Saturday, January 30, 2016

Windham High Peak, Catskills

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
1/30/2016 6.4 miles 3 hours 24 minutes 1,474' 2.1 mph 45.8

Trail Map
Parking: Peck Road
Catskill All Trails Challenge: Map 141
Catskill Winter Peak #7

Take yellow blazed Elm Ridge Trail towards shelter.
Make sure not to turn onto side trails which are also marked in yellow.
Turn right onto the Escarpment Trail.
There are two views just before the summit.
Continue past summit just a little bit.
Just beyond the summit is a third view.
Retrace steps to parking area.

We chose a shorter hike today, knowing we wouldn't be able to get an early start. It was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the upper 30's, a perfect day for a winter hike. We saw a forest ranger who headed off up the trail in front of us. We saw a few other people today - one person in crampons, some in microspikes, and some barebooting it (yikes). I tried starting off without microspikes, but the Elm Ridge Trail was a sheet of ice in spots. I tried walking around the ice for a while, but gave up eventually. Closer to the summit there was a layer of snow on the ice but not much.

We both carried crampons (we spent 20 minutes last night just trying to figure out how to put them on!). They added extra weight (I could feel it), and we never ended up using them. Going downhill my microspikes did slip a bit on the ice, where as Glens Hillsounds did not. His are much newer than mine, so maybe that's why? I'm going to research sharpening my spikes. Not sure how hard that is to do, but worth a shot.

This was a nice easier hike with a bunch of views of Blackhead, Blackdome, and Thomas Cole. Just a very pleasant hike. We saw a couple of houses just to the side of the trailhead. It would be sweet to live in such a place.


Another set of yellow blazes splits off here. Head towards the lean to. We had to check our map where we saw a huge group of unmarked squiggly lines marking a mess of trails. Maybe mountain bike trails? Later we saw some of them labeled with signs, but our NYNJTC map doesn't have them labeled.

On parts of the Elm Ridge Trail, it was easy to walk around any ice.

Turning onto the Escarpment Trail.

Starting on the Escarpment Trail, a dusting of snow with no ice underneath. It didn't last long. The ice returned.

Enjoying the sunny sky

Not captured well in this photo, but we saw a sun dog today.

First view, shortly before the summit - towards the Blackhead range

Second view shortly before the summit - towards the Hudson Valley

Now we have a thin layer of snow on top of the ice. Less slippery though.

Third view, just past the summit

Since everything was covered in snow, we couldn't find the summit marker. So, summit photo somewhere near the summit.

Shelter near the intersection of the Elm Ridge Trail & Escarpment Trail.

My microspikes were not biting in well going downhill on this sheet of ice. This is the Elm Ridge Trail.

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