Devil's Path

Posted by: chip

Devil's Path - 12/21/10 02:55 PM

I have been thinking of trying to push through most or all of the Devil's Path on a day in the not too far future. Never been on it and wondering if anyone could give me an idea what to expect, especially in the winter. I assume crampons, snowshoes and poles are a good idea, but didn't know if there was anything technical to go up or down.
Posted by: Welle

Re: Devil's Path - 12/21/10 03:30 PM

Crampons for sure and hiking poles. Snowshoes are not needed as of last weekend - there isn't much snow on the ground. Bring a short rope or a cordelette for some steep sections to aid descents (no need for harness, but it's good to have as a handline). You will need a car shuttle, or taxi. The only reliable taxi in the area is Woodstock taxi - make sure to reserve in advance. I would do the Eastern leg of it first - it's nicer and has a lot of views.
Posted by: chip

Re: Devil's Path - 12/21/10 06:57 PM

Thanks! I was thinking of this Sunday and I see potential snow storm. Even better!
Posted by: Welle

Re: Devil's Path - 12/21/10 08:23 PM

Chip, you may also consider bringing a pair of microspikes for non-icy sections. there is very little snow on the ground and it's making things really hairy to walk on with or without crampons. I'd carry crampons for steep ice sections.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Devil's Path - 12/22/10 12:09 PM

Chip, I've been on the "Path" a few times, summer, winter, skis, snowshoes, etc. But, have never done it end to end. If you are going in Dec. or early Jan. consider the shortness of the days, plan on some night time travel, extra batteries or extra headlamp. Alpine start from the east would put you on the most technical and difficult sections of the trail in the dark. A western start and you risk finishing in the dark, on those difficult sections, but much more fatiqued than in the morning.

Regarding crampons, this being the day hike of all day hikes, old school ten points might be better than 12s, IMO. Faster, lighter, less chance of catching, tripping, etc.

Many of the Catskill summits have been getting regular lake effect snow showers/squalls. We are already poaching tree runs at our more popular ski areas. Without snow making.

More info on conditions etc. should be easy to find at

Have at it, and good luck. RC
Posted by: chip

Re: Devil's Path - 12/22/10 02:27 PM

Thanks. I was thinking of getting on it early this winter instead of waiting until I needed snowshoes or skis and guaranteeing an overnight. Hopefully very soon.
Posted by: Welle

Re: Devil's Path - 12/22/10 03:23 PM

I've done end-to-end in the summer in a humid after the rain conditions. The trails were streams, it made for a long day, we started at 5am and finished close to 11pm (including 1 hr break I took at the Notch Lake in Stony Clove). Western leg of DP is viewless and is really boring - I don't ever want to hike that part again.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Devil's Path - 12/23/10 12:45 AM

I drove up today to Belle along the Rt 28 corridor. Currently, the higher summits have a few inches of snow. Above 2500 feet there is noticebly more snow. Bellearye recieved another inch or so up high today. Sat and Sun they are expecting real snowfall. I'd throw those snowshoes into the car just in case.
Posted by: The Lisa

Re: Devil's Path - 01/26/11 10:34 PM

Not sure if this info is relevant now but I was in the Catskills on Sunday 01/23 and encountered nice deep snow. We were in the Blackhead Range, not the Devil's Path, and did not experience any ice. Most of the group used snowshoes and a couple wore Microspikes.
I have found the Devil's Path to be very icy in winter, especially the west facing slopes of Sugarloaf and Twin. Lots of fun if you have the tools for ascending and descending safely smile
Posted by: The Lisa

Re: Devil's Path - 01/26/11 10:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Welle
Western leg of DP is viewless and is really boring - I don't ever want to hike that part again.

I agree, Welle. The descent off Westkill takes FOREVER when all you want to do is get to the car at the end of a hot summer's day.