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Monday, March 12, 2018

Rose Mountain(Catskills)

Sometimes the drive to the hike can be as beautiful as the hike itself.  With a few extra minutes this morning, I decided to take a small detour to the Ashokan Reservoir, where I was treated to a breathtaking view!
My buddy Jim and I met up to do a two car traverse today up over "South Rose"(the informal name given to the ridge just south of the true summit) and onto 3090 foot Rose Mountain, then back down to a spotted car.  We spotted the first car at the Rochester Hollow trailhead at the end of Matyas Road, then shuttled over to a DEC parking area along Old Route 28(Creekside Road).  
 Parking along Creekside Road to start our hike under bright, sunny skies. Elevation to start the day was 1100 feet. 
We donned our snowshoes and headed north toward the skinny ridge between Millbrook Hollow and Seneca Hollow.  Almost immediately upon crossing the road and entering the woods, we were climbing..steeply.
 The deep snow made it tough to get purchase, but we slowly ascended, quickly gaining elevation.
After the initial steep push, the terrain leveled out a bit, gently climbing up the ridge, with screened views in nearly all directions.
 As we gained elevation, the snow got deeper and deeper, making it a tough climb.
 After nearly 3 miles of hiking, we arrived at the "South Rose" summit cone, with an elevation of 2900 feet.  This was a very difficult and exhausting climb through nearly two feet of snow as we neared the top.
 We took a moment to catch our breath on South Rose, seeing that Rose's true summit, sat a mere .88 miles away(according to the GPS)with a couple hundred feet of elevation loss in between.  Normally this would seem easy, but today, with the deep snow, it certainly was a daunting task.  Under these conditions, it looked oh so far away through the trees.
We headed down into the col at about 2730 feet, before rising back up towards Rose's summit.  A small ledge provided a glimpse northeast down towards the Route 42 valley near Bushnellville.
 The real prize, however, is the view that awaits you from the open ledges on the south side of the peak.  These are some of the best views I have seen in the Catskills!  Although nearly half a mile away and 200 feet below the summit, this is a can't miss spot.
The view south here encompasses Balsalm(L), East Belleare(center) and Beeleayre's ski slopes(R).
 A closer view of Balsalm Mountain.
 The southeast view stretches all the way over to Slide Mountain, the king of the Catskills, whose summit is in the clouds.
 Numerous peaks can be spotted, just above the neighboring ridgeline that we had just ascended.
 Jim captured this shot of me soaking in the view.
A zoom view towards the ski slopes on Belleayre.
We wandered over to a small viewpoint opposite the great vista and found a peek a boo view northeast towards 2883 foot "South Balsalm" and West Kill Mountain beyond.
After enjoying the amazing views, we continued the last .45 miles up to the wooded 3090 foot summit of Rose.  My 87th Catskill Hundred Highest.
As we stopped at the summit, Jim and I were both quite relieved to know that we were done ascending through deep snow.  From here, it was a steep descent down towards the trails of Rochester Hollow.  While this was certainly easier, it was no picnic either.
 We made good time once we got down to the DEC trails in Rochester Hollow.  Dropping down past a set of stone gates.
 The hike down Rochester Hollow was quite nice and fairly uneventful.  A gorgeous brook runs along the trail, accompanying you much of the way.
We arrived back at the spotted car with weary legs.  About 7 miles total, with 2200 feet of elevation gain.  Nearly the entire hike was breaking trail through two feet of snow, so we were both a bit tired to end the day. Another hundred highest peak under my belt though.

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