N e w s
The week of April 22nd began with a warm and sunny Sunday with highs reaching into the high 50's in most areas. The forecast for Monday calls for a sunny and pleasant day with highs in the low 60's. Cuds will move in on Tuesday but there will be some sun with highs in the mid-50's. The highs on Wednesday will also be in the mid-50's but there will be showers throughout the day. On Thursday it will again by cloudy with some sun and highs in low 50's. Friday will be warmer with more sun and highs reaching the mid 50's. On Saturday the temperatures will drop back into the low 50's with the possibility of showers. Despite warmer temperatures which have melted the snow at the lower elevations, there is still some snow reported on the peaks. Carrying snowshoes is a bother but they may be necessary when visiting higher elevations. On some trails microspikes or crampons may be needed as the freezing and melting creates ice flows which require more traction than snowshoes can provide. 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!
Being a Responsible Hiker: CRISIS at Barnum Road Trailhead
Once again thoughtless hikers have given the hiking community a "black eye". I received the e-mail below from residents at the end of Barnum Road which is a popular approach to the Blackhead Range. I forwarded the e-mail to Alex Bradley at the NYNJTC to get a reaction from the trail conference. It is hard for me to believe that people hiking from this trailhead could be so irresponsible and careless. If anyone had a comment one way or the other, please use the comment form to contact me.
Friday: March 3rd: Round Top Snowshoe
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.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .