The week of December 14th begins with two days of mixed sun and clouds with highs reaching into the upper 30′s. Less wind will make the air feel about the same as the actual temperature. Tuesday’s temperatures will be nearly the same but there is the potential for rain most of the day. The rain may stay around for some showers on Wednesday morning but the afternoon should see a clearing trend with Temperatures rising to the low 40′s. Thursday and Friday appear to be sunny with some clouds but the highs may not make it above freezing. On Saturday there may be some snow showers with temperatures marginally higher. This forecast is for the lower elevations. Snow and ice are accumulating on the peaks and traction devices are HIGHLY recommended! Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!
On Saturday, December 13th I was ready to get out after a week of snow and ice and coaching commitments. I had planned to hike on Friday but the low temperatures coupled with the stiff breeze dissuaded me. An early morning ambulance call on Saturday made hiking more difficult as I was pretty tired. In addition, the temperature did not seem any warmer and the breeze was blowing harder than the day before! I ha almost decided to wait until after church on Sunday but decided I needed to get out! Sheila agreed wholeheartedly with this decision. I planned to hike a section of the Long Path from Landing Rd to High Tor. This is the second part of section 3 which is one of the last three sections I have to hike. I also wanted to continue up to High Tor since I had not hiked the first part of section 4. I also remembered that the last time I was at High Tor with my wife we could not see much due to the fog. I knew that there was the potential for some great views. Continue reading
On Sunday, December 7thth, I wanted to get out and hike since the weather forecast for the rest of the week indicated a mix of rain, ice and snow starting Tuesday and extending through Friday. It had been two years since I lost my best hiking companion, Sheba, to Lyme disease and I knew taking a hike with Sheila would make me feel better. Sheba was a little over 14 years old and had a very bad case of Lyme Disease diagnosed in the spring of 2012. She was still very alert but her hips had deteriorated to the point where she could hardly support herself. Knowing that there was only one way to eliminate her pain didn’t make saying goodbye any easier. I will always miss her and always remember what great trail dog she was when she was healthy. Fortunately, Sheila, my new dog has proved to be a great companion at home and on the trails. I decided to go to the Neversink Unique area after church since there had been some rain recently and I wanted to check out the water falls. Continue reading
The week of December 7th began with a warmer Sunday with temperatures rising to near 40 degrees and beautiful blue shies. Monday will be cooler with increasing clouds. The forecast for the rest of the week is unsettled with a winter storm watch in effect. An approaching storm will bring rain, ice and snow to the Catskills but the amounts of each will depend on the storm track and the location within the area. Currently the forecast calls for the precipitation to begin on Tuesday and continue through Thursday morning. Any snow will be heavy and wet and the worst conditions are expected to be from Tuesday night through Wednesday morning. Some snow showers may hang around for Thursday. High temperatures during the day will hover right around freezing. By Friday the sun returns and temperatures rise until early next week. This forecast is for the lower elevations. Snow and ice are accumulating on the peaks and traction devices are HIGHLY recommended! Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!
On Friday, December 5th I planned to hike a section of the Long Path from Nyack to Landing Rd. This is the first part of section 3 which is one of the last three sections I have to hike. When I awoke at 7:00 AM the temperature was 16 degrees and the weather forecast for Livingston Manor indicated snow and ice were on the way. The forecast for Nyack was calling for mostly cloudy skies with rain in the late afternoon. I decided to take my chances and attempt the hike despite the questionable weather. I got ready dressing for twenty degree temperatures as we left Livingston Manor at 8:00 AM. I chose the easiest route by driving down Route 17 to Harriman where I picked up the Thruway south. I knew I wanted exit 11 but forgot that it was the last exit before the Tappan Zee Bridge! The traffic was heavy but moving and we got to the exit at about 9:20 AM. I took a left at the end of the exit onto Route 59. I immediately pulled into a parking lot and parked just east of Mountainview Avenue. I put Sheila on her leash, stowed my poles in my pack and left the Microspikes in the car as we started our hiked at 9:30 AM. Continue reading
On Thursday, December 4th I had almost decided to stay at home as I had planned a long hike for Friday. After hanging around the house and looking at a forecast of rain for Saturday, I decided to get out and do something just for some exercise. Family commitments had eaten up the beginning of the week and both Sheila and I were anxious to hike. The skies were overcast but and the air seemed raw despite the 30 degree temperature but that did not stop us. We arrived at the Frick Pond parking area at 10:30 AM and were immediately on the Quick Lake Trail to Frick Pond. I tried to resist overdressing and did not put on tights underneath my MH Winter Wander pants. I also wore only a single layer on top underneath my Mammut Hoody. Continue reading
The week of November 30th began with a warmer but overcast Sunday with temperatures rising to near 40 degrees. Monday will be mild with some sun with highs in the mid 40′s. The forecast calls for a cooler day on Tuesday with temperatures only reaching slightly above freezing. The forecast for Wednesday calls for some ice in the morning with temperatures rising again into the mid 40′s. The temperatures for Thursday will drop into the mid 30′s with mostly cloudy skies. Friday seems to be a repeat of Thursday while Saturday’s forecast calls for some ice in the morning. This forecast is for the lower elevations. Snow and ice are accumulating on the peaks and traction devices are HIGHLY recommended! Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!
