Monday, June 9, 2014

Catskills 3500: Windham High Peak

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity...” -John Muir

It has been nearly 3 months since I've been able to get back to the mountains. I have been itching to get out on the trails, but just haven't found the time.  Marcy isn't ready for trails yet, and leaving her for yet another day makes me fee very guilty so I've kept thinking about it but not actually make it happen.  

While my goal for 2014 is to hike the rest of the Adirondack 46, what I have left up there are all long hauls that I wasn't quite in the mood for this weekend.  Instead I decided to bag a peak down in the Catskills.

It was a bit of a last minute decision.  I had done some research the night before and roughly planned on hiking Windham High Peak.  When Marcy woke me up at 5:30 Sunday morning I figured I might as well take advantage of the day.  After our regularly morning routine, I headed south to the Catskills. 

It was an easy drive, my gps uses coordinates ( N42 17.808 W74 10.155 ) which landed me at the parking lot in just a little over an hour from cohoes.  After a quick check of my notes and signing in, I headed up the trail. (8:45)



I recently read the Wizard of Oz and this is what I think of for one of the creepy forest.

one of my favorite things to see on the trail is trailmarkers being eaten by trees.



It was a gradual incline,  my legs, lungs, and feet definitely needed this refresher of hiking, but I kept a good pace.  I found myself on the summit at 10:15.  Yet again I managed to have the a mountain summit to myself. I checked out the different lookouts, sat and enjoyed half of my lunch (10:30 was just too early even for me to eat again) and decided to head on back down.

2nd Catskill 3500 club peak!




I was back at the car by noon and ran into everyone just coming up the mountain. This trail is great from Albany - hike-able for all abilities, it's not technical and I didn't find myself scrambling much, nor were there any areas that I had to slide down on my butt (like I normally do up in the Adirondacks).  There are several routes to take, I chose an out and back from Peck Road. A gorgeous day in the mountains and I am feeling more sane than I have in weeks.

Catskills 3500: Rank 33
Mileage: 6.6
Time: 3:15
Gear Used: Asolos, smart wool socks (too thick!), Oiselle shorts, dueter pack, hydroflask

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