Sunday, February 13, 2011

Snowshoe day in the northern Catskills

I'm loving my new snowshoes! Getting into Hardrock (really? I still can't believe it) means getting serious about uphill training, so I went to the Catskills yesterday for the first time. It was a bit of a drive but totally worth it for a long training day.

I started with a short foray to the north along the Long Path, up the first climb:

Then back down and up the Escarpment Trail to Windham High Peak. That trail had plenty of traffic and was well-packed to the peak, making for a nice extended climb with a few views of the ridge to the south:

Almost to the top... so if I go up this mountain 4 times would that be enough altitude training for Colorado? I guess not - but it's still better than basically flat/sea level in Albany.

Continuing over the peak, the trail was much less traveled and more work, with was also good training. Just slower. Hard to believe how little distance I covered overall yesterday. But I did see some interesting views and rock formations:

And interesting trees:

I had nice weather all morning, even some beautiful sunshine as I was heading back:

Then... a snow squall hit as I was starting up the final 600-ft climb back to the top of Windham High Peak. That was pretty crazy. My previous tracks were still visible but were in the process of getting covered over. I made sure to watch the trail markers - wouldn't want to go off course at the end of the day in a snowstorm.

I made it to the top with tired legs - after only 4000 ft climbing. I've got some work to do!

The sun trying to break through the blowing snow:

And then - full sun again! Strange weather.

A bit snow-blasted:

I liked these shadows:

By the time I got back down to the car, the snow squalling had started up again, time to be done for the day. Many thanks to McDonald's for the large bathroom where I could change and for the hot oatmeal and coffee :)

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