Monday, August 24, 2015

Halcott and Rusk

BushwhackingOn Sunday I knocked off two more Catskills peaks, the trailless Halcott and Rusk. Neither peak offers anything in the way of views (in winter, there may be glimpses of other mountain through the trees); aside from a brief bit of walking on a gravel road up to Rusk, they're both straight uphill through the brush.

I've noticed before how different the peaks are. Perhaps it has to do with their history, such as how recently they were logged, or whether the face I was on faced north or south. But each one has rather different plant growth. When we hiked The Six back in June, we fought our way through balsam trees. On Halcott, this was a non-issue, but there was a lot of vegetation in the 2-4 foot high range, some of it nettles (see photo above). And on Rusk the ground was much clearer.

LedgeFrankly, neither Rusk nor Halcott is particularly interesting. There is a waterfall on the route to Halcott, but it's perhaps 50 feet from the road. If they had trails, they would be more pleasurable, but they wouldn't have big payoffs - you wouldn't take a newbie to them to entice them to fall in love with hiking. These ledges on Rusk are kind of interesting, and I'd want to route a trail near them, but my understanding is that bushwhackers usually go around them. 

I'm now up to 23 of 39 required climbs. Next weekend, I'll head back up there for more bushwhacking on the nettlesome North Dome and Sherrill.

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