Five Late Spring Summits

With a sore ankle slowing me down and limited windows of time, it wasn’t going to be possible to complete the Grid for June, but if I could get a few more peaks done now, then there’d be less work next year.  Meanwhile, with the weather finally warming, it would be a wonderful time to explore the mountains and experience the changing conditions of late spring.

Indeed, the variability of the natural environment is one aspect of its beauty.  The east coast nature-writer John Burroughs commented that you cannot have good without evil, health without sickness, or pleasure without pain.  Applying this philosophy to spring in the Catskills implies you cannot truly appreciate a cool breeze on a warm afternoon without suffering the humidity, haze, and insects that also come with spring.  In any case, whatever the mountains might have in store for me would beat the climate-controlled office environment where I spend most of my time.

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Five Late Spring Summits

Notes from a hike

Time is short and so in lieu of writing up a narrative, here are some notes and images from a recent traverse of Graham, Balsam Lake, Hunter, East Rusk, Rusk, and SW Hunter — 27 miles that left me tired and hungry, but which contained several memorable moments, thanks to glorious February sunshine, dramatic winds, and the unavoidable adventures associated with nighttime bushwhacking.

The pleasure and value of every walk or journey we take may be doubled to us by carefully noting down the impression it makes upon us….It was not till after I got home that I really went to Maine, or to the Adirondacks, or to Canada.  Out of the chaotic and nebulous impressions which these expeditions gave me, I evolved the real experience.  There is hardly anything that does not become much more in the telling than in the thinking or in the feeling.

— John Burroughs

Continue reading “Notes from a hike”

Notes from a hike