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Friday, August 8, 2014

Twin Mountain(Catskills)

Finally had a day free paired with good weather, so headed down to the Catskills to climb 3650 foot Twin Mountain, the only Catskill peak with two recognized summits.  There are a couple of different trail options to access Twin but I decided to climb up Pecoy Notch to the Devil's Path via Roaring brook Road.  Much of the Pecoy Notch Trail involves climbing, but never steeply through a hardwood forest.
 There are many interesting rock formations as well as man made "rock seats" along this section of trail.
 After 1.0 mile of hiking you arrive at Dibbles Quarry, a rock quarry with great views.
From the Quarry(also referred to as Sugarloaf's Magical Quarry) are outstanding views towards Platte Clove and to Huckleberry Point back along Katterskill High Peak.
Blooming wildflowers along a large beaver pond.  This was also the only area where the mosquito's really seemed to be bad.
After 1.8 miles of fairly easy hiking you arrive at a trail junction and the Devils Path.  Although it starts off moderate, it quickly becomes very steep.
After a couple of steep rock scrambles, your first views open up to the west and north. Here is a look directly at Sugarloaf Mountain's steep slopes.
Looking north from the viewpoint is a great view.

The Devils Path is well known for being challenging and rocky, with many parts such as this.
Beautiful northwest views
Looking down a steep part of the Devils Path.
Climbing directly up.  There are many great rock scrambles up Twin.
Steep going.

A short distance below the summit, you arrive at the 3500 foot elevation sign.
Just after the 3500 foot marker is a large cave like spot, which makes for a perfect spot to rest or seek shelter from a storm.

After 2.6 miles you arrive at Twin Mountain's summit, which provides great views.  Sugarloaf's 3800 foot summit is seen almost directly across from you.
Looking southwest .
A northwest view point.
Ashokan Reservoir is clearly visible to the south from Twin's 3650 foot summit.
Southwest views from the summit.
Spruce and evergreens mark the summit area.
A phenomenal panoramic view.

The rocky clearing at the summit makes a perfect spot to linger.
After leaving the summit, I continued on the red blazed Devils Path towards the south summit. A coniferous forest makes for nice walking.
The trees are about 15-20 feet tall through this section and very pleasant.
Twin's south summit offers even more spectacular views than the north/ true summit.

Sugarloaf Mountain is on the left with a shoulder of Plateau beyond and Twin's northern summit to the right.

Amazing views to the south towards many of the Catskill southern peaks as well as the Ashokan Reservoir and Cooper Lake
Skies began to clear out as we arrived at the summit.
What an amazing panoramic view.
South views towards Ashokan Reservoir beyond the tree tops.
Evergreens ring the south summit.
Rolling peaks amaze the eye as far as you can see.
Looking north and west.
A view back towards the south Twin Summit area.
The Devils Path continues along the stunted trees to the south and then east.
Twin's south summit.  A perfect place to relax and enjoy the views.
Breathless views.
Truly one of the most spectacular views in all of the Catskills.  It's very hard to put into words a view like this.
It's very tough to tear yourself away from this magical spot.

Descending the mountain is often times just as challenging as climbing and footing becomes even more essential.
A great day for a hike up Twin Mountain with a total of about 5.5 miles RT.  Hit both summits and felt great afterward.

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