Ascent of Kaaterskill High Peak on 2007-07-14

Climber: Brian Lubbert

Others in Party:John Haley -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Saturday, July 14, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Kaaterskill High Peak
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:3655 ft / 1114 m

Ascent Trip Report

72 deg F sunny
We made it!

All 7 of us!!!

The idea to attempt this hike and this cache originated with Miss. Keeto who posed the question on the forum and BrianSnat who suggested as it was one of his favorites.

This the chronology of the day:

0500 Woke up and re-read the hiking notes and double checked the coordinates of several trail intersection. We were to use the south parking area just off of Platekill Gove Roadalong the Long Path and hike through to a parking lot just west of Palenville.

0545 TheSurfacaster arrives at my house. We talk a bit and IMSpider shows up to wish us luck we depart northbound at 0600.

0750 We arrive at the Palenville parking lot and wait for Trowel32 so she can leave here car there. We depart for the Plattekill Glove Parking lot and arrive 20 minutes later. Although it is only 5 miles as the crow flies the vehicular route is actually over 12 miles and takes over 20 minutes.

0912 We begin our ascent. elevation 1875 feet. Overall we will hike up 1780 feet amd descend another 2900 feet as the north parking is at 700 feet.

0930This first portion of the trail was an old logging road. Although the trail has suffered from erosion over the year, it is an easy hike at this point and a very beautiful area. Our first decision came 30 minutes into the hike where the trail separated from the logging road. The trail was marked to the right, the logging road continues up but on private property ending who knows where. We chose wisely and stayed on the trail.

1034 We ascended straight up for about 2 miles in just over . We are now 0.19 miles from Air Crash 1 at the saddle to the east of High Peak. We put it to a vote: bushwack? If anyone said no we would not bushwack. At least one of my companions voted not to bushwack so we continued onward along the Long Path

10:38-11:08 we walk through the Pine Plains for about a mile. The going is a bit slow but the trail is in fair condition you just have to step on the high ground and not the mud. Because it has been so dry lately, the bad things we heard about this area did not prove true, although we probably crossed this terrain in its driest state of the year.

11:08 elevation 2918 we reach the trail which ascend up to High Point we are now at 3020 feet. We turn left on to this trail only 555 feet to the top! We make a short climb and then turned left onto the snowmobile trail.

11:10-11:30. We walked and easily found AirCrash 1 along the snowmobile trail. Being a snowmobile trail at over 3000 feet it was not surprised that the trail was in pretty bad shape in parts. Overall though it was passable. We have now left the Pines Plains behind and are in an area of deciduous canopy. One of the most enjoyable parts of this hike is the variety of vegetation. You enter several different ecosystems along its way.

12:00-12:30 We complete our 1.75 mile walk on the snowmobile trail through a beautiful glen. The entire floor of the first here are full of 2 foot high nettles. The trail is well marked but the needles surround the trail. The hikers in the group with shorts are feeling the pain now and put on their pants here. We lost nearly 100 feet in elevation along this snowmobile trail. Now to gain it back!

12:30-12:54 now only ½ mile to Hurricane Ledge. We find the trail leading north to High Point at 72N 09.467 74W 04.947, This is only a 0.2 mile ascent to Hurricane Led we gain 600 feet in that distance. Just after you see a huge boulder and cave we reached a little place where I had to get on all fours. I believe everyone that hikes this part must complete this scramble as we found no alternative to reach the Hurricane Ledge. There is a fossil in a piece of rock tucked away here that you can look at when you collect you balance to make the little heave on to the trail.

A second time the first three of us missed the easiest part of the trail and lifted ourselves up by our arms. The last four in the group took the walking path that we missed.

13:00 we ate a nice lunch at Hurricane Ledge. We did not want to leave. The weather was perfect. You could easily see the Hudson down to Kingston and far beyond. These images are indelible in my brain. I will always remember our hiking group here. This will be one of my favorite memories of all time. Thanks for trusting me to get us to this point. The views were spectacular and only usurped by the company!

14:00 Lunch is over and we head to High Point. The terrain flattens and the cedar forest up here is amazing. So different then the rest of the trail. We find two high point markers GZ. We also find a little trail that partially takes us to the Crash Site. This was a bad crash. We quickly find the plane and look around for the required information. We each take our pictures and the spot and then head back to the peak.

15:00 After spending two hours on the top of High Peak we descend into the long hike to Pallenville. We will need to loose 2900 feet in about 6 miles.

15:00-15:30 We head down to the snowmobile trail on a challenging but beautiful and perfectly marked bit of trail. This was a lot of fun! Luckily we had great weather but as this is the north slope it is a bit slippery. Watch your step and check out the trock formations. What fun this was.

15:30 We made it ½ mile to the snowmobile trail to be greeted by “lost” ATVers we also find two hikers with a Belgian Malinois. We quickly retract the statement that we really didn’t mean that we wanted that ATVers to die, just gain a brain somehow. The 100 foot stretch on the snowmobile trail was destroyed for our walk here. We turned left here at descended back to the Long Path. The intersection of the trail to High Point and the snowmobile trail is 42N 10.057 74W04.888. The intersection of the connector trail between the Long Path and the Snow Mobile trail is 42N 10.131 74 W04.766

16:19 Northbound and then eastward, we have followed the Long Path now for nearly and hour and have lowered ourselves to 2197 feet. The trails are very comfortable here and we take in the view of our first bonus feature: Buttermilk falls. The shear face of the falls and subsequent cascades makes for an awe-inspiring view of the valley from the top of the falls. This was just as amazing as Hurricane Ledge but had so many different attributes it was worth it coming over here.

17:08 Wild Cat falls. After another ½ mile on the trails we come to wild cat falls. Another amazing waterfall with fantastic views. Worth the price of admission. It was fun watching my fellow hikers walk around and explore these falls. Everyone ws very safe as a fall from a slipper rock would mean death as the falls are over 100 feet high and you need to heed gravities wrath when approaching the edge.

17:50 We follow the long path east and are at 2396 feet. We need to go down! Please let us go down! For the last 2 miles we had a nice leisurely walk through wonderful terrain that was nearly flat. Large Glacial Erratic litter the variety of forest. The shadow of the mountain here makes for an eerie and somberly quiet environ.

19:03 We hike down hill for 2 miles and reach a paved road and head west along the marked trail. Someone left water for hikers coming off the mountain. I purchased five bottles for the group. Overall I consumed 4 Liters of water and still and 1 L in the backpack. Several of us used water purification tablets and drank water from the falls.

19:03-19:30 We make it to the cars at the north parking lot. The hike on the paved road was interesting as the end of it has been blocked off and nature is returning it to the soil. We crossed the new bridge on 23 and headed to the cars. The bridge is new as it was washed out by floods last year. Can you imagine!

19:30 We arrived in the parking lot and talked to the Ranger who lives next door. He told us about the six swimming holes in the river and some of his adventures rescuing stranded hikers. Luckily, we were not one of them. Thanks to all who participated in my 500th cache as I could not have come up here alone. Your company was the best part of the trek. I will remember you all and this day for the rest of my life.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1780 ft / 542 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2955 ft / 900 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13 mi / 20.9 km
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1780 ft / 542 m
    Distance:5.3 mi / 8.5 km
    Route:Long Path the snowmobile trail then un-maintained
    Start Trailhead:Platte Clove Road  1875 ft / 571 m
    Time:5 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2955 ft / 900 m
    Distance:7.7 mi / 12.4 km
    Route:Long Path
    End Trailhead:Palenville Parking lot  700 ft / 213 m
    Time:6 Hours 30 Minutes

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