West Italy Hill Falls

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Re: West Italy Hill Falls

Postby spec » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:44 pm

Mark J wrote:I have no idea how practical my creekwalk suggestion is. It could be too steep, too narrow, too filled with trees and rocks, etc. After climbing the steep trail to the top of the falls, then back down, I was out of time. I did explore the lower end of the creekbed, it looked challenging. If you're going to make the steep climb on the hill adjacent to the creek, note that the official hiking trail (with blue blazes, as I recall) goes straight up. However this trail repeatedly criss crosses an old logging road. The switchbacks in the road make for a less heart pounding ascent, and a more gradual descent. You'll hear the falls once you get close, but you won't see much unless the leaves are off the trees or you descend to the creekbed with ropes (not my cup of tea). Good luck! I have one more trip to the Finger Lakes this year, but if we go to West Italy, it will only be for the grapes! By the way, a great waterfall with similarly steep terrain is Lick Brook at the Sweedler Preserve in Ithaca, near Buttermilk Falls SP. If you go there, be sure to hike all the way to the bottom (by the railroad tracks) to see the lower falls, provided you don't mind the heart pounding climb back up. Also there are some great pot holes in the creekbed above the main falls, and a great view from the crest provided you don't tempt fate by walking too close. Going over the falls at Lick Brook would definitely be your last mistake.



My attack plan for West Italy would likely be a creekwalk to the falls, then up the wall or falls to the top then take the trail back down. I do generally prefer creekwalks, but have been known to scramble quite high up gorge walls to get around obstacles.

Sweedler/Lick Brook has been on my mind lately too. I'm just down the road in Endicott (Binghamton area), so it'd be a quick trip for me. Not sure of my attack plan on that one, tho I'd likely start at the bottom and work up the creek there as well. I figure it this way -- start out going uphill, that way when you get to the top and you're tired from all the climbing, your return trip will be downhill. As for going over the falls, I'll leave that to our resident expert on UID's (Unexpected Involuntary Descents.) :)
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Re: West Italy Hill Falls

Postby hobkyl » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:05 pm

Mark J wrote:I have no idea how practical my creekwalk suggestion is. It could be too steep, too narrow, too filled with trees and rocks, etc.

If you're going to make the steep climb on the hill adjacent to the creek, note that the official hiking trail (with blue blazes, as I recall) goes straight up. However this trail repeatedly criss crosses an old logging road. The switchbacks in the road make for a less heart pounding ascent, and a more gradual descent.


From what I could see there is alot of debris in this narrow gully-mostly trees full with branches...creekwalking would be a slow going project.

The actual FLT trail is blazed orange. The roads that criss cross the trail..are blue, and yellow. I dont know what the status of those are and I was there for the challenging ascent on the FLT so I didnt use them except for 1 or 2 places that they become the trail.

Mark J wrote:Also there are some great pot holes in the creekbed above the main falls, and a great view from the crest provided you don't tempt fate by walking too close. Going over the falls at Lick Brook would definitely be your last mistake.


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Re: West Italy Hill Falls

Postby ApproachingLight » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:17 am

I tried to attack Italy Hill Falls on Sunday. My first ever complete strike out.

Falls: 1
David: 0

THIS IS STEEP in and out.There was too much water so at the first 5-8 footer I had to back out. The volume was so strong I could not find a single area I felt comfortable crossing the flow with a camera pack. This area is very interesting. Can't find a better word than it seems like a natural chute. I haven't heard if anyone has successfully climbed to the large falls from the bottom up. Like many of the glens and upstate waterfalls, i sense the strong Spring waters washed out many of the log/dead tree jams that are mentioned above. The glen was pretty clean.Lots of beautiful tall/big trees as it is super protected. My two cents of advice: bring rope and an open mind to call it quits. No cell phone reception. So if you get in trouble, your last conversation may be skyward.
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Re: West Italy Hill Falls

Postby bremer » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:47 pm

I agree with the rope and calling it quits. This was probably my least favorite waterfall hike ever. I made the mistake of continuing to climb falls I knew I wouldn't want to climb down and ended up stuck in the middle of the glen. I decided to climb the largest falls but it was not fun or smart at all and there was still more climbing after that. I took this snapshot of sorts from the base - definitely wasn't in the mood for photography at this point. If someone is looking for a serious workout stick to the trail and continue to the hang glider jump-off point where there may be views. On the other hand, if you want to see/photograph waterfalls this probably isn't the place.

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Re: West Italy Hill Falls

Postby hobkyl » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:52 am

Rope-REQUIRED! Otherwise you have a deathwish or are looking for a long stay in a hospital bed.

And yes that trail is a great workout. Steeper than most adk trails I've climbed.
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Re: West Italy Hill Falls

Postby shanerk71 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:58 pm

I hiked to what I believe is the falls today. Parked at the FLT lot 1 mile south of Sliter Rd. Hike 1 1/2 mile into the "Outback Inn" shelter. From there I went around the bend and crossed the creek where there is a small 5' falls. On the other side I followed the creek downstream bearing north along the east rim where there was a clear, but non-blazed, trail for less than a quarter mile. This brought me to the bowl and I could see the falls very clearly from the rim. I walked out along the ridge to the end of a point where I could get some good shots.

This falls looked to be more like 80'. The rim is about 100' from the creekbed and steep and mud/dirt. Not anything really to hang onto and there is a 10' drop from the rim to the wall due to erosion but lots of roots so easy to traverse. For winter this is a non-technical climb with crampons and ice ax. I'd guess in summer its loose dirt and gravel. The slope is greater than 45 degrees. The west bank looked to be quite vertical but with lots of pine trees obscuring.

I've shared some photos on Flickr including my route. Is this the elusive West Italy Falls?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/82842898@N00/sets/72157633018404003/

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Re: West Italy Hill Falls

Postby Matt » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:26 am

If it is.... clearest shot i have seen of it. Kudos to you for hiking in the cold too.
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Re: West Italy Hill Falls

Postby shanerk71 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:26 am

Actually I don't think it is because I was on the east side of Italy Valley. This one is the gully up behind Camp Koinonia. Looking at the topo I think there are at least two other significant falls downstream. I wonder what this creek/falls is called.
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