Winter Macomb, South Dix, and Grace RobbMLewis Sun, 01/15/2023 - 19:18

Original plan was to do just these three peaks.  We had options of adding in Hough and Dix if we felt it.  We didn't feel it.

Winter Balsam RobbMLewis Fri, 12/30/2022 - 19:10

This was the last of my required winter peaks for the 3500.  This time I went up from McKinley Hollow, like I did a month or two earlier for Eagle.  The trail was a mix, but mostly soft, slushy snow.  By the time I got to the ridge trail, I was slipping more than not even with microspikes, and my feet were wet from the mashed potato snow/slush I was hiking in.  I put on the shoes and hiked off to the peak, and the viewpoint after the peak.  This, as agreed to by the only other pair of hikers using shoes, felt like breaking trail.  It was just bad conditions for hiking in general.  The weath

Winter Blackhead RobbMLewis Thu, 12/29/2022 - 19:04

I took a day off because my legs were unhappy with the postholes on Panther/Giant's Ledge.  I arrived bright and early for Blackhead and originally was going to go up between Blackhead and Black Dome and do it as an in and out.  I decided when I got to the first trail junction though that I would do it as a loop.  Heading up, there was a mix of bare trail and snow/ice until on the escarpment trail, just past the lean-to.

Winter Panther RobbMLewis Tue, 12/27/2022 - 19:22

So, this is the first repeat I've done.  I did Panther originally on June 5.  This is one of the required winter peaks though, so once again I did it.  We started off of 47 like I did the previous time.  The trail up to the ledges was better than when I did it in the spring only because it was not rocks and you can see where it is on the more vertical rocky places.  The problem was that it was postholed like crazy, which made hiking it difficult.  The trip across the ridge to the ledges was uneventful and the climb up to the ledges was tough, but doable with microspikes.  The views though..

Winter Slide RobbMLewis Mon, 12/26/2022 - 19:16

This was the first of 4 planned end of year "Winter" hikes.  Slide is the highest point in the Catskills, and the hike up was a challenge.  Started off on 47 and first thing you face is a big stream.  Thankfully it was frozen over for us.  The trail was then a mix of ice, snow, and bare spots pretty much up until the first trail junction.  After that it was just hard packed snow and ice to the top.  Absolutely beautiful scenery, the trees holding the snow looked almost alien.  When we got to the top, the views were just amazing.  Overall, the trail was in pretty good shape, and not as steep

Sugarloaf Mountain RobbMLewis Mon, 12/05/2022 - 07:10

The original plan was to do the whole range as a through hike, but nobody wanted to hike with me.  So, instead I did just Sugarloaf, and I am glad I did only that.  The hike in from Roaring Kill is a quite lovely trail.  It was chilly out, but I was sweating, so I stripped down to just my thermal layer on top.  Small mistake, my belly was a little frostbitten at the end of the day.  The trail was in good shape going up the Devils Path from the trail junction.  There was ice around, and the ice flowing down the cliff and rock faces was beautiful.  Finally, right before the 3500 mark, I had t

Eagle Mountain RobbMLewis Mon, 11/21/2022 - 07:02

This time, I finished what I tried to do previously.  Eagle mountain from McKinley Hollow.  The day started with some snow on the ground, but trail reports had said no shoes were needed, so they stayed in the car.  Microspikes though, well, they were needed.  As I started to hike in, it started to snow.  Overall, the trail below the stairs is relatively quick and good.  Then you get to a good length of stairs that were a bit slippery with snow.  Thankfully they re-routed the trail not that long ago after the stairs as that's all switchbacks and gentle climb over what was probably some of th

Fir and Big Indian RobbMLewis Sun, 10/23/2022 - 06:52

This was the first bushwack peak that I took Michael along with me.  We planned to do a through hike from 47 to McKinley Hollow, but we didn't end up doing that.

South West Huter, Hunter, Rusk RobbMLewis Sun, 09/18/2022 - 08:04

Saturday I went up to the end of Spruceton and did the last 3 peaks I needed in that area... South West Hunter, Hunter, and Rusk.  Planning had this at 10.8 miles, but GPS clocked in at 11.9 which may be true because of a couple of the side trails I did, plus the route I planned had a couple short cuts that were not there in reality.

Wewstkill RobbMLewis Sun, 09/11/2022 - 07:15

Saturday I got back on the trail for the first time in a month.  I was off because of various reasons, but I haven't hiked in almost a month.  I was supposed to go on a hike up Fir, Big Indian, Eagle, and Balsam, with a 630 start time....