The goal was to thru-hike all 35 of the Catskill Mountains’ high peaks, i.e., those at least 3500 feet in elevation, and if possible set a new fastest known time. The records were:
- 2 days 15 hours held by Ted “Cave Dog” Keizer on a supported basis
- 4 days 13 hours held by Jan Wellford and Cory Delavine on an unsupported basis
Based on data from Keizer’s website, the route is 133 miles long starting from the top of Peekamoose (or 137 from the base) and includes 37,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain (39,000 feet if you count the hike up Peekamoose).
I had heard about Keizer’s record two years ago. Ever since then, I’d been training for an attempt on the 35 thru-hike, and finally I felt ready to give it a go.
Smiley’s taxi of Tannersville, NY dropped me off at the Peekamoose trailhead at approximately 8 AM on Tuesday, August 23, 2016. Two and one-half days later, around midnight on Thursday, August 25, 2016, I ended the attempt, having completed 23 of the 35 high peaks.
The following is a summit-by-summit account.
Continue reading “The Catskills 23”
The weekend of August 13-14, I returned to the Adirondack Mountains, New York’s “High Peaks,” for the first time in almost twenty years, thanks to an invitation from my friend Dave. It would be interesting to compare and contrast the Adirondacks with the Catskills, where I’ve spent a lot of time hiking and running in the last couple of years, and fun to catch up with Dave and meet his companions on this trip.
Continue reading “Back to the Daks”
On the drive up to the Catskills, the rising sun was hidden behind a wall of murky fog, but its rays reached out from behind and scattered across the sky, brushing the undersides of clouds with the color and texture of beaten copper.
My mission this morning was to take on the Devil’s Path, one of the most notorious hiking trails in the country — and not just once, but twice. This meant a total distance of 48 miles and something like 28,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain. The purpose was to whip myself into shape for an upcoming solo run in the Catskills, as well as experience the Devil’s Path in its entirety, something I had never done before.
Continue reading “Devil’s Path Double”