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Balsam Lake Mtn. and Overlook Mtn. - 28-29 Jan. 2017

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  • Balsam Lake Mtn. and Overlook Mtn. - 28-29 Jan. 2017

    Last weekend the Connecticut Section of the GMC rented a house in Bearsville and had another Catskill Winter Weekend.

    Saturday: Balsam Lake Mountain

    There were twelve of us. On Saturday three of us climbed Slide and the rest of us (including me) climbed Balsam Lake Mountain. I think all of us were on snowshoes. This was my first hike on my new snowshoes. They're Tubbs Flex Alps, like my old ones, but shorter. They were fine. The trail was broken out, but not packed down hard, so snowshoes were the way to go.

    It was a little cold, with wind coming and going and changing the temperature, but nothing that wasn't easy to adjust for. It was overcast, and there was a few flurries, but not a lot of snow fell.

    There were a lot of other hikers, and a few dogs. One of the other hikers we met was Mudhook, from this forum, who recognized me from when we'd hiked together back in 2012.

    The cabin of the fire tower was closed, but some of us climbed up to just below it, where there were good views under the overcast.

    I had to back out of the PA, because I couldn't drive all the way forward, but besides that driving to and from the trailhead wasn't a problem.

    Sunday: Overlook Mountain House and Overlook Mountain

    On Sunday all twelve of us went up Overlook Mountain, which is just north of Woodstock.

    The trail up to Overlook was hard packed -- this is a popular hike -- and we were on microspikes (with one of us on crampons, I believe) all day.

    The day was colder than Saturday, especially when exposed to the wind on the summit. It was partly cloudy, and we were in and out of the sun.

    On the way to Overlook, almost to the summit, the trail passes the ruins of the Overlook Mountain House hotel. We spent a lot of time exploring those.

    On the summit there's another fire tower, which we also climbed to just below the cabin, with even better views than the one on BLM, not least because of the variety; to the north, west, and south are the Catskills, and to the east is the Hudson River Valley. We also checked out the Overlook overlook, near the summit, which looks out upon the valley.

    So it was another (our second) great GMC Conn. Section Winter Weekend in the Catskills. I'm already looking forward to next year's.

    Here are the pictures for Balsam Lake Mountain.
    Here are the pictures for Overlook Mountain.



    NE111 in my 50s: 115/115 (67/67, 46/46, 2/2)
    NE111 in my 60s: 49/115 (38/67, 11/46, 0/2)
    NEFF: 50/50; Cat35: 39/39; WNH4K: 39/48; NEHH 84/100
    LT NB 2009

    "I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
    "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
    - Lewis Carroll
    Last edited by Cumulus; 02-02-2017, 11:33 PM. Reason: directional correction

  • #2
    I hope you come back to BLM some day when the views are better. Since it is higher than Overlook, you can see farther, all the way to PA, NJ, CT, MA, (over 70 miles at times) if conditions allow. Since it is on the 'edge' of the Catskill High peaks, you can see mountains, as well as the rolling hills of NY and other states.

    Am I biased? Just a little...
    Tom Rankin - 5444W "In the depths of Summer, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible Winter"

    Proud Member #0003 of ADKHP Foundation
    Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President Catskill 3500 Club
    CEO Views And Brews!

    Trail maintainer for the Dry Brook Ridge trail from Mill Brook Road to just past the Lean-to


    • #3
      Nice to see you again.