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Evil Dead II in the Catskills - A bushwa ck trip
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“bushwacking in the Catskills in April!
Going for the four hardest peaks in the 'skills.
Lone, Rocky, Balsam Cap and Friday. Not yet sure which route I'm going to take. Feel free to chime in on the planning.”
“Awesome trip name !!”
“Is this a bushwhack with full packs or a hike in to basecamp and bushwhack with daypacks?”
“It's most likely a base camp and bushwack with day packs. Thats what was planned so far.”
“yeah, it's a hike in with full packs, set up basecamp and daypack n'wack to the peaks and then return to camp with an option of camping saturday night.
I posted a thread on views for it.
You like the name? I was thinking of calling it the evil catskills bushwack trip and it evolved into evil dead 2. Now I think I need to watch that movie again.
BTW, this trip'll have shortish mileage, but most of it will be wacking.”
“Shortish mileage and whachin' go hand and hand. How evil (thick) will this whackin' be? Will we be able to see our feet and measure our progress in feet per hours, open hardwoods, or somewhere in the middle between the two?”
watch the video for Rocky.”
“Oh no not those two lunatics. 8D I'll have to get to work early to watch the videos. I have dialup at home.”
“don't hmmmm LT, you best sign up!”
last edited: 3/15/06 8:09:59 PM”
“hmmmm I just bookmarked that forum. Cool! That ariel shot is pretty cool.”
“Blahhh.. thats the weekend of my Old Rag trip!”
“Look familiar? Those are the evil bushwacks”
“Ya know the Skills will SWALLOW YER SOUL SWALLOW YER SOUL SWALLOW YER SOUL!!!!
Who's laughing now?”
“Ahh. Its just some big hills with trees in the way.”
“they're cute mountains, they are.. Cute Balsam Cap, Cute Rocky, Cute Friday and Cute Lone. So cute.”
“heh heh.... wait until all those "cute" balsam trees, that do not budge, start cutting you to pieces. I think I lost a pint of blood when I did that whack. Even with glasses, I had scratches on both eyelids. Evil evil evil.”
“p.s. - you bastards will probably talk me into doing this again.”
“you might as well surrender Pennsy and sign on up!”
“Note to self.... bring saftey glasses.”
“Hey Pennsy, how does it compare to the bushwhack up MacNaughton?”
“Pennsy will go, he cant resist a challenge.”
“Pennsy you wimp you have to come your the guide.
ENS if I come on this trip, I would like to get Peekamoose and Table. I assume that we are base camping somewhere near the leanto,
FYI Few people have signed the Friday summit register since late April, and most who did were involved in the search for the lost hiker. I wonder if people are avoiding this peak because of that death? This would be unfortunate.
SHANDAKEN - A local hiker was found dead Monday afteran intensive eight-day search among the CatskillMountains’ highest peaks, state police at Ulster said.
Schiram Biyani, 48, of Fishkill, was found at the bottom of a 30- to 50-foot cliff about a third of a mile due east of the summit of Friday Mountain at an elevation of 3,400 feet, according to state Forest Ranger Patricia Rudge. Friday Mountain is one of four trailless peaks in the area that reach over 3,500 feet, she said.
"They are the most challenging peaks," Rudge said. "They’re the most steep and remote and the trees up on the hill are very thick."
Rudge said rangers believe Biyani was last seen on Sunday, April 29, leaving his vehicle at the parking lot in the town of Olive and heading into the woods. He probably planned to reach the summit of Friday Mountain and return the same day, Rudge said. Biyani was carrying a light pack and had not eaten lunch when he fell, she said. On Monday, May 7, someone called state police to report a car that had been parked on private property for over a week. The following day, his employer at IBM called state police to report Biyani missing.
Rudge said two other rangers, Kevin Burns from Region Four and Adam Pickett from Dutchess County found the man at about 1 p.m. below a ridge, and were assisted by two Stone Ridge volunteers, Larry Larson and Lou Fitzpatrick. They had been doing a "Type Two" search and were on their way to the summit to scan the area below when Burns and Pickett found
him, Rudge said. According to Department of Conservation Police Capt. Ray Wood, the search took six rangers, three volunteers, two state police officers and a canine and his handler working 12-hour days for eight days to find the man.
Biyani may have been an aspiring member of the 3,500-foot Club - a group of people who have reached the summits of all peaks over 3,500 feet in the Catskill Mountains - but that is just speculation now, Rudge said.
"I don’t know that he was an accomplished bushwacker," Rudge said. "He may have been a novice because he didn’t have a full and detailed map. He had a computer printout from a Web site. We do know he enjoyed hiking and has signed in for other trail registers in the area."
Biyani was from India where his mother still lives, but worked for IBM in Fishkill. He had a Ph.D and his employer said he was irreplaceable at work, according to Rudge.
"The moral of the story is to tell people where you’re going and to be with somebody when you go hiking," Rudge said. "It took us a week to find him, but we did."