On Saturday, November 29th I planned to hike a section of the Long Path from Mount Ivy to the Big Hill Shelter in Harriman State Park. I had already hiked the Tors so this hike would connect them to the rest of my Long Path sections and leave only section 1 to 3 for me to complete the entire trail! I mentioned my plans to my son Kurt and he said he would be able to hike with me. This meant we could spot a car on Route 106 where the Suffern-Bear Mountain trail crosses the road. We could then drive to Mount Ivy and hike the Long Path to the Suffern bear Mountain Trail near the Big Hill Shelter. The rest of the hike would be only the Suffern Bear Mounatin Trail back to Route 106. This would also allow us to pass by the Jackie Jones Fire Tower and the ORAK Mansion, two points of interest that I though Kurt would like. We agreed to meet at 9:00 AM but Kurt sent a text early in the morning asking to delay our rendezvous until 9:45 AM. The new plan would allow me to get there a little early to see if Route 106 and the parking area were plowed. Continue reading
On Thursday, November 27th the family was headed to Delhi for Thanksgiving. About 8 inches of snow had fallen on Wednesday and it looked very pretty on the trees. I decided to take a short walk on the hills behind our church before we headed out. The temperature was still in the high 20′s and the sky showed only little blue. I got dressed and took my pack since it is the easiest way to carry my camera. Sheila was ready to go so we walked across the street and up the steep hill to the top of the cemetery. I stopped and dropped my pack to take some pictures of the town and the surrounding hills all of which were covered in snow. Sheila seemed to know where we were going and we were soon hiking through the woods . I was a little surprised to find we weren’t the first to venture out as I saw boot print and dog prints in the snow. We came to a large blowdowns across our regular route and follow the other set of prints as they wound around it. As we walked through the woods, I stopped several times to take a few more shots and then put the camera away to concentrate on the beauty around us. We followed a route we often use but I decided to walk the flat part first and then climb the hills. There were some deep puddles of water which were almost completely frozen but we avoided them just in case. Soon we had made the turn and started back which meant we had a few pretty steep but short climbs. I had not worn any traction devices which would have made the climbs a little easier. I could have worn snowshoes since there was more snow in the woods and on the hills than around the house but they were not necessary. We descended the highest hill and rejoined our path from the outbound part of the hike. Sheila was right on the “trail” the entire time despite the fact that the others had turned around only a short way into the hike. We had started just before 9:00 AM and were back at the house by 10:30 AM after covering a few beautiful miles.
On Tuesday, November 25th it was still overcast with some mist in the air after a good rain on Monday. I decided to hike locally as I had track practice in the afternoon. I decided that the rain might have increased the flow in local streams and that Russell Brook Falls would be a good place in to check this out. Sheila was happy to be getting out and rushed to the car! We left Livingston Manor at about 9:15 AM and headed toward Morton Hill Road just outside of Roscoe. I made the left and rove to the intersection with Russell Brook Road. I turned around and marked on the shoulder of Morton Hill Road as the parking area is on private property. We were hiking down Russell Brook Road by 9:35 AM and it already appeared that there would be some water in the streams. Continue reading