Fire Tower cab

Vanderwhacker Mountain

Vanderwhacker Mountain is a fire tower mountain located in the town of Minerva, Essex County. Route 28N passes around its northeastern side between Minerva and Newcomb. It’s a 3385 Ft. Mountain in elevation right in the center of the park. The surrounding terrain seems much more relaxed here with fewer mountains in the 3000 Ft. range. The Hudson River passes by the west side of the mountain and the Boreas River passes on the east side. They both meet south of the mountain. When I viewed the area from Snowy Mountain I noticed how different this place was compared to the high peaks and the mountain I was on. It was like a break in mountainous terrain that gave me a clear view of the high peaks.
I climbed Vanderwhacker last Friday. There isn’t enough photo space to share what I saw up there. I got to see the high peaks being bathed by snow showers. I noticed the Santanoni Mountains were thickly covered in snow. Other peaks were covered in cloud so I couldn’t see them. The Dix Mountains in picture 2 didn’t look as covered. The white streaks on the mountain are its characteristic rock slides. Toward the west was the Fishing Rock Mountains. Among them Dun Brook Mountain was a former fire tower mountain. Just to the left was Blue Mountain. I could make out its communication towers. Looking southwest I could see the high mountains west of Indian Lake. Snowy had its hump on a ridge look. From Pillsbury Mountain it looks as though it could tip over. Wakely Mountain and its fire tower could be seen. In fact, I could see most of the surrounding fire towers with my new telephoto lens. I could see communication towers on Gore Mountain toward the south. In picture 3 I zoomed in on the Goodnow Mountain Fire Tower. Kempshall Mountain in the background is another former fire tower mountain. Further east, along route 28N, I zoomed in on a community with a water tower. I’m thinking it was Winebrook Hills east of Newcomb. Another curiosity was Beaver Mountain to the south. The DEC did a fire tower study and has it listed as a former fire tower mountain. But the book “Adirondack Fire Towers Their History and Lore” by Martin Podskoch, didn’t cover it. So I’m curious about this mountain
Getting there isn’t easy if you live in the upper Mohawk Valley. Those close to the capital district have easier access to a northway and route 30 for a smooth route. We on the other hand have to decide whether to go to Blue Mountain Lake or Gore Mountain (North Creek) to pick up 28N. I went to Gore Mountain and drove about 15 miles to the Boreas River Crossing. On the north side of the bridge a brutal seasonal road heads west. This road is full of jagged rocks and I had a little Korean car. I drove for about 2.5 miles crossing the D&H railroad halfway. The trailhead is on the right. The hike up is 2.7 miles with a 1650 Ft. climb. It starts out with a gradual climb. Then a stream is crossed followed by passing a marshy area. Soon the mountain can be seen ahead. To my surprise the observer cabin was at the foot of the mountain. Starting from the cabin the climb begins to intensify to a steep climb. It doesn’t last long and there is a break part way up. The climb brings you to an arm of the mountain. From there is a wonderful hike to the summit where the fire tower is.

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