A Very Icy Day on Plateau Mountain!

On a gorgeous, sunny and warm day towards the end of the "winter that wasn't," we headed up to the Catskills for a climb of Plateau Mountain. Expecting a lot of ice, this experienced (and good-looking!) crew brought a combination of traction devices; micro-spikes, both in-step and full mountaineering crampons, as well as rope. 

Remember--it is NOT acceptable to hike on the margins of the trail! Sorry for shouting, but we'd really like to stress that--in this winter of ice, we're seeing wayyy too much damage on the edges of the trails. 

 And wow, did we need all of these things! Coming up from Mink Hollow, conditions were fine, bare trail, until about 2700'. At that point, patchy ice became pretty significant and we strapped on our traction.

The ice was exceptionally hard and thick, making it difficult to gain foothold, even with traction devices. This was especially true for our lighter hikers, so we decided to set up a 50' length of para cord to use as a handrail. 

This worked for a while, until we hit a particularly nasty stretch above 3000'. As you can see from the pic below, Dave set up a belay around a tree. 

Our two most experienced adventurers made it past this section with the use of crampons. Despite repeated and courageous attempts, the remainder of our intrepid crew found the next section to be entirely un-navigable. Weighing risk vs reward, and knowing that there would be soup and Mountain Mocha around an impromptu campfire, the group made to correct decision to descend and enjoy and afternoon in the sunshine!

And of course, check out all of the awesome moss--which, as you can see here, is very happy about the early spring! 

Please enjoy the photos from our adventure at this link and join us to close out "The Winter That Wasn't" at 50% off next weekend, 3/19-20!