Daily Freeman 2001”
“ENS why the out on Saturday? Got a hot date? If I go I would like to make a weekend out of it, anyone else interested in staying on Saturday night? Maybe getting Peekamoose and Table on Friday or Sunday?”
“You mean if we live through the bushwack ?”
“If I can make it I'll hike Peekamoose and Table with you Lt. I'm still not sure I'll be free that weekend though.”
I've never done these (yet)
“I've probably hiked 90% of the trails in the Catskills & Adirondacks but have NEVER done these trailess peaks & I've always wanted too. I just day hike now & wasn't sure I could complete them all in a day.
I hiked Peekamoose a few weeks ago, but wasn't feeling well & never checked out Lone Mt like I wanted too. Maybe this weekend or Mon.
I've heard (but don't know) that there is lots of blow down. Some say it's easier with snow because you can walk over lots of stuff.
I'm off for a few days, so who knows?
The far side of Slide was VERY thick with Balsams. (other side of Neversink feeder stream) If it's anything like that, I'd bring gloves, eye protection & small packs. You will be (probably) pushing thru some THICK stuff, so I wouldn't bring fragile or clothing you care about. Something that can take abuse or torn without care.
The neat thing about it is you can bail. Road (some private prop) on one side of the ridge & a neversink feeder stream on the other side leading to the Denning Lean-to.
The trails up from Denning Lean-to or Woodland Valley campground would be more gradual & easier. There are shorter trail-less routes, but much, much steeper.
I've always wanted to do it in cooler weather because I am afraid of snakes. (There are rattlers there. Anything under 70 degrees should be better. If they're out, they will be sluggish).
A full (waterproof) map would be good. The trail conference maps are good, but deceiving at distances. A GPS would be handy too.
This is a good but challenging trip. One I will solo one day, when I don't have to work or babysit the grandkids.
I envy all who go.”
“cats, you can join us if ya like!”
“Thanks Earthnsky but I'm a SLOWWWWWW hiker,take tons of breaks & change direction/destination often. Right now I'm working midnights & weekends with rotating days off. My daughter went back to teaching her 3rd grade class, so I babysit my 11 month old & 4 yr old grandsons.
I'd love to hear your stories & I will do it one of these days. I do appreciate the invitation though.”
“whoah, that's too bad about the hiker that died up there. I don't mind making a weekend of it.
I was think of doing it the exact way that Pennsy did it last year, or whenever he was up there. I'm open to suggestions. I'd like to get the peaks the easiest and safest way possible.
I enjoyed Peekamoose and Table and wouldn't mind doing them again.
This is everyone's trip, so feel free to help plan it. The trips where the group plans it, are always my favorite. My main objective is to return home with the four evil bushwhack peaks, the rest is bonus!”
“This trip sounds fantastic! Do the people who are going on this trip all know each other? Who is everybody?”
“yeah, we all hike together fairly regularly.”
“We are not actually a group or even organized in any way. We just sort of all happen to show up at the same place and Solo hike together.”
“Hey Pennsy, how does it compare to the bushwhack up MacNaughton?”
MacNaughton was a longer and steeper climb, but we're talking about FOUR peaks. Like catskhiker said, we'll encounter a lot of very thick balsam, and that stuff does not give. Leave the expensive clothes home for this trip.
For what it's worth, this is how I did the trip 2 years ago:
I drove up Friday night and "camped" in my car at the Denning Road parking area. Early saturday morning, I hiked down to the Neversink and set up base camp. There are some really nice camp sites down there. Next time, I would hike down in the dark the night before and camp, rather then sleep in the car.
I started the hike Sat about 8am and headed east on the "fisherman's path" along the Neversink. I had map, compass, gps and some notes about the route I got from some research. The herdpath was noticable in the beginning but soon it more or less dissapeared and I did a lot of zig zagging along the river.
After a while the river turns north. I followed that for a bit and then headed east and up towards Friday. I had a note about a "somewhat of a herdpath" up Friday but never found it. Before I hit the bush, I was able to take a gps reading and headed directly towards the top. Soon after, I lost the gps signal and just continued east and up. It wasn't a hard climb, but the balsam was a bear to get through. Once on top at the height of land, I wandered around for a few minutes and found the canister. Yay, one down, three to go.
Next was Balsam Cap. Again, I had some notes about avoiding the thickest stuff. Again, I failed and just took a direct reading to BC. The col between Friday (3600+) and BC (3600+) is over 3000' so climbing wise, it wasn't that difficult. But like Friday, it was punishing whacking through the balsam.
Next was Rocky and then Lone. Repeat the above paragraph about my notes and the difficulty of the climbing. I was wearing short sleeves and it looked like a dozen wild cats had their way with my arms. My face was all scratched up as well, and even with glasses, my eyelids got scratched.
On Lone, I was extremely relieved because I was told there was a noticable path over to Table where I could take the trail back down to camp. I wandered around Lone for 30 minutes and could find any sort of path. Daylight was getting short, and I did not relish whacking over to Table because it was an out of way direction from camp. I did not feel like getting caught in the dark in the middle of nowhere.
