With September’s Grid looking pretty sparsely populated (only 4 of 35 peaks complete), there would be a lot to do this month. To get the work off to a quick start, I hatched a plan for a night hike, which would entail driving up to the Catskills after work on the evening of August 31st, with the goal of climbing two peaks during the early morning hours of September 1st. Night hiking is not my preferred mode of operation, but it’s something I’ve done on occasion when commitments take up the daylight hours. The next day being the Friday before a holiday weekend, hopefully things would be quiet at work.
On the drive up to the Catskills, the early morning clouds were tinged with red, and then as the road snaked higher into the mountains, a burning eyeball appeared in the rear view mirror, a circle of fire smoldering between mountain ridge and lowering sky; it was like someone had opened a furnace door. But on reaching the trailhead, all was gray again, and snowflakes were twirling in the air.
A few minutes later, my friend Amy arrived. Her friend Serguey was supposed to meet us, too, but he was running late and had texted her not to wait, so the two of us set off. My weekend goal was to bag six peaks, four of them off trail, and these would be first-ever winter bushwhacks for both Amy and me…
[Author’s note: after writing this blog post, I recalled that my first ever winter bushwhack was almost a year earlier, when some friends and I attempted to complete the Nine.]