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Monday, February 12, 2018

Onteora Mountain(Catskills)

Headed south again to meet my buddy Jim to hike another Catskill Hundred Highest peak.  This time we would be in the eastern Cats to hike another one of the private peaks that we needed for our list.  The drive through the mountains is always gorgeous.  Here is a view up towards Parker Mountain from Greene County 23C.
PLEASE NOTE-THIS PEAK IS PRIVATE!  WE SECURED CONSENT WITH LANDOWNER BEFORE HIKING.  Today's peak was 3220 foot Onteora Mountain. We headed up through a mostly hardwood forest, with many gorgeous old oak trees along the steep slopes.  Swinging around to the east side of the peak, we found a nice view towards neighboring 2830 foot Parker Mountain.
There are a plethora of trails that wind all over the mountain, but we chose a straightforward bushwhack.  Most of the slopes were moderately steep, with only a couple of very steep sections.
A thin coating of ice covered the trees, especially as we gained elevation.
Jim heading though a fairly level stretch near the summit.
Ice covered branches created an almost surreal scene.
A final push towards the summit cone, surrounded by ice.
Arriving at the wooded 3220 foot summit, which was in a fairly dense area of hemlock.  My 83rd hundred highest.
After enjoying a brief lunch, we wandered over to some gorgeous ledges with tremendous views.  The Devils Path peaks loom to the southeast.
Jim soaking in the amazing view.
A northeast view towards West Stoppel Point and the eastern escarpment.
A look down to Onteora Pond, which sits on private Onteora Club property.
Skies really began to clear out as the day wore on, creating a gorgeous scene.
On our descent we spotted another ledge with a great look over to Kaaterskill High Peak and Roundtop. 
Jim on the steep descent.  We brought the snowshoes and spikes but didn't end up needing either.
Round trip was about 4 miles total.
After leaving the mountain, I headed north a short distance up to Colgate Lake.  I parked there and walked along the west shore of the lake, soaking in the amazing views back towards the Blackheads.  Here's a nice view to Lockwood Gap, the cut between Black Dlome(L) and Blackhead(R).
Once on the far southern shoreline, the entire Blackhead Range came into view.  What a great shot this was, especially with cobalt blue skies.
A zoom view to 3940 foot Blackhead Mountain, capped in white.
On the return walk, I captured this framed view of Blackhead.
With some time to kill, I decided to take the long way home, exploring some back roads.  I really enjoyed these less traveled roads through the northern Catskills, with rolling farmland and mountain views all around.  Here is a look south at a rural Durham farm, far beneath Mount Hayden beyond.

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