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#13706 - 12/01/04 05:32 PM Kaaterskill Falls in winter?
climbingnow Offline
stranger

Registered: 07/02/04
Posts: 5
A bit off topic, more of a hiking question than climbing.

I'd like to hike in with a non-crampon wearing friend in winter to Kaaterskill Falls. It looks like from the great summary contained on this site that the first part of the trail is quite steep.

Has anyone done this in winter and do you recommend trying it without crampons or other ice gear. I have axes and such but I don't think they will be much help if it is very steep and icy.

Thanks,
-c

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#13707 - 12/01/04 05:50 PM Re: Kaaterskill Falls in winter? [Re: climbingnow]
Fraser Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/15/02
Posts: 701
Loc: New Canaan, CT
c -

One of the best short hikes around. However, it can get icy on the approach. It isn't steep at all until you get to the falls themselves, and then its very steep! I would NOT go up the scree field if there is snow without proper training and equipment. I almost died there myself when I was in high school (literally). However, the walk in can be nice, but you might be able to pick up a cheap pair of hiking crampons that would do the trick.

Have fun!

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#13708 - 12/01/04 05:58 PM Re: Kaaterskill Falls in winter? [Re: Fraser]
Aya Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/18/04
Posts: 754
Loc: Climbing somewhere
I don't think I've ever seen it get too bad - we used to stop and do the hike in on the way home after skiing at hunter quite frequently when I was younger (as in like 8 years old, but then when you're little you can get quite a bit more banged up and you have a lot less fear ). That initial drop down to the trail was always the worst part; after that the trail along the stream was never too bad.
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#13709 - 12/01/04 06:04 PM Re: Kaaterskill Falls in winter? [Re: Aya]
pitfall Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/01/00
Posts: 1165
Loc: Albany
You can usually get to the base in winter very easily w/o crampons but there could be some tricky spots. It is done in winter w/o crampons or snowshoes by plenty of people each year. Remember not to take anything too lightly in winter though.
If you go in and someone gets hurt, keep in mind a cell phone isn't going to work in there so be careful and be responsible for your own actions.
The falls were the site of a nasty accident this fall. A girl fell into the stream at the top and was washed over the falls. Somehow she survived the 165' plunge off the upper falls. Her friend apparently went to the base of the falls to check on her before calling for help...then the phone didn't work. The evacuation took quite a while.
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#13710 - 12/01/04 07:41 PM Re: Kaaterskill Falls in winter? [Re: pitfall]
Fraser Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/15/02
Posts: 701
Loc: New Canaan, CT
Wow that's amazing! Was she a climber or just a tourist?

I was ice climbing in there last year with my brother (I've told this story before so apologies if you already heard it). When we were done we were walking down the creekbed. He decided to down climb the falls by the road. My nephew yelled, "come here quick!". I ran over and he said, "quick take a picture!" He had fallen into the waterfall. He was able to climb out by the time I got my camera ready unfortunately.


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#13711 - 12/07/04 05:07 PM Re: Kaaterskill Falls in winter? [Re: climbingnow]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I was actually up there two weeks ago. Not much action at the falls, so I left and drove to the Schutt Rd. entrance and walked to the top of the falls. Great view and a beautiful place, both top and bottom.

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#13712 - 12/10/04 08:58 PM Re: Kaaterskill Falls in winter?
skillet Offline
journeyman

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 73
Loc: long island,ny
my friend and i were ice climbing in there last year and had to virtually rescue a whole day camp out on a "liesurely hike" in february. one kid fell near the falls and broke his leg and had a concussion. the "leader" was stuck on one of the amphitheatre's flanks and the rest of the kids were in various stages of needing some kind of aid/help.after about an hour or so, all kids were lowered to the ground. miraculously, we got cell reception and a "rescue" was begun. first on scene(hour later) was a state trooper who almost killed himself as he slip slided his way to us up the icy trail. he then produced a space blanket that, when deployed, simply disintegrated like someone blowing on a dandelion! my belay jacket came out of my pack and i knew at that moment i'd never see it again, knowing rescue personnel and their penchant for cutting clothing off people. (i understand why they do it). the trooper then stated that ambulance and fire personnel were at the trailhead but needed help getting the gear to the scene. my friend and i took off for the trailhead and made several trips back and forth shuttling gear and personnel for the next 2 hours. finally, someone showed up with a bag of 4 point crampons and we began to aid in getting everyone (15 strong at this point) outfitted for the haul out. at this point the kid's on a backboard and really shivering. i figured "ok, lets grab him and go!" next thing i know ropes and pulleys and all sorts of gear starts being pulled out of various packs and they started discussing how to get the victim out of there! my friend and i shot each other a confused look. "timeout--we got a f@#$ing trail right here! what the...?" they wound up lowering the victim down to the creek and walking out that way! we were stunned! 4 hours from phone call to ambulance! not good! i got a call from the group leader a few days later and he said the kid would be fine(after some screws/plates were installed). also reimbersed me for the jacket,which was nice. oh yeah, what i meant to say was "take some form of crampon"!
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#13713 - 12/11/04 12:40 AM Re: Kaaterskill Falls in winter? [Re: skillet]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
While I don't have a story to match skillet's, I absolutely concur with the bottom line. The slopes going in to the falls are steep, and Catskill weather is sufficiently variable (rain, then cold) that icy hillsides are to be expected. My only hiking trip in there many years ago was a touch and go affair for this reason. I barely got a view of the falls and judged any effort to get closer to be dangerous.

As we know, even climbers experienced on slippery slopes occasionally slide down and get banged up.

So while the trail may be easy enough for a 5 year old to do in dayhikers, it may also be a VERY serious undertaking.

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#13714 - 12/20/04 04:46 AM Re: Kaaterskill Falls in winter? [Re: Mike Rawdon]
skillet Offline
journeyman

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 73
Loc: long island,ny
just in there today for some ice recon and i busted my ass! a dusting of fresh snow over icy and leaf covered trails = one f@#$ed up tailbone! easy does it out there! ouch!
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#13715 - 12/21/04 02:50 PM Re: Kaaterskill Falls in winter? [Re: Mike Rawdon]
GeeVee Offline
Auto Reply

Registered: 11/14/00
Posts: 4403
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
As we know, even climbers experienced on slippery slopes occasionally slide down and get banged up.

Amen to that.
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