Bear Spring WMA Bushwhack

BearSpringBushwhackDec2016_11camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Saturday, December 31st I had decided to hike at Bread Spring Wildlife Management Area since we had aborted an attempted several days before. I hoped that there would be more snow there than in Sullivan County and that snowshoes would be appropriate. The forecast was for temperatures reaching almost up to freezing but with a stiff breeze. There SW also a mention of snow in the afternoon. After straightening some things around the house, I asked Cindy if she would like to go. She declined and I got ready to go by replenishing my pack and getting my other gear ready. I wondered whether or not I should wear something a little warmer than my usual outfit but decided that once I got moving I would be OK. I got my gear in the car, let Sheila jump in the backseat and set out from Livingston Manor at about 11:30 AM. The temperature was in the high 20’s as I drove north on Route 17 to Roscoe where I took Route 206 through Downsville toward Walton and almost to the top of Bear Spring Mountain. I turned left on East Trout Brook Road and drove passed Launt Pond to the pulloff near Middle Pond. The parking area had not been plowed but there was only a few inches of light snow. I pulled over and parked without a problem. Continue reading

Round Top Loop

gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Friday, December 30th Bryce was over for the morning and the early part of the afternoon. Now that he is in school I miss having him at the house and decided we should go snowshoeing on Round Top. The last time we had gone out was more than a year ago sine there was no snow last winter. At that time Bryce was only mildly enthusiastic and I wondered if that had changed now that he is almost 6 years old. When I mentioned snowshoeing, he seemed very interested and we decided to head out a little after 11:00 AM. Sheila was ready to go with us so I got my gear on while Bryce dressed. Cindy helped him put on his snowshoes and got his poles ready. I walked outside and put mine on and we were ready to go. I had decided to, leave the pack at home just to make things simpler. We walked out the driveway with Sheila on her leash and carefully crossed Rock Avenue. The tracks that Cindy and I had laid down the day before were almost completely filled. Bryce seemed to be making good time as we walked around the back of the church and started up the hill. The hill I short but steep and I worried Bryce would complain about the climb. He seemed to have no problem handling the ascent and we made it quickly to the top. Continue reading

Round Top Snowshoe

RoundTopSnowshoeDec2016C_22camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Thursday, December 29th I awoke to find several inches of snow on the ground and more falling as predicted. I went downtown early and found the streets and roads were in very poor shape. I wanted to go snowshoeing but decided to wait to see what the storm would do. As the day progressed the temperature began to rise. Cindy and I decided to go out before the snow stopped and turned to ice or rain. We decided the best choice was to simply go across the street and snowshoe on Round Top as we could walk directly from our house and avoid driving. I wanted to take some pictures and the most convenient way is just to carry my pack. I again decided to use the Tubbs Alp Flex VRT snowshoes which I had not had the chance to use last year due to the lack of snow. These snowshoes have the “Boa” system which is supposed to allow tightening the front part of the binding with just a twist a knob. I found ether was a left and a right and put the snowshoes on. I found there was a “stopper” up front which limited how far forward the boot can go which I like. The strap around the back seemed to tighten very smoothly and the Boa system did allow me to tighten the binding very easily. I knew these snowshoes were overkill for the easy trail on Round Top but I wanted to try them again. Continue reading

Weather for the week of December 25th

he week of December 25th began with sunny a pleasant Christmas day with highs in the 40’s. Monday began with temperatures hovering just around freezing with a forecast for freezing rain and ice later in the day. The forecast proved true as Sullivan County was hit by feeing rain which caused many accidents and closed roads for hours. By Tues day the temperature warmed and there was no moisture in the air. The highs for the day were in the high 30’s with some sun and blue sky. Wednesday was overcast for most of the day with only a few spots of sun and highs in the high 30’s. On Thursday the forecast calls for 2 to 6 inches of snow depending on location and elevation. The snow should stick in most places as the temperatures have kept the ground cold. The highs will be in the mid 30’s. By Friday the temperature will drop with highs in the high 20’s and the chance of some snow showers. Saturday should see temperatures again at around or just below the freezing mark during the day. The skies should be mostly cloudy. Be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you from developing a chill in colder temperatures. Clothes that have pit zips are great and layering with non-cotton materials are a must for the varying temperatures. Keeping hydrated in cooler weather can sometimes be tricky as you do not feel as thirsty but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. It is also time to start bringing along the spikes or crampons since the melting and refreezing can cause spectacular areas of ice on the trails. Snowshoes will be useful especially at higher elevations where snow fell instead of rain. Be sure to carry water with you as local water sources can be unreliable and may be contaminated. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! 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!

Trout Pond Counterclockwise Loop

TroutCounterDec2016_01camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Tuesday, December 27th I knew that I had to get in a hike after a long weekend of celebration and the ice storm on Monday. Cindy wanted to go too but we had some work to do around the house. Just before noon we decided it was time to get going and headed north and west on Route 17 toward Roscoe. Sheila could hardly contain herself in the back seat as she really loves it when we both go on a hike with her. I got of at exit 94 and headed north toward Downsville on Route 206. Our plan was to hike at Bear Spring WMA between Downsville and Walton as I though there might be enough snow on the mountain to let us use our snowshoes. The further north went, the darker the sky became. Cindy felt it was possible that there might be rain falling and neither of us wanted to drive that far and then turn back. We decided to turn around and go back to Trout Pond where the skies had looked more favorable. As soon as we turned around and started to drive back to Roscoe we could see sun and blue skies which buoyed our spirits. Continue reading

