Hike: Ashokan High Point to Peekamoose Mountain

Posted on September 7, 2010


One time, I reached two Catskill summits with Robert.  We reached the Ashokan High Point (3,081 ft.) summit in two and a half hours and took one and a half to get back down.

Then we drove a few miles to reach Peekamoose’s (3,843 ft.) trailhead and climbed that one as well, except it was not easy.

We camped at the summit and made our way back down around ten in the morning—and here’s my recollection of it all.

For this trip, I brought along my father’s Sony digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera– a bulky thing, much larger than the Canon Powershot, but resolution really is a thing of beauty.

The Ashokan High Point trail had too many rocks in my opinion—I complained about this every other breath, which was difficult to do, and probably not worth the labor.

Rob traversing s’more rocks

Here’s the best view Ashokan High Point has to offer, and it’s about twenty feet below the summit.  After taking a break at this vista, we continued heading up the trail, and right before we reached the summit, Robert decided to yell “I can’t wait for lunch.  I’m about to eat fucking sticks!”  But Robert didn’t know there were two couples at the top already enjoying their provisions.  What embarrassment, I tell you.

Here’s Robert quietly enjoying his lunch—and my poor excuse for a hiking pack slumped over, water bottle probably leaking.

It’s recommended to make this hike late fall or early winter so the trees don’t obscure your view, but I recommend hiking it whenever.  It’s not that bad…see.

The following images are of people and machines that would have had trouble making their way down the “steep sections”

The Peekamoose trail made me tired.  Rob can attest to this, but being the good sport/occasional triathlon participant, he helped me along and kept a good pace throughout the hike.

In the picture above, I’m attempting to change out of my flip-flops into my boots while on an ascent.  I made the error of bringing along boots for the hike that I’ve never hiked in—resulting in blisters. Because of this, I had to settle for hiking in sandals, which wasn’t bad until I jammed a few toes.

So, for the future, bring good footwear.  Easy.

If I may say, this is some incredible hiking coverage AND advice.

Despite its difficulty, Peekamoose offered a much more gorgeous route.  The forest’s characteristics would change entirely every 300 yards or so and it wasn’t nearly as rocky as Ashokan.  There were some areas that really involved your body, climbing over and between interesting formations that reminded me of Chuck E. Cheese, sans pizza, god-awful animatronics, and a lot more.

We saw two wild turkeys a few hundred feet from the summit, and they looked mighty tasty.

Doing my thang

After all the struggling, and chanting of “Wine, Wine, Wine” since Rob brought two bottles of Illahe’s Voignier 2009 to celebrate, (white wine—very aromatic and fruity—I chugged this wine like Gatorade) we watched the sunset momentarily, since it was awfully cold and windy, with a menacing-looking front blowing our way, our memory of Earl.  We luckily avoided any heavy rainfall, and were able to set up a fire on the second try—my favorite picture from the trip:Here’s Rob contemplating my imminent defeat in a game of Robgammon.  Those headlamps really do work like a charm.  At one point in the evening, I said my feet smelled and Robert warned me that “Animals would have been attracted away from,” whatever that meant.

Here I am the following morning, stern and thirsty, and craving the natural springs indicated on the map but were actually nowhere to be found.  Peekamoose is rated as a difficult hike in the trail guide Rob brought along, and I’m going to have to concur, especially when heavy packs are involved.

This would have been a cinch for most day-hikers, but not after having hiked Ashokan right before.  Most hikers usually take on Peekamoose and an adjoining summit called Table in one trip since they’re  only a mile apart, but I had an agenda to attend to that involved meaty pizza slices and showering.

Before driving back into town, we stopped at Buttermilk Waterfalls where the water was absolutely freezing and absolutely refreshing.

Look at Rob robbing on a rob.

Posted in: Excursions