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Trip Report - Mount Morris (Big Tupper)

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I have another trip report for you of a really fun hike I took up Mount Morris in Tupper Lake, NY. My trip was meant as an enjoyable hike to see the views, fire tower, and benchmark disks on top. Having little information about the mountain, and just my GPS and Topographic Map with me, I set off to climb to the summit. The ski center is privately owned, and there are grumblings of revitalization and perhaps condos going up in the future. As such, the area is marked No Trespassing, and there is a big gate at the bottom of the hill. I parked at the gate at the bottom, and hustled around and out of view so I could start my climb.


I thought the quickest way up would be right up the ski slopes, but I had concerns they would be over grown with weeds and bushes and tall grass. I was correct. They were very overgrown, and very steep. The grass was about up to my chest (I am 6' 2") and it was all wet from rain the night before. They have been having an awfully wet summer in the Adirondacks, and many lakes and streams are high. I pushed onwards and upwards and began my bushwhack from behind the old ski center. I was quickly soaked, as water was running down the old ski slopes, and there was chest high grass and weeds. I opted to duck into the woods, as there was more trees to grab onto (the slope is quite steep), and the water wasn't flowing down as much. I figured that the water would follow the path of least resistance down the ski slopes, rather than in the woods. About half way up I ducked back out into the grass and worked my way up to the first chair lift exit point. There I found an ATV trail to the summit. MUCH easier climbing ensued.




When I reached the top, there is quite a bit of sheds and equipment on top. Lots of it with its own air conditioning units and everything. The Fire Tower is still there, although it has been commandeered by the satellite and cell phone companies. Unfortunately this like means this mountain will never be opened for public use, as there are at least 4 air conditioned sheds on top.


I had my data sheets with information on marks PH1653, PH1654, and PH1655. Unfortunately the program I wrote to parse the data sheets to a smaller form, managed to delete a lot of the information I needed about these marks. I'll have to figure out why. But I was able to find the fire tower, summit mark, reference marks 1 and 2, a steel bolt (awesome find), but I missed the Azimuth Mark. You know what that means? Expect a return trip by Monkeykat next year :laughing: .



Summit Fire Tower - Morris Disk in Foreground


The views on top were spectacular. I could see all the way to White Face Mountain. It was an exceptionally clear day, and I get chills thinking of how beautiful it was. The hike up took about 1 hour.



PH1655 - The Bolt



Monkeykat Triumphantly On Top


On my way back down I ran into a rather attractive young woman dressed in shorts and sandals hiking with her dog. Now I was shocked. I didn't expect to see anyone, let alone someone dressed in shorts considering what I had just hiked through. I was dressed in jeans and boots, which were pretty wet and dirty. Had scrapes from the bushwhack all over my arms and legs too. She told me she hikes the trail quite often, and that the easier way down is to take the ATV trail to the bottom, as it eventually turns into pretty much a gravel road. Arrrghh, now I know. It was much easier on the way down, only 20 minutes.



The EASY Way Down!


Once at the bottom I explored the old ski lodge a little. This seemed a little more like trespassing, so I took a quick look around and headed out. Its a shame, but it looks like vandals have somewhat hit the area. It could be far worse, but its a great climb, and if you think you can talk your way out of some fines, I think you would enjoy your trip.




I have many more photos in my Gallery: Mount Morris Gallery


This was one of the greatest hikes I've done in recent years. It was just so beautiful.

Edited by monkeykat

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Could you drop me a line when you plan on going back up, I'd love to tag along. I've taken a huge interest recently in the initial adirondack survey performed by Verplanck Colvin in the 1870's and from the sounds of the USGS datasheet one of his marks still remains.






I'm not absolutely certain this is one of the disks set by one of Colvin's teams but it sounds appropriate. I only have two years worth of his annual reports to the legislature detailing his progress (1874 & 1879). Neither of these reports mentions Mt. Morris, although it is possible it was named or renamed after his reports to the state or that it is listed in one of the yearly reports I don't have.


If anyone makes it up Morris before I do, here's a pic of what the disk would have roughly looked like when it was set.






Edited to add: Sorry for resurrecting an old post, I couldn't help myself ;-)

Edited by NB2E-HAM

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