Monday, January 25, 2016
What do you do when a blizzard of epic proportions is heading towards you? Go to the mountains!
It sounds counterintuitive, but the Catskills were a better place to be this weekend than New York City. The snow blanketing the east coast reached only as far north as Poughkeepsie, and we made sure to get out of the city before it started falling. The Catskills already have snow, although much less than normal, and none of it fresh, meaning that driving and hiking was easy.
On Saturday I hiked Panther with the Catskills 3500 Club for the second time. Panther is one of the four hikes you need to do a second time in winter, and I'd already done that last year on the official last day of winter, March 21. I'd hoped to do my other climb in another season, but it was the only hike being offered on Saturday that I still needed. So I strapped on my microspikes and headed up.
The weather was bitterly cold, so there wasn't a lot of lingering. This is kind of a shame, as Panther has some nice views, most particularly at the Giant Ledge. (There is a view at the summit, but it's not as expansive as the Giant Ledge.) Still, even after a ten-minute pause at the top for a snack, I had to get moving again to get the chill out.