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Blizzard on Top of Hunter

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  • Blizzard on Top of Hunter

    Magical day yesterday on Sunday. My friend and I drove up on Sunday morning. Boots to the ground at 8:45am. Stony Clove/ Notch lake trailhead to Hunter Mountain. Only car. Saw no one all day, gotta love having the mountain to yourself. Thin, sparse snow on ground. Lots of bare ground too. Rained on us the whole car ride and hike up the mountain. We were getting drenched. We were hoping to see snow and I thought the rain was never going to turn over. I honestly gave up and thought we would be in the rain all day. I picked Hunter bc of the higher elevation in hopes of guaranteeing snow given the local forecast. We were walking through sleety puddles and pretty miserable.

    At the junction sign .4 miles from the firetower, it was like some flipped a switch. Rain became wet snow and then an all out snowstorm. We were getting dumped on and loving it. Taking photos and some video, we were laughing and couldn’t believe how hard it was snowing. A blizzard on top of Hunter. We climbed the firetower, then took refuge on porch of cabin where we stripped wet baselayers and gloves. Put on some dry gear, more gloves, hats, down jackets, etc. Ate some soppresata and cheddar cheese, ritz crackers. 24 oz can of Modelo apiece went down the hatch while we stood on the porch there, and let the storm engulf us. We did some jumping jacks and pushups in the beginning to warm us. Then we marveled and documented the change in weather around us. We hung for 45 minutes. In that time 3-4 inches had fallen. Snow continued on ride out all the way down to car. Up and down the same trails… they looked totally different. It was like being on a different hike. Trees were plastered white. Every twig and branch was outlined with snow and it was still coming down. Amazing

    We had snowshoes but left them in car. When we started, there was almost nothing. And even in the end I don’t think there was enough. Descending there was maybe 3-6” depending where on trail… still a little crunchy for shoeing.

    Microspikes up and down, but somehow half way down or more, I looked at my boots and both my microspikes were gone. The trail ate them. Sticky mashed potato snow and powder with sleet and ice underneath did it. I didn’t even feel them come off. Unbelieveable. One other time they popped off in a previous hike some other year, but I had noticed then. This time they both came off. Didn’t even feel it, and we weren’t going back up. I didn’t know where it happened or if we would even be able to find them. Maybe someone will pick them up and wear them, mail them back to me (I’ve already had my friends pocket knife sent back thanks to this forum), or throw them out for me. Black ones. I just ordered Hillsounds tonight to replace the Kahtoola micros.

    I had steel crampons in bag and donned them for final steep descent. They were overkill, but I needed something. It was slippery. Done at 2:25pm

    Wow, another memorable adventure in the Catskills. I’ve had so many over the years. I’ve never experienced such a drastic change on a dayhike. I’ve hiked too where its raining down lower and then turns to flurries, but not like yesterday. I’ve hardly been getting out either. This is just what the doctor ordered. I needed it
    Catskills: 39/39, 35W/35W
    ADK: 46/46