Saturday, November 9, 2013

Plateau and Sugarloaf Mountains, Catskills

November 9, 2013

Distance: 5.9 miles
Time: 6 hours 20 minutes
Map: Catskill Trails Map Set
Parking: End of Mink Hollow Road, Elka Park

Restrooms: None.
Notes: Catskill 3500 footer #29 & #30
Post hike dinner: Karma Road Cafe, New Paltz

From the parking area, head towards the woods road. It is an un-blazed trail.
The trail will cross a stream a couple of times.
When you reach a tent sign and a sign for a spring (not facing you), look for the start of yellow blazes.
Follow the blazes of the yellow trail (away from the arrow sign for the spring).
You will see a shelter in the distance as you approach the intersection with the Devil's Path.
Turn right on the red blazed Devil's Path and head up to Plateau.
The trail is steep, and difficult with snow/ice.
The summit is unmarked, but once you've reached the highest spot, and you see a sharp right turn (start of a walk across the summit), turn back and head back to the intersection of the Devil's Path and the yellow blazed trail.
When you reach the intersection, go on the Devil's Path in the other direction up to Sugarloaf Mountain.
There are some very steep portions, one particularly difficult with dogs (they needed help getting up).
The summit of Sugarloaf is unmarked.
After reaching the summit, turn around, and again head to the intersection of the yellow blazed trail and the Devil's Path.
Turn right on the yellow blazed trail and return to the parking area.

This hike was difficult with snow & ice & leaves.
Parts of it felt treacherous. Lots of sliding and I had one bad fall. Ouch.
Our dogs had problems with a couple of the ascents/descents.
We had to ascend cliffs, and the surfaces were quite icy.
I used microspikes during part of this hike - they helped greatly.
Sugarloaf was icier than Plateau.

Year to date miles 359.7

Parking area

The start of the un-blazed trail

Look for the yellow blazed trail to start here

This arrow isn't the direction of the trail

The spring

Intersection with the Devil's Path. The mileage for Plateau isn't right. I think if is about 1 mile.

1 mile doesn't sound so bad, but trail up is steep.

View of Sugarloaf

Ice covered rocks

Plateau summit

Hundreds of icicles. This view is right next to the hardest ascent up the trail, where one of us had to pull the dogs up by a leash attached to their harnesses, and one had to push them up from below. Took us about 10 minutes to get past that point.

Funny expression at the summit of Sugarloaf.
I think this means we better get down fast to make it down before dark.

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