Cabot Mountain from Beech Hill Road

BeechHillRdDec2016_07camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Saturday, December 23rd, I was ready to get out for the second official hike of the winter which started on Wednesday, December 21. Of course, there isn’t much difference between fall and winter at this time of year and there had been snow on the ground for some time. I thought about going to Jensen ledges since the walk is relatively short and Cindy wanted to come with me. The view from the Ledges is spectacular but Cindy pointed put is was already late morning and we did not know the condition of the road that leads to the parking area for Jensen ledges. She suggested we hike Cabot Mountain from Beech Hill Road which surprised me since this is a relatively short but steep hike. The suggestion suited me since I like the difficultly of the climb and because I maintain the section of trail from Big Pond to Beech Hill Road for the Finger Lakes Trail and had not been on it since early fall. By the time we were ready to go and got our gear in the car along with Sheila it was 11:45 AM. We decided to forego the snowshoes as the rain had diminished some of the snow but we took along our Microspikes just in case we ran into any ice or packed snow along the way. We started for Lew Beach on the Beaverkill Road and turned left on Beach Hill Road just outside of Lew Beach. Continue reading

Trout Pond Clockwise Loop

TroutClockwiseDec2016_06camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Thursday, December 22nd, I was ready to get out for the first official hike of the winter which started the day before. Of course, there isn’t much difference between fall and winter at this time of year and there had been snow on the ground for some time. I wanted to stay close to home and avoid a long drive but also wanted to get away from Round Top and Frick Pond. I decided to head to Trout pond since I had not been there in some time and was excited to see what the recent snow and rain had done to the water levels in Russell Brook. I was hoping the falls would have some water which would make taking some pictures worthwhile. I had some things to do around the house and was also waiting to see whether the skies would clear after some early morning snow. At about 10:45 AM the skies did clear and became blue with white clouds. There was even some sun although the temperature was still in the high 20’s. I put my gear in the trunk and an overjoyed Sheila in the back seat and headed to Roscoe on State Route 17. I got on Route 206 and followed it across the Delaware County line to Morton Hill Road. After a left turn on Morton Hill Road, I drove to the intersection with Russell Brook Road. Continue reading

Weather for the week of December 18th

The week of December 18th began with a warmer than usual morning with rain and highs reaching the high 40’s in some areas. By midafternoon the temperatures had begun to drop into the high 20’s but the rain had stopped. Sustained winds with gusts over 20 mph brought the wind-chill into the single digits. On Monday the highs will reach only into the low 20’s but it will be sunny. By Tuesday the temperatures will begin to rise with highs making it to 30 degrees with more sun. The trend continues into Wednesday when the highs will reach the mid-30’s with partly sunny skies. On Thursday watch for rain in the morning possibly freezing on cold surfaces. This may be followed by snow showers with highs again in the mid 30’s. Friday will be warmer with highs in the high 30’s with sun and clouds. The temperature will continue to rise on Saturday with highs in the low 40’s and some sun. Be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you from developing a chill in colder temperatures. Clothes that have pit zips are great and layering with non-cotton materials are a must for the varying temperatures. Keeping hydrated in cooler weather can sometimes be tricky as you do not feel as thirsty but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. It is also time to start bringing along the spikes or crampons since the melting and refreezing can cause spectacular areas of ice on the trails. Snowshoes will be useful especially at higher elevations where snow fell instead of rain. Be sure to carry water with you as local water sources can be unreliable and may be contaminated. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! 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!

Frick Pond Snowshoe Loop

AroundFrickSnowshoeDec2016_01camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Saturday, December 17th I headed out to Frick Pond with Sheila after hiking Round Top with Cindy earlier in the day. We had only hiked about a mile and I wanted more! Six to ten inches of new powder had fallen over night and I wanted to try it out before the temperatures rose on Sunday and the predicted rain ruined it. Sheila was happy to be in the backseat as we headed out the DeBruce Road. After about six miles I turned left on Mongaup road and headed toward Frick Pond. As I drove rain started to hit the windscreen but I decided to see what it was doing at the trailhead. At the fork in the road I stayed left onBeech Mountain Road. At the trailhead parking the rain had stopped but neither lot had been plowed. I decided to chance getting stuck and turned into the lot crossing a rather high snow bank. I let Sheila out of the car and put on my snowshoes. The Tubbs Alp Flex VRT go on very quickly as the bindings are easy to use. We began our hike at about 1:30 PM by hiking out the woods road toward Frick Pond. Continue reading

Round Top Snowshoe

RoundTopSnowshoeDec2016B_02camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhike

On Saturday, December 17th I was very happy when I woke up to find at least six inches of new powder on the ground and snow still falling. The snow tapered off by late morning and Cindy and I decided to go across the street to snowshoe on the new trail on Round Top. The thermometer read only in the high 20’s when we crossed the street just after 11:00 AM but it didn’t seem very cold. I wanted to take some pictures and the most convenient way is just to carry my pack. I again decided to use the Tubbs Alp Flex VRT snowshoes which I had not had the chance to use last year due to the lack of snow. These snowshoes have the “Boa” system which is supposed to allow tightening the front part of the binding with just a twist a knob. I found there was a left and a right and put the snowshoes on. I found the “stopper” up front limits how far forward the boot can go which I like. The strap around the back seemed to tighten very smoothly and the Boa system did allow me to tighten the binding very easily. I knew these snowshoes were overkill for the easy trail on Round Top but I wanted to try them again. Sheila was ready to go as soon as I started betting my gear out. Continue reading