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:
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:
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:
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 (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=49031&skip_to_post=422745).
- My modified pants didn't split. :p (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=49558)
- 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! (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=49393)
- 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!