Sunday, May 29, 2016

Slide Mountain Wilderness

Another Friday off from work, so that meant time for another adventure run. My drug of choice this week was the Catskills High Peaks Region - a return trip after a long absence to one of my favorite hiking regions in New York State. I had mapped out a route for the Slide Mountain Wilderness loop, similar to a run I'd done a few years ago. I'd start and finish at the Denning Road Parking Area while traversing Slide, Cornell and Wittenberg Mountains in a counterclockwise direction. The route would include an brief out-and-back to the Terrace Mountain lean-to, (just to see what's there), and an out-and-back up Giant Ledge to the summit of Panther Mountain. From there, I'd return to the car via Oliverea Road and the Phoenicia East Branch Trail. The weather outlook was mostly sunny with a high of 70, so everything was good to go. Coincidentially, this was the same day that I mailed my waiver and entry fee for Manitou's Revenge, which would be my first trail race in the Catskills. The proposed route also covered most of Red Newt Racing's Cat's Tail Marathon - a point to point trail race around the Slide Mountain Wilderness.

Panoramic view from atop Cornell Mountain
The trail climbs gradually up into the wilderness from the Denning Road Parking Area. The first few miles aren't very technical, and I made a mental note that I'd have a blast later on when running down this stretch to the car. At about 1.2 miles the trail reaches a junction where one can take a right to climb Table and Peakamoose Mountains, two of the Catskills High Peaks. My course split to the left though, following the Long Path, and I continued on to another junction

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Point 2 Point

Something can be said about the merit of a long, point-to-point trail run. A few weeks ago I decided to create my own adventure run on the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT), with a route mapped out that would take me from Brooktondale to my house in the City of Ithaca. The run was to be self supported, so I stashed a jug a water just off the road at what would be the 10 mile point of the route. The mindset was markedly different from a typical long run, since I would be getting further and further from my car and eventually it would be easier to continue on ahead, rather than turn back, if anything went majorly awry. Additionally, I would be following trail blazes and a paper map through some forest areas I'm only vaguely familiar with.

Planning for a long day on my feet with an element of adventure, I parked at the trailhead on the east side of Shindagin Hollow State Forest. From there, I'd follow the FLT west through Shindagin Hollow and Danby State Forest, then north to Lick Brook. At the Sweedler Preserve at Lick Brook, I'd leave the main FLT and follow the Buttermilk Falls Spur Trail east