We led a mixed group of Catskill 3500 Club aspirants and ADK members to these two “bushwhack” summits. The day started out quite warm in the morning but got progressively cooler and windier, especially at the summits where temperatures were in the 40’s when we got there.
We started out on woods roads and avoided the private property by a wide margin before hitting the main ridgeline to Friday about 300 vertical feet above the cabin.
Unlike some of our past hikes, we stuck to the “trade route” and were on almost continuous herd paths.
It was a very friendly group and we enjoyed a relaxed pace and plenty of conversation. We stopped at viewpoints on top of “the wall” on Friday Mountain where we enjoyed lunch and also near the Balsam Cap Summit.
The only downside to the day were frequent signs of vandalism, including illegal cutting and disfigurement of trees in a misguided attempt to create and blaze an unofficial trail.
Years ago, similar illegal activity forced the New York DEC to remove canisters from trail-less summits in the Adirondacks. The Catskills could be next. If you know someone that thinks this illegal activity is a good idea, be sure to let them know that it is not. If they are going to partake of this precious resource, they need to respect it. If you witness illegal cutting or vandalism on or off trail, please report it to the DEC.