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Thread: Favorite Catskill Peak.

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    Senior Member IndianChris's Avatar
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    Favorite Catskill Peak.

    Have some time off coming up in February and was looking forward to hiking a peak or two in the Catskills. Did all 35 but was looking to go back and hit a few again just as a day trip.

    2 questions...
    1 - What's your favorite Catskill peak and...
    2 - Why?

    Be well
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    Don't take it for granite, it's a gneiss day.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndianChris
    1 - What's your favorite Catskill peak and...
    2 - Why?
    Westkill has great views. I finished my Winter 35 there.

    Hunter has a Fire Tower. Great views as well.

    Balsam Lake has a Fire Tower too. And I have the key to the heated cabin and tower, if the price is right!

    Actually, we'll be there the weekend of 2/22-24. If you are around, stop by! No charge!
    Tom Rankin
    Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President Catskill 3500 Club
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    Senior Member funkyfreddy's Avatar
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    Ashokan High Point

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    Senior Member IndianChris's Avatar
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    Ashokan HP? Howcome? Not that it matters but it's not a 35er right? I don't recall.

    TR, that's some cabin. Been inside last time I did that peak. I could stay there year 'round if that was at all a reality. Nice place. Maybe it was you that gave me the tour. Have a dog? Husky? Malmute?
    Last edited by IndianChris; 01-31-2008 at 09:29 AM.
    HEY!!!
    Don't take it for granite, it's a gneiss day.

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    Senior Member MattC's Avatar
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    It's impossible for me to pick a favorite anything, but Twin is one of my favorite Catskill peaks. Two summits for the price of one, both with good views, and a lovely boreal tunnel connecting them. Rugged, fun climbs on both sides. And if you approach by way of Pecoy Notch, the coolest old quarry site in the Catskills, plus a beaver dam. Just a lot of neat features in that area.

    Matt
    "...a man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone." - Henry David Thoreau

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndianChris
    Ashokan HP? Howcome? Not that it matters but it's not a 35er right? I don't recall.

    TR, that's some cabin. Been inside last time I did that peak. I could stay there year 'round if that was at all a reality. Nice place. Maybe it was you that gave me the tour. Have a dog? Husky? Malmute?
    Ashokan is not a 35'R but it is a nice hike.

    BLM: Laurie's Dad built the cabin a long time ago. Yup, it's nice!

    If you are interested in being a tower volunteer, (and thereby having year round access to the cabin), contact me offline. I do not have a dog, and I do not remember anyone showing up with face paint, ( ), but somehow, I do think we have met before.
    Tom Rankin
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    Senior Member MattC's Avatar
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    Gunks forest on Catskill geology

    I agree w/ Freddy that AHP is a real nice peak. The trail follows a nice brook at the start, it's a pretty easy walk for the first 2/3rds and then gets a bit steeper, there are nice views from a couple different spots, and once on top you have several options. You can head back down the way you came, do the loop, or 'whack/herd path out to the little subpeak for more views.

    Forestwise, AHP is more like the Shawangunks and southern Catskill foothills than the rest of the Catskills. Lots of oak, laurel and the best blueberry patches in the Catskills. I believe all due to an old burn. All this is a mixed blessing to me. I like the novelty of if compared to it's higher and more northern and western neighbors, I like the transitional feel and I of course like the berries. However, I like boreal forest so much and AHP lacks that. Boreal forest is so rare south of the Adirondacks, and walking through it in the Catskills makes me feel like I've traveled farther than I have. Cheap vacation.

    AHP does also have a nice open coniferous stand lower down, through which the trail passes. If memory serves, it is white pine dominating with hemlocks beneath. I don't recall if there are norway spruce, but either way it's a nice area. AHP is definitely a Catskill gem, even w/o the northern tree species.

    Matt
    Last edited by MattC; 06-30-2008 at 08:21 PM.
    "...a man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone." - Henry David Thoreau

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    Senior Member imarchant's Avatar
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    Picking a favorite mountain is like picking a favorite child. Rather than give you a favorite mountain I will suggest two of my favorite routes.
    A Wittenburg-Cornell-Slide Traverse or a Blackhead range traverse, including an ascent or descent of the north-east side of Blackhead.

    I like these because they are both challenging physically, but offer some of the best views in the Catskills and a nice variety of terrain. They are best done using a car spot, but can be modified from a single trail head.
    Catskill-3500 #1689 W#689

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    Senior Member IndianChris's Avatar
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    You're all bringing up GREAT suggestions that bring back a lot of memories. The Blackheads are awesome with great views as is Twin.

    You know what I was actually thinking of doing...the Escarpment Trail. I've done that in the past as well...it has great views one after the other although not as challenging as some of the ones mentioned above.

    AHP definately sounds cool.

    Anyone ever do BearPen? That has a nice route with pretty good views as well.

    Kepp'm coming!
    HEY!!!
    Don't take it for granite, it's a gneiss day.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndianChris
    Anyone ever do BearPen? That has a nice route with pretty good views as well.
    Just last week!

    The 'trail' is old roads at the start, and then a little whacking, and then back on roads to the summit. There were snowmobile / ATV tracks at the top. So, you have been warned.

    But there are great views both along the way, and at the top.
    Tom Rankin
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  11. #11
    Senior Member IndianChris's Avatar
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    Yeah, when I was there, snowmobilers were all over the place. What's the snow conditions like? Snowshoes, crampons, bb?
    BTW...pm sent to ya, Tom.
    HEY!!!
    Don't take it for granite, it's a gneiss day.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndianChris
    Yeah, when I was there, snowmobilers were all over the place. What's the snow conditions like? Snowshoes, crampons, bb?
    BTW...pm sent to ya, Tom.
    It was somewhere between stabilicers and snowshoes. That was 11 days ago though, so I really can't say. Freezing rain / wet snow predicted for tomorrow!
    Tom Rankin
    Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President Catskill 3500 Club
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  13. #13
    Senior Member MattC's Avatar
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    The Escarpment Trail is a great non-peak option. Start at that trailhead just outside the State Campground (what the heck is the name of the road?), take the Escarpment as far as maybe North Point, and loop back using some of the other trails (the names of which I also can't remember ).
    Beautiful views and forests along a lot of that route. Interesting geology too.

    One neat thing about Bearpen is the views north over the smaller peaks and the Schoharie Valley. Someone once pointed out that being outside the Blue Line, Bearpen gives one a view of what the Catskills might look more like if there wasn't a Blue Line.

    I agree with Ian's mention of those two classic ranges. For a tough day, try the Burroughs Range after a good snowfall. Climbing Slide goes on for a while. Also agree with his suggestion that routes are as important as peaks. I have fun trying different routes and exploring while repeating climbs of Catskill peaks.

    For 'whacks, I think Doubletop is my fave for it's more remote feel. Rocky/Lone via the Neversink provides the same feeling of being a little more "out there."

    I'll never tire of those Catskill hills, or of droning on about them.

    Matt
    Last edited by mcorsar; 01-31-2008 at 01:42 PM.
    "...a man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone." - Henry David Thoreau

  14. #14
    Senior Member IndianChris's Avatar
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    I do not remember anyone showing up with face paint, ( )
    HAHAHA just saw that.
    Yeah, soot from embers from a passed bon fire near Bellaire. Just having fun. Think it was one of those Balsalm peaks
    HEY!!!
    Don't take it for granite, it's a gneiss day.

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    Senior Member daxs's Avatar
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    i've not quite finished my 3500 but of the peaks i've done to date, I really loved Friday. all the scrambles. I was in heaven.
    Carol

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