should at least sign the summit log :). This was my brothers (see MacRaider4's post) first ascent of a mountain. He was rather out of shape at the time, but managed to make it up fairly easily. I was interested in doing a climb other than in New Hampshire, and my brother wanted to get started in climbing mountains....so I figured this was a good place to start. The scramble up the north side of the mountain was a nice change of pace, but unfortunately by the time I started getting into it, we were at the summit. I was surprised at the views for such a "small" mountain.....and the large pile of rocks definitely makes viewing much easier. The descent was nice and rather quick......I think it only took us 3 1/2 - 4 hours to complete the nearly 7 mile hike. Saw two groups of backpackers, a boyfriend/girlfriend duo in which the girlfriend was hauling the big backpack and the boyfriend was carrying a bottle of water, and an AMC guy.....|
|Posted Mar 21, 2002 9:51 pm|
|MacRaider4||Route Climbed: Undermountain Trail to summit Date Climbed: April 2001|
|This was the first mountain I climbed, I wasn't in the greatest shape and was still able to do it with a break here and there. Great for the family or boy scout troop looking for a place to camp and hike.|
|Posted Mar 21, 2002 8:15 pm|
|Josh||Route Climbed: A.T. Date Climbed: Summer '95|
|Bagged this one along my '95 A.T. thru-hike. When I entered Connecticut, I started to really feel like I had put some good mileage behind me. The terrain became more and more like the Northeastern Woods I had been looking forward to for 1500 miles.|
|Posted Mar 19, 2002 11:32 am|