Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Van Wyck & Woodhull Mountains(Catskills)

Following a very busy week at work with lots of overtime, I was quite anxious to get out and enjoy some of the beautiful fall foliage.  I met up with my buddy Jim in the Catskills to do a traverse hike to 3206 foot Van Wyck Mountain and its neighbor 3040 foot Woodhull Mountain.  These two peaks are part of the Catskill Hundred Highest and today we spotted the first car on Porcupine Road, and then drove down to the Middle Field parking area along County Route 42(Peekamoose Road) to get started.  The air was cool and crisp to start, barely above the freezing mark.  Elevation at the trailhead was about 1160 feet.
 Immediately after getting geared up, our first glance to the north provided some fall viewing pleasure.
 A foot path leads away from the parking area and brings you to the Rondout Creek, which has to be crossed.  Luckily, the water levels were low so this was no problem today.
 Once on the north side of the creek, the ascent begins right away and is quite steady for the first half mile, gaining about 700 feet through mostly open woods.
 Once we gained the ridge, it was a slow and steady incline for a couple miles of easy bushwhacking. We found this huge glacial erratic, and of course Jim felt obliged to climb it.
 We basically hiked due north, eventually hitting the wall below Van Wyck's summit.  We wanted to hit the steepest approach towards the cliffs, so on we went.  Quite steeply, climbing 600 feet in the last quarter mile.
 Hitting the band of rocky cliffs just below the summit.
We carefully approached the cliffs and were fascinated to find a large cave like grotto area.
Very interesting rock formations, acting almost like a fortress to the mighty ledges above.
We found a chute up around the cliffs and  clawed and scrapped our way up to the ledge and views.
 The open ledges had incredible views.  Here is a look to the south beyond the valley of Bear Hole Brook below towards Samson Mountain and Bangle Hill.  The ridge in the front right foreground is the ridge we ascended on our way up.
 The "money spot" is the view towards Table(L) and Peekamoose(R) Mountains directly across from you.  So close you almost feel like you can reach out and grab them.
Sharing Jim's ledge photo of me holding our mutual friend Alan Via's book. 
 Just beyond the ledge and a short walk into the woods is the true summit, marked by a small rock cairn.
 A small clearing next to the summit, provided some nice, bright reds for our enjoyment.
 We dropped down off the summit area to the west and found some nice views, framed by the trees.  To the right, the shoulder of Woodhull Mountain can just be made out.
 The view directly south towards the Rondout Creek valley.
 We continued our drop down towards the col between Van Wyck and Woodhull at about 2600 feet in elevation.
 The climb up Woodhull is fairly uneventful, with few steep areas on the mountain's east side.
 A nice viewpoint towards Van Wyck(center).  The distant peaks of (L-R)Slide, Firday, Lone, Table and Peekamoose can be seen beyond.
 Dropping down the steeper side of Woodhull towards Porcupine Road, being careful to stay on state land. 
 We arrived back at Porcupine Road, where we spotted the first car, after about 7.5 miles and 2500 feet of elevation gain.  Even Porcupine Road, with an elevation over 2500 feet had phenomenal fall foliage on display.
 South facing views of the beautiful Catskill foliage further along Porcupine Road.

No comments:

Post a Comment