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Panther Mountain & Gaint Ledge - Catskill Dayhike
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Nathan Baker
(Slvravn) - MLife

Locale: East Coast - Mid Atlantic
Panther Mountain & Gaint Ledge - Catskill Dayhike on 07/19/2010 08:22:49 MDT Print View

Not so much a trip report as a trip blurb....

My cousin Jay and I had been trying to set something up for a while and figured that we would just try to get something small in for now and plan on a multi-day trip after the summer is over and my schedule clears up.
So we decided to head over to the Catskills and do a yo-yo of Giant Ledge and Panther Mountain. After a nice early wake up call, a dubious breakfast at McDonalds (the McGriddle has how many calories????) and a brisk 2 1/2 drive we arrived at the trailhead for the Phoenicia East Branch Trail. After a quick mile or so in and narrowly missing stepping on this guy:

we made it up to the beginning of Giant Ledge and were treated with some amazing views right off the bat....

Really, what more could you ask for 40 minutes into a hike. The temps were great, there was a slight breeze and the first view you get after walking out from under the green canopy is that...not too shabby. After continuing along and taking in the numerous vistas on Giant Ledge we pressed on another 2 miles to Panther Mountain.

We reached the summit of Panther (3720') without any incident (that would come later) and found ourselves a great spot to have lunch with another great view....

and some unexpected company....

After lounging around and taking as much of it in as we could, we decided to head back. We were making great time on the way down until Jay went down hard on some wet rocks and landed on his hip. After wincing and gingerly getting up I thought that we would just continue on, but after a few moments Jay's demeanor changed and he started to weave a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan (thanks A Christmas Carol). Apparently after he bounced off the slick stones his hand shot out for support and found a whole bunch of stinging nettles! After a few more obscenities and some careful work with some tweezers we were able to move on and finish off the hike without any more incidents.

All in all this 6 mile route makes for a great half-day hike with some amazing views, just watch for the stinging nettles and have a pair of tweezers handy. Oh and as a side note fish and chicken tacos at Mexicali Blue in New Paltz more than made up for any mishaps that day.

Edited by Slvravn on 07/19/2010 09:35:30 MDT.

george carr
(hammer-one) - F - MLife

Locale: Walking With The Son
Re:Panther Mountain & Gaint Ledge - Catskill Dayhike on 07/21/2010 16:57:29 MDT Print View

I dunno Nate, I drive pretty fast and only live 3 miles from you, and I can't make that trailhead in 2 1/2 hours, lol. That whole Giant Ledge, Panther, Slide, Whittenburg-Cornell area is one of my favorites in the Catskills. Your route makes a great snoeshow trip in the winter.

Nathan Baker
(Slvravn) - MLife

Locale: East Coast - Mid Atlantic
Re: Re:Panther Mountain & Gaint Ledge - Catskill Dayhike on 07/23/2010 06:28:59 MDT Print View

George - I have a bit of a heavy foot, but not that heavy. We actually left from North Jersey (around Roseland) which cut about an hour off the travel time. Its funny, but the whole time I was up there I kept thinking about a winter trip so maybe I will give it a shot later this year.