The Last of the original Adirondack 46 4000ers but alas poor Couchsachraga now ranks a paltry fifty-ninth in order of height. There are now at least 13 peaks that are higher than it and two that are about the same height. This came about as a result of the 1953 and later USGS surveys in which four of the original 46 were lowered and one new peak was raised up to above 4000.
As the ADK 46ers club was formed more as a group of liked minded people with an eye for conservation and appreciation of the wilds, rather than a club for peak baggers, the prerequisite for becoming a 46er is still climbing the original 46.
For those peak baggers out there who just have to bag all 108 of the 4000+ peaks in the northeastern US you need only actually bag 42 of the original 46, plus the new 4000 to get the 43, 4000+ peaks of the Adirondacks.
This aside Couchsachraga is arguably the most isolated of the 46 as well as being the wettest. So do come prepared. It is basically surrounded by a number of very soggy cols one being directly on the regular herd path from Times Square. The bush is very dense and there is little room on the herd path. As well clean water is hard to find and finding a good dry and clear camping spot is very hard. To top it all off there is no lookout on this fully treed summit.
On my members page I have checked off suffering so logically this is one of my favorite peaks.
For exact directions to the trailheads check out the Santanoni page.
The normal route starts at about 0.3 of a mile S of the Santanoni Lean-to at a beaver dam, cross the dam and follow a survey line that climbs sharply over rough terrain until it peters out into a heard path going in a westerly direction. You will then reach a brook descending from the Panther-Santanoni ridge. Head up this brook and after about 0.5 of a mile of rock-hopping, another heard path is reached. Head up this heard path and after about 0.5 of a mile, the apex of the ridge is met.
This spot is called “Time Square” and from here one can easily reach all the peaks in the Santanoni Mountains. From here simply head W along the long ridge heading off in the direction of Couchsachrage descending gradually into a very wet col and then back up to the top of the peak.
This will take at least 2 hours without packs and it is quite easy to get lost in the wet part of the col so come well prepared and one should be skilled in the backwoods use of a map and compass.
The frist part of both the Upper Works trail and the Duck Hole trail are on private land please observe these simple rules
1) No camping, fishing or hunting
2) No off-trail travel including rock climbing or bushwhacking, or use of non-public trail
3) No boating or swimming, including portable boats brought by the public
4) NO DOGS or other pets are permitted unless on a leash
The whole of the Santanoni Mountains and all of the Adirondacks for that matter, has a big game hunting season that starts on the next to last Saturday in October and lasts until the first Sunday in December. Do wear bright-colored clothing and do not be alarmed is you hear shots, or men (99.999999% of the time it is a guy but I suppose that there are some women hunters out there too) with guns.
The best time of year is late summer as the brook is usually dry by then and the heard paths well established.
As well the col is usually totally dry after about 2 weeks with no rain or so I have been lead to believe.
Normally this route is wet so do take precautions when preparing for it.
In winter the Ski from Duck Hole to the Upper works and back is quite fun.
Same as for all Adirondack mountains.
1) No Camping above 4,000 feet
2) No camping withing 150 feet of a stream or other water source except at a designated campsite.
3) No soap or washing withing 150 feet of water
4) Pack it in Pack it out is the rule for garbage
5) Only dead and down wood can be used for fires and set in a proper fire pit. ( local etiquette is to use a stove and not a fire)
Couchsachraga pronounced "Kook-sa-kra-gr" is the ancient Algonquin (Huron more likely) name for the Adirondacks and its surrounding area. Its meaning is quite clear, even to this day, and it is “dismal wilderness” and if you ever have the pleasure of going up to the peak you will see why this is such a good name for it.