Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Highest Peak in the Catskills & also 2 other 3500 peaks
Display Avatars Sort By:
Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Highest Peak in the Catskills & also 2 other 3500 peaks on 07/03/2011 21:37:21 MDT Print View

Meet BPLer Roleigh Martin for some peak bagging in the Catskills this weekend. Met Friday afternoon at Woodland Valley Campsite. Roleigh was rocking a Zpacks Hexamid Twin and I had my Bear Paw Wildernes Designs Cub Den 1.5. VERY similar shelters, so some comparison photo were in order (Hexamid Twin in green, Cub Den 1.5 in white):


We got an early start Saturday morning before most anyone was awake at the campground.


The east side of Wittenberg was challenging with some good scrambles,more than we expecting slowing our ascent:

The 1st of many 3500 feet signs:
But the scrambles were worth it. The best views of the trip:

Enough with the sightseeing, on to the "Cornell Crack." It was the hardest scramble we did:

And the view from Cornell Mtn. back to Wittenberg:

At the end of the day we grabbed an unmarked primitive campsite that we shared with three college kids under a 12x12 tarp and using a blue tarp as a ground tarp. Not exactly UL, but it worked for them, good guys:

Roleigh & I got the leftover spots:

We shared with the widelife:evwq

So all was fine and good that night until we awoke to this:

It started around maybe 4am and went until 9:45. So we packed up only to get walloped the rest of the way to the parking lot, including the summit of Slide Mtn., the tallest peak in the Catskills...

Least my food was not touched during the night:

And some more scrambling...

It's all good, right?

And the famous stairs:24v423

At the Summit of Slide...yeah we were sick of the rain:

At times the weather would break, but just for a bit, and then start throwing down again:111

And then we descended...the trail was very easy as compared to all the other ascents/descents of the wknd, but we would of been better off with a paddle than poles:

So some thoughts on my experience:

- My Driducks did well for a day of downpour. Just a little moist underneath.

- My Modified GoLite Windshirts worked very well (

- My modified pants didn't split. :p (

- I will prob replace my ziplock bags for toiletries/first aid and the one for my camera with aloksaks or at least have brand new ziplock bags each trip.

- I will continue to use a 2mil trash compactor bag as a pack liner as it doubled as a bivy for the lower 1/2 of my quilt. Very robust. I will not be replacing it with a lighter pack liner. I also draped my rain jacket over the top half of my quilt to keep it dry from the spray coming through the zippered/netted entry to my Cub Den 1.5.

- I don't regret forgoing the beak on the Cub Den 1.5. It saves weight and I had no condensation even after hours of rain. I will just pitch my shelter fwd a bit while removing the front pole, to have the front over hang more, and bring up the rear a bit.. This will give much better 360 degree coverage:

- I never user my MLD rain chaps... I thought they'd get ruined scrambled up the rocks and I figured it was just a matter of time before my legs got fully soaked, so I cut to the chase and left them off.

- It was 50F the first night and 60F the second. My modified JRB quilt did well. Many thanks to the advice I received on cinching up the quilt. the mini linelocs & 1/16th in shock cord worked perfectly! (

- The Bear Paw Cub Den 1.5 has bug netting around the outsides that drapes underneath a bit, to be overlapped by your ground cloth to save weight. It takes a bit to swat the bugs inside once you get in, but an advantage to shelters will full bug netting/floors is you can still peel up the sides and take a p_ss when its raining cats and dogs outside (just like my old Poncho Tarp! :p)

- I would of gotten soaked in my old GoLite poncho/tarp, even with a bivy I think.

-WSetups that work for some BPLers may not work in other areas of the country depending on precip. and terrain.

- Endura Sports tape performs the same as Luekotape as far as I can tell. It was sticky as heck to protect my right thumb from a blister (disabled wrist rubs on hiking pole straps) while being in rain all day and protected the bone spurs on my heels all weekend long walking through endless streams, holding hydrocolloid bandages in place with no tincture of benzine:

- It was great to get to know a fellow BPLer, Roleigh Martin. I wish him well on his upcoming JMT hike!

Edited by bster13 on 07/04/2011 22:43:32 MDT.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
All of the pics are here. on 07/04/2011 11:13:05 MDT Print View

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: All of the pics are here. on 07/04/2011 12:46:29 MDT Print View

Bryce, it was a good hike. Thanks for the photos. I'll post a couple later. I look in pain at Slide mountain because when I did Cornell Crack, I know I must have pulled or stretched my knee too hard getting up the crack. I'm short and that must have been what made my knee start to hurt. I never fell on the hike and can't think of anything else that stressed the knee. I'm feeling twice as good today as I did last night, I'll see how I'm doing tomorrow.

One thing I learned to appreciate is the beauty of a tent setup like the SixMoonDesign Tent Haven and Inner Net Tent versus the netting being sewn into the tent wall like the Duo Hexamid. I got stuff wet in my tent that night, and I think it was a combination of water coming down the netting and water coming up through the ground cloth via hydrostatic pressure penetration.

