[DC-Mountain-Madness] New Meetup: Devil's Path in Catskills NY (extreme, extreme dayhike!)

From: TaniaP
Sent on: Thursday, February 18, 2010 1:26 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for DC Mountain Madness!


What: Devil's Path in NY -- Extreme, extreme dayhike

When: Saturday, May 15,[masked]:00 AM

Devil's Path, Catskills NY

From Backpacker Magazine:

Local legend has it that the Devil's Path derived its name from the first Dutch and German settlers to the Catskill region. Supposedly, they took one look at the high, deeply notched mountains marching west from the Hudson River and figured that only the cloven-footed Devil could walk such steep, treacherous ground.

I have an alternate theory on the origin of the name: Ol' Beelzebub dabbled in trail design before finding other ways to try men's souls. How else to explain a route that regards the fall line as suitable trail bed, or demonically follows rocky ledges you scale using both hands as well as feet? The net result is a pint-size trail with an elevation gain and loss of Rocky Mountain proportions: over 14,000 feet. That's quite a wallop.

Ah, but the Devil is a wise trail builder and knows that it's pleasure, not pain, that seduces the unsuspecting hiker. Spill-away views into four states, quiet woods, plenty of wildlife, and more miles spent above the magical 3,200-foot line (where the landscape instantly transforms from ho-hum mid-Atlantic to Far North) than any other Catskill trail, are just a few of his temptations. Resist, if you can.

Where: The eastern trailhead is located at the end of Prediger Road, just off NY 16 (Platte Cove Mountain Road),

7 miles west of West Saugerties. The western trailhead is on Sprucetown Road (NY 6), 6 miles east of West Kill and NY 42.

Route: The 23.6-mile Devil's Path ascends seven peaks, six of them above 3,500 feet.

Grunt factor: 5. Elevation gain/loss is severe, and scarce water means you'll carry at least 8 pounds (a gallon) of water more than usual.

The payoff: The pleasurable 2-mile stroll across spruce- and fern-covered Plateau Mountain is like a visit to the wilds of northern Maine. Other heights yield terrific overlooks for rest and lunch breaks. A single road crossing means you get a sustained backwoods experience.

You've been warned! This is supposedly the toughest dayhike hike on the east coast and some say even the toughest in the lower 48. NOT for beginners. Seems most people do this in two or three days (sissies!).

We'll drive up Friday, camp somewhere, get up super early Saturday and bag our peaks, camp again Saturday night and drive back Sunday. About a 7 hour drive.

I can schedule this hike for the weekend of May 8th OR May 15th. Please tell me your preference in your RSVP.


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