Weather for the week of April 30th

The week of April 30th began with a bright and sunny Sunday with highs reaching 60 in many places. On Monday the day was foggy in the morning but cleared a little in the afternoon with highs reaching the mid50’s. Rain moved in for Tuesday and hung around most of the day with highs reaching only the low 50’s. The rain finally ended early on Wednesday but there were some scattered showers in places into the early afternoon. The day finally cleared with sun in the afternoon. There was a stiff breeze throughout the day and highs in the mid to high 50’s. Thursday the temperature rose into the low 60’s with some sun but cloudy skies in most places. The forecast for Friday includes rain throughout the entire day with temperatures in the low 50’s and winds in the mid double digits! Saturday seems to be looking like more of the same with scattered showers throughout the day and highs in the high 50’s. The wind on Saturday will be in the single digits.    When the weather conditions are constantly changing, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you from developing a chill in cooler temperatures. Clothes that have pit zips are great and layering with non-cotton materials are a must for the varying temperatures. Keeping hydrated as the weather heats up can be tricky as you may be used to cooler temperatures but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry plenty of 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!

Cold Spring Road Trail

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Friday, April 28th, I planned to do a rather long hike to Quick Lake or perhaps a loop on Dry Brook Ridge. As I was making my plans I came across a trail from Cold Spring Road South of Monticello into the Neversink Unique area. The description was cloudy and the GPS track ended in the middle of the woods. I decided I wanted to go and explore this area to see if there was actually a hike people would like. I have recently begun to help update the website www.trailkeeper.org which includes hikes in Sullivan County in may different areas. I am slowly converting the website from presenting trails to describing hikes on these trails. Some comments had indicated the trail was not clearly marked, so I created a geospatial PDF that I could use on my iPhone with the Avenza Maps app. This app not only shows where I am on a topo map but also shows the trail which makes it invaluable on trails that are not well marked. Continue reading

Round Top Trail Maintenance

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Thursday, April 27th I wanted to get out to hike but had a few things to take care of in the morning. I had expected a more sunny day but by 11:30 AM the temperature had risen to 60 degrees and the sun was peeking through some clouds. I decided to go across the street and do some maintenance on the Round Top trail since I knew there were a few things to clean up. Since we hadn’t been out since Sunday, Sheila was more anxious than I to get going. I grabbed my pack and put my Silky saw and machete in it but left the camera and GPS behind. We headed across the street at about 11:00 AM with Sheila on her leash to cross the street. . I dressed with a thin baselayer and a pullover on top and light hiking pants. I wore a light windbreaker on top hoping it was time to put away my Mammut hoody. We walked across the field by the church and around the back and started up the hill. Continue reading

Weather for the week of April 23rd

The week of April 23rd began with a bright and sunny Sunday with highs reaching 70 in many places. On Monday there will be sunny skies giving way to clouds in the afternoon. The highs will be in the mid 60’s. On Tuesday the highs will only be in the high 40’s and there will be periods of rain throughout the day. On Wednesday morning there is a chance of some early rain showers. The rain should clear out and give way to clouds later in the morning. By Wednesday afternoon some sun my shine through the clouds and the highs will top out in the low 60’s. On Thursday the skies will be cloudy most of the day with afternoon thunderstorms and highs in the low 70’s. Friday will bring partly sunny skies in the morning followed by a possibility of thunderstorms in the afternoon. The highs on Friday will reach the low 70s. Saturday should be mild with some sun and highs in the high 60’s. When the weather conditions are constantly changing, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you from developing a chill in cooler temperatures. Clothes that have pit zips are great and layering with non-cotton materials are a must for the varying temperatures. Keeping hydrated as the weather heats up can be tricky as you may be used to cooler temperatures but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry plenty of 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!

Red Hill Fire Tower

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Sunday, April 23rd, Cindy and I were invited to hike with our friend Debbie and her friend Eric. We decided to hike to the Red Hill Fire Tower since Debbie had never been there. We agreed to meet at 1:00 PM at the Claryville firehouse. Cindy and I returned home after church and got our gear ready for the hike. Sheila had been feeling a little “under the weather” but seemed like she really wanted to hike. We put our gear in the car and Sheila in the back seat and headed to Liberty on Route 17. I took exit 100 and got on Route 55 toward Neversink and Grahamsville. In Curry I turned left on the Claryville Road and drove up Weinman Mountain toward Claryville. We arrived at the firehouse to find our friends already there. We stopped briefly and told them to follow us. I was concerned about the condition of the road to the firetower but knew we could park where the seasonal road began and hike down to the parking area. Continue reading

Hodge and Frick Ponds (Flynn and Big Rock Trails)