For holding up in severe rain, one wants a totally waterproof tent floor and that tent bathtub to be 100% independent of the outer tent/tarp ceiling. I know that Joe makes a inner tent for the Hexamid Solo but does not show one for the Duo. I'm going to contact him if he can make one similar to how Ron Moak makes one for the Haven Tarp.

Edited by marti124 on 07/04/2011 12:47:01 MDT.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Forgot to add... tenacious tape on 07/04/2011 17:51:32 MDT Print View

I had to repair a 1/4in hole in my .51 CF tarp (no clue how it got there, it's only been used for 1 wknd prior, may of been there from start, who knows).

I used tenacious tape, about a quarter in size to patch it from the top. I cleaned the area w/ alcohol prior. Well it never leaked during the torrential downpour ( for hours and after inspecting it this afternoon, it still look perfect. Not sure how sheathing tape holds up, but I'm very happy with how this performed. Plus it is'd be hard pressed to find the tape on my white tarp!

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
Re: Highest Peak in the Catskills & also 2 other 3500 peaks on 07/04/2011 19:25:08 MDT Print View

Doesn't Roleigh have a Packa? Disappointed that he didn't take that along.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Not on this hike on 07/04/2011 19:27:28 MDT Print View

He had a nice RAB eVent rain jacket and CF pack cover plus CF kilt.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Thanks for the trip report on 07/05/2011 14:33:21 MDT Print View

Re: "I would of gotten soaked in my old GoLite poncho/tarp, even with a bivy I think."

Maybe not. If you make sure to pitch it on high ground and re-pitch at the first sign of rain you can stay quite dry even without a bivy, but the tarp would have to be re-pitched very low with only a few inches above you. This makes it very difficult to get in and out of, so a pee bottle comes in handy.

I was planing on using my Monk(5x9) tarp/Metwor Bivy combination next week when we hike through there, but I wanted to try out the new stealth modifications of my Spinnshleter. I am still up in the air about bringing the Meteor as well. The bugs can be bad in the Catskills during a rainy summer.

I'll bet you guys were glad you had the bug netting for this trip.

I was camped about 20 miles south of you guys and also experienced the cats and dogs that you did, but my shelter was in a more protected area, on a tent platform:-)

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Re: Thanks for the trip report on 07/05/2011 14:43:30 MDT Print View

I think I am uber spoiled with my shelter, so perhaps I am over exaggerating. I can sit up, crouch and I even stood for a few seconds while packing up in the pouring nice! hehe.

We were stuck on a slab of rock so the biggest problem was splash from the rock bouncing under the tarp/tent. There was some gusts that blew wind, but not terrible as I recall.

Bugs were 1/2 as bad as our memorial day wknd hike in Harriman State Park, but yes still moderately buggy once you stopped moving.

For "bomber" rain protection I'll be rocking my "low pitch" next time there is chanceof nasty rain:

(Just gotta figure out how to seal off open big netting...perhaps use my pack)

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Room on 07/05/2011 14:56:42 MDT Print View

Yes, your new shelter is definitely the more comfy choice when you have to sit out a storm. You would have been very cramped in the poncho tarp when pitched tight to the ground.

Re: "Just gotta figure out how to seal off open big netting...perhaps use my pack"

I tend to hang my rain cape gear near the opening and if the rain is blowing or splashing in, fasten it so that is blocks most of the opening.

That my not be an option for you unless you modify your rain gear with tabs.
Mine has a couple of loops that make it quick and easy for me.

A pack laying along the bottom can reduce the splash significantly.

One of the things that I tend to do is always assume that a storm can come through without notice at any time as it is quite common in the north east and many other areas.
You can't go by the weather forecasts around here as the forecast always seems to be "chance of thunderstorms".

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Of course.... on 07/05/2011 15:00:19 MDT Print View

Of course I cut off the tassels that were used to tie back the bug netting on either side of the zipper to save weight, haha. In hindsight I would of left the inside tassel (cut off the outside one) so I could somehow tie my rain jacket to it and prevent splash like your stated. Oh well, normal rainstorms would still be cake as I had a good deal of room to move to the back of the shelter, it was just the hours of splash that intruded a bit.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Ignore the wetness:-) on 07/05/2011 15:07:35 MDT Print View

Also, you could do as my uncle used to say when we would cowboy camp and rain would come through "just ignore the water and it won't bother you":-)

Hhe was spot on for the most part. I have slept fine with a fairly wet bag cowboy camping in the summer, but was still warm. But then again, this was in the south west where you can always dry your bag out when the sun came out.
That is often not possible in the north east.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Cowboy Camp on 07/05/2011 15:10:11 MDT Print View

Haven't tried it yet, guess I am a wuss with my nice down quilt, thinking it'd never dry out on a trip if it got wet.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Wet quilt on 07/05/2011 15:17:07 MDT Print View

And you are probably right about your quilt not drying out.
Places light the Catskills are too humid and you don't always get sun during the day.
So stuff just stays wet.

But, you usually have lots of good water sources to choose from:-)