Catskill Winter 3500 Series - Wittenberg & Cornell
Come Challenge Yourself and get serious about your Catskill 3500 list on this STEEP and rugged hike to the top of TWO Catskill 35er peaks, with a very rewarding viewpoint off Wittenberg (weather permitting)!
Moderate to a tad Above Average Pace - NOT FOR BEGINNERS - You should have recent experience hiking multiple Catskill High Peaks (or their equivalent) in a single day, in WINTER, to do this. You should be getting regular cardio exercise to do this. Please check the estimated mileage and elevation gain on this before RSVPing - and please read the description in its entirety
Please be early - we leave on time
Total Estimated Mileage: 9.4 miles
Total Estimated Elevation Gain: 3000 feet
Estimated Hike Time: 6 hours
Special Gear / Requirements: Cold weather wicking clothing, Winter Traction (You'll need MICROSPIKES - if you don't have them, this is probably not the hike for you; if you have Crampons and/or an ice axe, bring them - Cornell's Crack can be really icy and slick this time of year, so while microspikes may be enough, having crampons won't hurt; Snowshoes may be needed depending on conditions), enough food/water for a full day (if you don't know how much food and water you'll need for a hike like this, you should not be on it), first aid, insulating shirt & rain jacket (just in case), trail conference map #143, camera! Keep in mind that, depending on the temperature, the tubes for CamelBak hydration packs (and the like) may freeze during winter hikes and plan accordingly when it comes to what you will be bringing your water supply in.
(518)[masked] - no calls/texts prior to final 24 hours please
[masked] prior to final 24hrs
Meetup Times and Locations:
9:00am- Woodland Valley Campground Parking
Please be early - we leave on time
Getting there: Take the New York State Thruway to exit 19: Kingston. Keep right after the toll for route 28 west. Follow route 28 almost 22 miles to Phonecia and take slight right onto Bridge Street. Turn left onto High Street and pass under Route 28. Continue Straight onto Woodland Valley Road for 5 miles to the DEC Parking area on the right.
Route description: estimated 9.4 miles distance, 3000 feet of total elevation gain.
We go up the Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide trail (red) for just under 4 miles - first steeply, then gently, and finally a bit of a scramble to the summit ledge of Wittenberg. (HUGE views!)
Continue on the Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide trail (red) for less than a mile to the classic crag known as Cornell Crack. Scramble up to the top of Cornell Mountain and its modest overlook on the left. Turn around and back the way we came!
I'm planning on going to Brio's in Phoenicia for a late lunch afterwards - hopefully you'll join me, otherwise I will have to eat alone in the corner as the staff mock me for having no friends.
Here is a description of this route from the Catskill Mountaineer - PLEASE READ IT so that you're familiar ahead of time with what we'll be doing - and please pay particular attention to the section discussing (and photos showing) Cornell's Crack, keeping in mind that it will likely be covered in ice when we're there: http://www.catskillmountaineer.com/SMW-wittenberg.html
Note that I think their estimated elevation gain is on the low side for this - they don't seem to count the elevation gain on the climb back up Wittenberg on the way out.
Pace and Time: We will be keeping a moderate to a little bit above average pace. Note that moderate does not mean slow - though we won't exactly be trail running either. I would like to keep the group together as much as possible, since Cornell's Crack is best tackled as a group, especially when ice is involved, so everyone coming on this hike should feel comfortable with keeping a moderate pace (not especially fast, but certainly not slow, either) over the mileage AND elevation gain, involved here. This trail is VERY STEEP at times ... there is even a steep hill to get to the trail register! Best estimate of total hike time is 6 hrs including breaks.
Group Size: Keeping this group to 12 or less as we want to keep a decent pace. This trail is pretty straight forward, so be prepared to hike alone if you can't keep up or if you feel like setting a land speed record.
Huge views from Wittenberg:
Cornell and Wittenberg from Balsam Cap:
NOTE: You are responsible for bringing appropriate gear, supplies, clothing, first aid, and lights. You should review topographic maps and trail features carefully; understanding topography of any hike is key to your knowing where you are, where you're going, and how to get back.
See suggestions for GEAR on the "About" page for additional gear ideas.
You agree when you sign up for this group or any of the events that you have read and understand the below.
If you join us for a hike (or any other event), please understand that you are responsible for your own preparedness and well-being and will hold no one else liable in case of injury or mishap. You agree not to hold the Organizer, Assistant Organizers, or any other members responsible for any injuries, mishaps, or any other situation that may happen at a planned event. You are responsible to research the event, know the area, and bring the proper gear.
Your attendance on a hike signifies that you have read and accept the terms of this liability waiver.
Full waiver can be found on the ABOUT page.