Ascent of Kaaterskill High Peak on 2001-10-08

Climber: Richard Spalinger

Others in Party:None
Date:Monday, October 8, 2001
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Kaaterskill High Peak
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:3655 ft / 1114 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a planned ascent of (Kaaterskill) High Peak. The time taken was long because of the incident encountered after completing the ascent.

Start trailhead was on the North side of Platte Clove Rd. This section of the Long Path to the peak area from Platte Clove road was well traveled, and was basically a woods road trail with nothing more than moderate grades. It's about 3.3 miles to get to the cutoff that accessed the High Peak trail. A bit of scrabbling around was taken to find the High Peak trail off the snowmobile trail around the mountain once the left turn (and 0.1 mile jog) was made off the Long Path - it wasn't well marked. The hike/climb up the 700 odd ft. to the summit went rather well as this trail is fairly well seen, and has some markers. There were some short steep sections, but nothing difficult.

The ascent of the peak was relatively quick and easy and I went further on down the south side of the peak to get good views from a ledge and have lunch. A very nice summit indeed.

The return down the north side was uneventful until around the junction at the snowmobile trail. I found a hiker supine with part of his back against a tree, and I tried testing his breathing with a piece of cotton. I could discern no breath. Very soon two other hikers appeared from the Long Path - his companions. They had gone for help & said it was on the way. The man had had symptoms the night before at their camp but insisted on continuing, and when he failed this noon they went for help.

Forest Rangers & police soon arrived, they took my name address etc. for future use if needed. My memory tells me that this hiker had a heart attack (or series of them) and finally expired while trying to continue hiking this day.

The remainder of the hike out was wrapped up in the strange encounter and its aftermath. Otherwise the hike and climb was enjoyable.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1705 ft / 519 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1705 ft / 519 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.6 mi / 13.8 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1705 ft / 519 m
    Distance:4.3 mi / 6.9 km
    Route:Long Path to High Peak trail
    Start Trailhead:Platte Clove Rd. parking area north side  1950 ft / 594 m
    Time:4 Hours 15 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1705 ft / 519 m
    Distance:4.3 mi / 6.9 km
    Route:Long Path & High Peak trail
    End Trailhead:Platte Clove Rd. parking area north side  1950 ft / 594 m
    Time:5 Hours 39 Minutes

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