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Tuesday, April 18th I decided it was time to get out hiking after taking a few days off for Easter. I had track practice in the afternoon so I decided to stay local and hike at Frick and Hodge Ponds. I got up a little later than usual and finished some things around the house before getting ready to leave. The forecast was for partly sunny skies with highs in the low 60’s. It was only 45 degrees as I was getting ready to leave. I got my gear ready, put Sheila in the car and left the house a little before 9:30 AM. Given the temperature, I put on a light baselayer and wore my Mammut pullover. I wore my Keen Glarus boots which seem to be as waterproof as any I have. I donned my Mammut hoody although I thought it might be a little too heavy if the temperature increased as the forecast stated. I packed a light windbreaker in case I needed to change. I grabbed a my Leki carbon poles that I have been using lately. When we arrived at the trailhead there were no vehicles in the main lot. I set my electronics and at 9:45 AM we crossed the road and started out on the Flynn Trail. Continue reading

Weather for the week of April 16th

The week of April 16th began with a bright and sunny Resurrection Sunday with highs reaching 80 in many places. In the early evening a short but violent thunderstorm swept many areas with rain lasting on and off for several hours. By Monday the showers will move out and the clouds cover will decrease. There will be some sun with highs in the low 60’s. On Tuesday the cooling trend will continue with party sunny skies and highs in the high 50’s. Wednesday morning will be cloudy and rain will move in for Wednesday afternoon. The highs will only be in the high 40’s. The pattern will continue on Thursday with clouds and then rain in the afternoon but the highs will reach the mid 50’s. Rain and drizzle will be around on Friday with highs in the low 50’s. The rain should leave by Saturday leaving clouds behind. The clouds will give way to sun but the highs will again reach inky into the high 40’s. When the weather conditions are constantly changing, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to keep you from developing a chill in cooler temperatures. Clothes that have pit zips are great and layering with non-cotton materials are a must for the varying temperatures. Keeping hydrated as the weather heats up can be tricky as you may be used to cooler temperatures but hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. It may be a good idea to continue bringing along spikes since the melting and refreezing can cause areas of ice on some trails at higher elevations. Be sure to carry plenty of 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!

Huntersfiled Mountain (Partridge Road)

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Saturday, April 15th I decided to head north to hike a section of trail between Huntersfield Mountain and a point to the east of Ashland Pinnacle. This section of trail was at one time a part of the Long Path until that trail was rerouted. I have hiked to Huntersfield from the west and I have hiked the Long Path from the east. The last time I tried to hike from Huntersfield to Ashland Pinnacle the trail was blocked by a forest of prickers. This time I decided to hike up to the ridge from Partridge Road and hike the ridge to Huntersfield. After that I would backtrack and hike over Ashland Pinnacle to the Long Path. I wanted to leave Livingston Manor by 7:30 AM but didn’t get out of town until 8:00 AM. I was surprised that the temperature was only 31 degrees when I woke up and I rethought my clothing choices. I decide to wear my insulated Columbia pants and my Mammut hoody. I took along a lighter windbreaker and sol brought a pair of light gloves and a light hat. When we left Livingston Manor, the temperature was still only 32 degrees. Continue reading

Mongaup Falls Loop

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Thursday, April 13th I had planned to go to hike Huntersfiled Mountain from a different trailhead on Partridge Road. When I woke up in the morning, I decided I did not want to go so far away to hike when I had an evening church service. I changed my plans and settled on hiking a loop to the east on Mongaup Pond including a visit to Mongaup Falls. The temperature was in the high 30’s so I decided to wear my warmer Columbia insulated pants and my Mammut hoody. I also wore my high gaiters and brought along a light hat and gloves. Sheila was happy as I got my gear together and we headed out to the car. I got on Route 17 and headed for Liberty at 8:45 AM to do a couple of things before hiking. When I finished in Liberty, I got back on Route 17 and headed west getting off at the Parksville exit. I started up Cooley Road and turned left on Lily Pond Road. I drove to the end of the road and turned left on DeBruce Road and then right on Mongaup Pond Road. Continue reading

Pratt Rock

camera32gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Tuesday, April 11th after visiting several waterfalls, Cindy and I decided to go to hike at Pratt Rock just east of Prattsville. From Red Falls I drove west on Route 23 for a little over 2 miles to the parking area on the right. The parking lot is small and there were several cars already parked there. I found a spot and parked at 2:55 PM. The temperature was now in the high 70’s and even Sheila seemed to be warm. We walked on the path passing the information kiosk and continuing up the path around the “back” of the cliffs. As we passed the first bench carved into the rock, we could see some of the carvings much higher up on the cliffs. We decided to bypass the trail that goes to the base of the cliffs and continued to walk west and up the trail that goes to the top of the cliffs. The trail is a little steep in spots and is highly eroded since it is a popular destination. Continue reading