N e w s
The week of December 9th began with several inches of snow on the ground from a light snowfall that fell for most of Saturday and into Saturday night. The temperature at 6:30 AM was 14.5 degrees! The forecast for Sunday includes some early morning show showers changing to partly sunny skies with a high of 33 degrees. Monday will have times of clouds and sun with highs around 32 degrees. Tuesday will be cloudy with highs in the mid 30's with a possibility of 1 to 3 inches of snow. Wednesday will be COLD under mostly cloudy skies. The highs will only be in the high teens but the wind chill will make it seem even colder. Thursday will be sunnier but still COLD with highs in the low 20's. There may be some snow shores. Friday will have periods of sun with snow showers and highs in the high 20's. Saturday will be more of the same with cloudy skies and highs only reaching to 30 with more snow showers possible.It is time to break out the warm clothes and the winter gear. Microspikes are now a "mandatory" item on many trails and, certainly, on the 35's. When the weather conditions are constantly changing , be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to prevent it from accumulating in your clothing which can bring about hypothermia. Layering should be with non-cotton materials as cotton tends to hold moisture. Keeping hydrated is important no matter the temperatures since 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!
Hiking and Hunting: A Sad Reminder
I have often advised hikers to be sure to wear something that is blaze orange during hunting season, especially rifle season for deer. I have also begged people to avoid some bushwhacks where there is a lot of hunting activity. Some people listen and some think I am overly cautious. Hikers cannot control the actions of hunters. They can only take steps to be more visible and stay away from situations that increase the anger to themselves.
Saturday: November 4th: Windham (from Route 23)
I take hundreds and sometimes thousands of pictures each year. It is hard for me to "throw out" pictures so most of them end up in my online albums. Some of these pictures are better than others and I am trying to be more selective. For the past four years I have looked at ALL of the pictures for the year and selected some to publish in print. Various websites such as Winkflash, Blurb and Zazzle provide this service. I always wait until there is a sale of 50% off or more! Below are links to the PDF copies of these books.
Sullivan County and the areas bordering it have many different trails for visitors to hike. Some trail are hiking trails that can be difficult for beginners. Over trails can be found in local parks and offer a much more relaxed experience. There area also some rail trails for walkers to explore. I have created a website called Sullivan County Hiker to highlight some of the trails available. The site has a list of all the trails on the home page. There are also pictures of different areas. In each area there are:
- Trail descriptions for an easy, moderate and difficult hikes
- Trail maps for the area
- Distances for the hikes
- Latitude and longitude for each trailhead and parking area
- The reason the hike was given its difficulty rating
I often use Silky saws to clear blowdowns from trails and they work very well. Recently I have been trying out various premium axes to see how well they perform in removing some larger blowdowns. I have concentrated mostly on higher end premium axes both those made in America and those produced abroad in Sweden, Germany. Austria, New Zealand and Latvia. These axes when used properly are a good choice for felling and sectioning most large blowdowns and some smaller ones.
When I first began seriously hiking in the Catskills around 2005, I was 53 years old and was puzzled by the number of people who were walking on the trails with sticks. I soon found out that many people considered hiking poles an essential part of their gear and I began to us them on every hike. I found that the poles enhanced my stability, provided support on all types of terrain, gave me an upper body workout and prevented “sausage fingers”. Click here for a complete explanation.
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