Checking the map, I decided to bushwhack west towards Donovan Creek which feeds into the Neversink. I had no idea what to expect, but once I got to the Neversink, I knew I could follow it back to camp. It was a steep sidehill at times whack to the Donovan but thankfully I didn't get killed by balsam. I found the creek, followed it to the Neversink, and strolled into camp in the dark around 7pm.
A guy with his two kids were camping near me, and thankfully, they invited me to their campfire. I was tired and too beat up to even think about building a fire. I remember one of the kids asking his dad if I got attacked by a bear. I think I lost a pint of blood and left a pound of skin in those mountains.
All that said, I was still glad I did it because it was a good navigation test. While I never found any of the "local knowledge" shortcuts, I pretty much knew where I was at all times.
I'll probably get shamed into doing this again with you whackos, cuz I'll never hear the end of it if I don't. HOWEVER, do NOT look at me at being the leader, unless of course you enjoy taking the hardest route possible. ;o)
Seriously ENS, I would spend the next few weeks pounding those guys at Views from the Top for info, especially the Catskills locals who really know that area.
ps... I'm up for camping Saturday night. It will be late when we finish, and who is gonna feel like packing up and hiking out? Table and Peekamoose sound good for Sunday morning, unless of course we whip through on Saturday and zip across from Lone.
ps2... I did this in the fall (sept I think?), so perhaps it won't be as thick in April.”
“Don't know about the rest of the world, but if you're Bushwhacking (my favorite) in the Daks or Catskills,look for game trails.(like deer etc) The critters KNOW the best ways thru the roughest spots. These trails don't generally last too long but they are worth following up cliffs etc.”
“My Catskills guide book sugests going in from the height of land on Table, you sort of ridge walk across the peaks.”
“ENS, it seems that there are several sites that talk about hiking in from the Col on Peekamoose, it looks like it might be easier especially if the streams are high. I am trying to get some more info on that route.”
“I'm liking that idea. the leanto on Table maybe a good basecamp.”
“thanks Pennsy for the info. I'm now thinking about trying something different and going in from Table. I think basecamp could be the Table Mtn Leanto.”
“Yeah, I meant Table Mtn. It would be alittle farther in on Friday but less of a climb on Saturday morning. Depending on our pace on Saturday it would also mean that we could trail hike back to the leanto in the dark instead of bushwack.”
Check this out!”
“apparently there is a B-25J crashsite on Friday. I don't know the location though.”
“Yeah it is in a ravine between moon haw rd and the col according to a website that i found. It is a website on people that hike in to find plane crashes. I thought we were weird.”
“With a total output of almost 11,000 aircraft the B-25 became the American medium bomber of World War II. Built in response to a USAAF proposal for a medium bomber, the first prototype was already flying in January 1939. The outbreak of the Second World War in Europe accelerated the development of the B-25. The B-25B gained fame due to a bombing raid on Tokyo. On 18th April 1942 16 B-25Bs were launched from the aircraft carrier USS "Hornet" to carry out the "Doolittle Raids" on Tokyo. The successor to the B-25 D, the B-25J Mitchell III was the last production version and with a total build of 4,319, it was also the most prolific variant of the Mitchell. The role of the B-25 was changing at the same time as the aircraft in the Pacific were increasingly required to attack bomber targets. The medium bomber developed into a ground attack aircraft with a newly developed solid nose armed with 8 MGs. Together with its defensive weapons stations it had a total armament of 18 MGs. The concentrated firepower of these cannon versions gave rise to the name "Strafer".”
“Anymore info about this bushwack?”
“just some thoughts:
base camping at the Table Mt lean-to might be a good idea, but I don't remember seeing any room or other areas for tents (I could be wrong though). If the lean-to is taken, you'd probably have to hike back down in the dark to the Neversink.
if you do base at Table, how are you gonna get back from the 4th peak (Friday Mt I assume) and I don't know if I'd relish hiking back up to Table after a long day.”
“Only problem I see with this plan is that I see 3 options for getting back to Table:
1. Bushwhack back along the Neversink Ridgeline (not very favorable).
2. Go all the way thru to the WS trail between Cornell and Slide, and come back on the low road via Slide, the PE, and the Denning approach to Table (not much more favorable than option 1 -- will yield a very long hike that will end with an even more monsterous ascent than last week's climb to Jacks Ridge...)
3. Bushwhack down to the PE trail from Friday (I think is the northernmost one?), which may involve a messy (and wet) crossing of the Neversink River and doesn't really avoid that Denning approach back up to Table.
What do all y'all think?
last edited: 3/23/06 7:41:38 PM”
...Or Option 4:
“Same as option 2, but backwards. This way you do your big ups and downs early while you still have most of your energy. Only problem I see is just exactly how evil is the Cornell/Slide col approach to Friday?
Barring that it's not too, too evil, I think option 4 would be our best bet if we want to base camp at Table...”
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