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Catskills Winter
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David Lewis-Gever
(dgever) - F - MLife

Locale: Brooklyn
Catskills Winter on 06/17/2010 21:44:25 MDT Print View

I know that we have a long time to go, but I am hoping to get into the Catskills this coming winter. I am assuming that day time temperatures will be around freezing, with nighttime lows around 0. With enough snow to warrant snow shoes. Below is a link to a spread sheet with my gear list for a 3 day trip. No shelter is included because I am planning on using shelters both nights. If needed I could use my MLD DuoMid which would add about 30 oz including snow stakes. Any advice is appreciated especially concerning expected conditions.

Edited by dgever on 06/17/2010 21:44:56 MDT.

Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
planning to do this alone? on 06/17/2010 21:59:12 MDT Print View

It is a long time off but just to let you know that I've been thinking about doing this since last winter (live in central Jersey) and hope to do it this coming winter. If you need a partner, I'll probably be up for it (as might another new yorker I know).

I tried 2 nights of winter camping in Colorado last winter and am now hooked...

David Lewis-Gever
(dgever) - F - MLife

Locale: Brooklyn
Catskills on 06/18/2010 00:08:05 MDT Print View

I was planing on doing it alone simply because I don't know anyone who would be interested. The plan for the trip is 11 miles the 1st day, 13 miles the second, and a short hike into hunter the 3rd. All assessable with public transportation.

Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
public transportation to the catskills? on 06/18/2010 06:41:32 MDT Print View

public transportation all the way to trailheads in the catskills? do tell!

b s
(smyth) - F
Re: public transportation to the catskills? on 06/18/2010 07:05:41 MDT Print View

Trailways bus will get you there from NYC but I don't think it services central Jersey. I guess you could take the train into NYC or nothern Jersey and then catch the bus from there.

David Lewis-Gever
(dgever) - F - MLife

Locale: Brooklyn
Catskills Winter on 06/23/2010 08:47:04 MDT Print View

thoughts or suggestions anyone?

b s
(smyth) - F
Re: Catskills Winter on 06/23/2010 09:01:02 MDT Print View

Devin M. attempted a Catskills traverse last winter. See this thread which has a link to his trip report. Might give you a general idea of what to expect.

Michael Febbo
(febbom) - F
gear list comments on 06/26/2010 21:34:20 MDT Print View

Hi Dave,

I get to the Catskills a few times each winter for ice climbing and backpacking, and have been doing so for 5 years now. Given that, I'd critique your gear list as follows:

I have been up to my waist in powder many times when ascending or descending one of the Castkill peaks. A trail shoe is simply not sufficient for me in such conditions. I use insulated mountain boots. I assume you know your feet, but be prepared to have them IN snow, not on top of a packed trail (which may occur- depends on the day).

Also, the Northern Lites are wonderful on flat or gentle slopes, but can turn into toboggans on the steep. Once while I was descending the trail from Slide to Cornell my front foot (attached to Northern Lite Backcountrys) flew out straight while my rear foot shot backward. Evidently, I CAN do a perfect split. A snowhoe with more traction is a better bet, or also bring some aluminum crampons.

I've used my Marmot Helium with good results in the Catskill winters, and I have also froze in it... for me, the bag leaves very little margin for error. I usually take a zero degree bag, but you might be fine with the insulated clothing.

Take wooden matches along with your lighter- if your hands are cold or numb, a lighter can be very hard to use.

Be aware that Gatorade bottles can melt if you pour boiling water into them... so use the platy (is the mouth wide enough?)

I'd take another pair of liner gloves. I usually use powerstretch liners, then my softshell gloves, then an insulated overmit if needed. The liners tend to get damp, and so I dry one pair next to my body while hiking and wear the other.

Maybe extra batteries for the headlamp... don't know if I'd take a pack liner... no book? (the nighst are looong)

I notice that your only windproof/snowproof shell is the Paclite jacket. I use and like the Celestial, but I'd sweat buckets wearing that while ascending many Catskill trails. I prefer a super-breathable, hooded jacket that provides wind resistance and is snowproof. I have used Schoeller Dryskin and Patagonia's softshells for years and haven't worn a hardshell in winter for many seasons (except for sun baked ice climbs that are practically waterfalls).

Take my comments for what they are worth- internet advice. Regardless, be sure to get there next winter as it is really a fantastic experience.

David Lewis-Gever
(dgever) - F - MLife

Locale: Brooklyn
Catskills Winter on 06/27/2010 06:29:44 MDT Print View

Michael, I appreciate the advice. I haven't bought the Northern Lites yet, so maybe I will considder a MSR model. I had heard that they don't have the best traction, just wasn't sure what their limits where.

I find that my feet generally stay pretty warm while moving so hopefully the wool and gortex sock combo will be enough.

The major concern that I had was the hand wear. The other gloves that I own are a pair of OR Ski Gloves, and big dumb Black Diamond mittens with removable liners. What combo would you recommend?

I am assuming that melting snow is required for water, can I get by with a canister stove providing that I keep in with my insulation?

I had considered taking my Patagonia Houdini, I think I will add it now.

What snow stakes/anchors do you find work well in the northeast? Keep in mind that the duo mid is not freestanding.


Scott Ireland
(WinterWarlock) - MLife

Locale: Western NY
Re: Catskills Winter on 08/22/2010 17:44:24 MDT Print View

David -

First, have you joined ADK HighPeaks forum? You should - lots of ADK and Catskill info there, and lots of folks up every weekend, year-round.

Second, I second the MSR advice...although I prefer the Lightning Ascent's that many don't like. I have those, but my wife has the Denalo Evo Ascent's. I like the Televators on the Ascent models on the steeps...definitely helps the calves!

Hope to see you on ADKHP, and in the Cats!!