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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Stony Clove Ledges on Hunter Mountain(Catskills)

Finally!  Finally a nice day! Unfortunately, it fell on a work day though, so I had to suffer through an entire shift staring out the window at the rare sunshine.  As soon as I got off work, however, I headed down to the Catskills to poke around a little bit looking for some nice views.  With only a couple of hours to play with, I decided to check out some ledges on the Hunter Mountain side of Stony Clove Notch.  It would be a short but extremely steep bushwhack up to these ledges, but I was hoping the payoff would be worth it.
From the Notch Lake parking area, I followed the Devils Path west over Stony Clove Creek and up the steep, rocky trail. Elevation to start the hike was roughly 1950 feet.
I didn't stay on the trail long, and began my bushwhack NW over steep terrain with views across the notch almost immediately paying off through the trees.
 The bushwhack was very steep, but fairly easy, passing through wide open hardwoods on stony slopes.
 All of our recent wet weather is paying dividends for waterfall fans.  The mountain's drainage's are flowing strong, with numerous pretty cascades.
 Typical terrain on the ascent.  The only drawback was an underlying mud on the steep slopes, which proved tricky in a couple of spots.
 More cascades.
Almost the entire ascent was accompanied by beautiful, tumbling cascades.

Once I hit about 2900 feet, I began to contour along the steep ledges over Stony Clove Notch, hitting some incredibly steep ledges.  After pushing through a small, but thick patch of spruce, I hit an open ledge with views across the notch towards Daley Ridge and Plateau Moutain.
 Directly across the notch is a great view of Plateau's crumbling rock on its nearly vertical slopes.
Overlooking Stony Clove from a precarious ledge.  This view was very sweet, but there was really no good footing, so I had to be very careful here.
A short, but steep descent brought me back down to the car, with only about a half hour of daylight left.  Once back to Notch Lake, I took a moment to check out part of the steep slopes I had just been on.
A perfect short and sweet hike to an obscure viewpoint.  About 2 miles RT, with 1100 feet of ascent.

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