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Van Wyck/Table/Peekamoose from Peekamoose Rd, 10/20/2019

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  • Van Wyck/Table/Peekamoose from Peekamoose Rd, 10/20/2019

    I have really liked my last few hikes in the cats where I am revisiting the peaks while incorporating bushwhacks and also linking up with some CHH peaks if possible. This last weekend me and Rory brought Katie along for her first real bushwhack adventure.
    We parked at the main Table/Peekamoose trailhead on Cty 42 and got started right around 830 with only 2 or 3 other cars in the small lot. I was definitely going to make it a loop and was initially thinking of trail up/whack down counterclockwise, but after some advice from mudhook and thinking about it a bit I decided to go clockwise (whack up the southern Van Wyck ridge/trail down Peekamoose) and it was probably the best decision I made all day. Thanks Jim, probably going to try to keep that mantra from now on if there is any question (whack up/trail down). We walked back down the road a bit to another small forest pull-off and headed up the steep hill, hitting a woods road pretty quick which wound up the side of the hill, leading us far up above Bear Hole brook. After awhile we hit a woods ramp to take a steeper angle towards where I believed the lower plane crash to be, and after gaining the leveling-off we luckily found the site before long. The man-made tail screamed out of place in the middle of the natural forest, and it was very sad but interesting to see the devastation to the military plane, with the engine sitting right there exposed on the ground. After taking only pictures we headed up the ridge finger towards the second crash, and passed by and almost stepped in many piles of bear poo. It sounded like the second crash was going to be easier to find as it was located right on the peak of the narrowing ridge, and it was unmissable with a horribly large debris field strewn all over the forest floor. Seemed crazy to see the main fuselage still mostly intact (looking somewhat similar to the Mt Marshall and Kaaterskill crash fuselages) yet having shrapnel spread over such a large area on the ridge.
    I knew we were going to have some work/fun to get from the finger ridge up to the summit, and it was something to see Van Wyck's pyramid through the leaf-less trees, and it got more and more imposing the closer we got, with us even having to tilt our heads back to look up towards the top as we got to the base of the climb. We went a bit to the west and angled up the blocky rock slope, eventually making our way up to the headwall. While Rory and Katie took a breather and put on layers with the rain moving in I skirted to the west looking for a ramp or other way up, and not finding anything resembling safe for the 3 of us I went back to the others and we started hugging the rock to the southeast. We finally found passage up the walls via narrow strips of angled crumbling soil, sketchy moves up pitches of wet rock, and a few small trees with thankfully good growth into minimal soil in the midst of super steep rock. I don't think Katie will be very eager to join me on my future bushwhacks. I had a lot of fun. We got up over the sketchiest stuff to the blocky ledges area and made our way up the summit, and although it isn't among the 35, with that ascent on sunday I think Van Wyck might be my favorite catskill mountain yet.
    At this point the clouds and rain were thoroughly among us, and we decided to forego the Indian Amphitheater to the west for another day, and decided to go for the trail close to Table's summit. The many great viewpoints near Van Wyck's summit were painfully apparent, as they were easy to find but all we saw on Sunday from them was white static. We descended, than ascended Table's western bump, and then started angling north of Table's summit. I was constantly checking my compass with no visual landmarks beyond a few yards, and it was unnerving to be bushwhacking in clouds so thick that everytime i turned around i could hardly see katie following me. Our chosen path worked out great as we probably skirted just north of the thickest firs (?) towards Table's top, thankfully finally hitting the blue markers of the trail as we were done with whacking through the soaking wet branches and ferns and rocks as it had been raining hard since we were scrambling up Van Wyck. We hit the summit cairn and followed the flat ridge through forest before dropping down then back up to Peekamoose. I showed Katie and Rory the overlooks, which had the same exact views sunday as Van Wyck's (see the pic with Rory below).
    We made great time getting down the ridge past the viewpoints, and Reconnoiter Rock, and finally down the nice woods road approaching the trailhead.
    We were glad to get back to the dry car and clothes, and to be headed to hot coffee and to be done with hiking for the day in that weather, but I will gladly be heading back to Van Wyck as it is surely one of my favorite catskill hikes so far.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	Van Wyck lower plane crash.JPG Views:	0 Size:	25.5 KB ID:	502316






    Click image for larger version  Name:	Van Wyck upper plane crash.JPG Views:	0 Size:	20.1 KB ID:	502317
    Click image for larger version  Name:	Van Wyck walls.JPG Views:	0 Size:	19.9 KB ID:	502318
    Click image for larger version  Name:	rory in the clouds.JPG Views:	0 Size:	20.2 KB ID:	502322

    Click image for larger version  Name:	reconnoiter rock in the clouds.JPG Views:	0 Size:	19.8 KB ID:	502321
    35er #3133
    46er #11799

    "Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds"
    Zarathustra

  • #2
    Ralph (Hermit) and I did this hike a few years ago, but also included Woodhull. You'll have to return sometime for those views!

    Comment


    • bikerhiker
      bikerhiker commented
      Editing a comment
      Woodhull was in the plans too, but upon summiting Van Wyck the rain and conditions among other things led to the audible of heading east to the trail right away instead of west first. I am completely fine with going up VW again at some point for Woodhull though, I really want to see the amphitheater and those views.

  • #3
    Fill me in please. When did those crashes occur? Nice write up of the trip.

    Comment


    • bikerhiker
      bikerhiker commented
      Editing a comment
      If I'm wrong here hopefully i will be corrected, but im pretty sure the lower crash was 1962, a USAF military jet T-33 trainer, there were 2 officers on board who both lost their lives,The upper crash I think I read was 1977 with one pilot on board who lost his life also, I don't know too much about civilian planes but looks like a small Piper or Cessna. I have a picture from sunday which looks to show that someone at some point had taken the 5 or 6 individual seats out of the plane and arranged them in a line on the ground nearby the fuselage. There were some personal items that I am guessing belonged to the pilot due to their obvious aging and that were in plain view, and over the years people have left them there out of respect and hopefully continue to do so.

  • #4
    Thanks bikerhiker. I had never heard of them.

    Comment


    • bikerhiker
      bikerhiker commented
      Editing a comment
      Its pretty astounding to me how many plane crashes there are in the catskills, and because of the terrain at a lot of these locations making removal so difficult im guessing a lot remain in place.

  • #5
    http://C:\Users\ralph ryndak\Pictures\2017-05-03\IMG_0657.JPG5 people lost their lives in the civilian plane. There is a plague on a tree nearby that has their names. I heard that it was a new plane and ran out of fuel because of a faulty gauge.There are about 30 plane wrecks in the Catskills.
    Last edited by Hermit; 10-27-2019, 01:51 PM.
    "You are never really alone in the mountains. Something is there ,and you will find it in yourself "
    Ralph Ryndak

    Comment


    • bikerhiker
      bikerhiker commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you. I was mixed up thinking the plaque was at the lower crash, that one being the military plane, and with not finding it there I forgot to look at the upper crash.
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