Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

DOUBLETOP AND GRAHAM PERMANENTLY CLOSED

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • DOUBLETOP AND GRAHAM PERMANENTLY CLOSED

    So sorry to receive this news, but I am not at all surprised. Below is the notice sent by Maria from the Catskill 3500 Club:

    Dear fellow hikers,

    Doubletop and Graham will no longer be accessible to the public – regardless of whether they are local or not. I share this news with sadness because of all the history the Club has had with these two peaks, but I do not think this will be surprising to those who have been reading the updates. Since the 3500 Club began the list in the 1960s, the land owners have been very generous in allowing so many hikers over the years to experience these special mountains and we deeply thank them for their openness and access during that time.

    We all have seen how the number of hikers in the Catskills has increased in the past few years and COVID-19 has just been a part of that – this was happening pre-COVID-19 as well. With more people pursuing the 35, the addition of lists like the grid, single season and some double single seasons, and the proliferation of information on social media, the traffic on these mountains (and everywhere) is expanding. Increased connection with nature can be a wonderful thing as all of us know who are so passionate about it, but all this expanded usage has ramifications. The impact on the natural resources is evident and the owners have taken this step to enhance the health of the ecosystem and protect the flora and fauna. Consequently, the family has decided that the mountains they love need to make the return back to their original wilderness state.

    [Mudhook] and I were on Doubletop on Sunday and removed the old canister. Please continue to use South Doubletop and Millbrook Ridge as replacements until the Club board meeting at the end of January when new permanent mountains for the list will finalized. Needless to say, if a tally list is submitted with Doubletop or Graham after today, we will not count it and will know that it was an illegal climb. We will announce final decisions after the 1/31 meeting.

    Note: You must ONLY access South Doubletop from state land, regardless of whether you are local or not. We ran into trespassers on Sunday who tried to shortcut the longer route required to hike the peak on entirely public land who clearly did not request permission. The owners will prosecute anyone who trespasses so use this as an opportunity to learn a real bushwhack and challenge yourself. That really is what the list is about!

    Please respect the decision by the owners, as they have thought deeply about this. We should be appreciative for how long we have had access to these mountains and that there are landowners who want to preserve our beloved Catskill mountains in their natural state without thought of commercial opportunities.

    And share this news with anyone who may not see it on Facebook, Groups.io, or is not on our mailing list!

    Maria Bedo-Calhoun, President, Catskill 3500 Club
    Last edited by debmonster; 01-14-2021, 03:25 PM.
    We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige

  • #2
    Thanks Deb, I was about to post this and there it was.

    Comment


    • debmonster
      debmonster commented
      Editing a comment
      No problem. Also just edited slightly per Maria's request.

  • #3
    This is sad, but expected. I'm happy that I was able to enjoy those summits so many times, gaining permission each trip. From my first time going from Graham and directly across to Doubletop, wallowing in nettles that seemed to never relent, to my later much smoother trips, each time was special. I believe that the side of Graham heading toward Doubletop holds the largest grouse population I have come across in the Catskills.

    There certainly must be a lot of consideration given to the idea of adding mountains to the 3500 list. With the two recent substitutions, precedent has already been established. However, is this a good idea? It IS the "3500" Club, and if we overlook Rocky's newer, slightly lower elevation, it has held true to this elevation criterion. Adding two peaks keeps "The 35" true, but loses the elevation requirement. Another consideration is the sheer volume of visitation any new peaks will receive if they are included on The List. I've hiked a great many Catskills mountains, many below 3500 and many below 3000. The difference in use is immediately clear. Adding two new mountains will alter those mountains significantly.

    I don't really have a fully developed opinion on adding new mountains to the list. There are certainly positives and negatives either way. I'm sad to know that I will not be afforded the opportunity to visit Graham or Doubletop again, that I do know.
    To Go and to See
    Is to Know and to Be

    Comment


    • nickUSA
      nickUSA commented
      Editing a comment
      I too will miss that Graham -> Doubletop bushwhack. One of my favorites in the Cats.

      I would have liked to see peaks over 3500' be added even if the distance/prominence requirements aren't strictly met (Camel's Hump, East Rusk come to mind) but oh well.

    • CatskillKev
      CatskillKev commented
      Editing a comment
      You're right about sending the masses to whichever gets added to the list. Maybe irresponsible to add anything. Maybe subtract the list altogether, but I know the theory is some other opportunist will start it right back up. Lots of hikers hungry for attention out there.

      What is Twin's new lower elevation. No way its under 3500...

    • eleventhgear
      eleventhgear commented
      Editing a comment
      Whoops, you're right. I meant Rocky.

  • #4
    One argument against adding the peaks above is that they are so close to other peaks. Obtaining the 35 is supposed to be a journey and to discover all the Cats have to offer and visit different areas
    Last edited by mudhook; 01-14-2021, 09:17 AM.

    Comment


    • CatskillKev
      CatskillKev commented
      Editing a comment
      After losing something due to too much interest, who's to say what obtaining the 35 is supposed to be anymore?

      Its kind of ironic that this has come about after a couple years of higher percentage permission asking. But, maybe its not about the people asking permission. Maybe its about seeing how many users there actually are. So I guess it was only natural that the more you ask permission, the worse it looks, the more overwhelming the process becomes... Always thought that calling the caretaker would overwhelm the caretaker.

      Seems like snowshoe-only could be an option. I'm kind of surprised that a bunch of hikers taking the logging roads from Balsam Lake to Graham building mess is causing a lot of problems, non-hunting season, that is.

  • #5
    The club's "250 feet OR 1/2 mile" rule allows a LOT of peaks to be added. (Consider the Plateau ridge!) I suspect this glitch will be corrected eventually.

    We have not always been '35'. Leavitt was added in the 80's and it was 33 way back when. I have never seen a 'Winter 34R' patch, it's just short for 'Winter 3500R'.

    There is no reason to add peaks that really should not be on the list just to make '35'. I'd argue against South Doubletop because it is so close to Gould land.

    (And don't get me started on Rocky! )
    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!

    Comment


    • CatskillKev
      CatskillKev commented
      Editing a comment
      Should being close to Gould land be a problem?

  • #6
    Originally posted by eleventhgear View Post
    This is sad, but expected. I'm happy that I was able to enjoy those summits so many times, gaining permission each trip. From my first time going from Graham and directly across to Doubletop, wallowing in nettles that seemed to never relent, to my later much smoother trips, each time was special. I believe that the side of Graham heading toward Doubletop holds the largest grouse population I have come across in the Catskills.

    I'm sad to know that I will not be afforded the opportunity to visit Graham or Doubletop again, that I do know.
    I feel very similar. I LOVE that col between DT and Graham and always felt a bit of magic and mystery there. It has a certain kind of peaceful, quiet darkness even on sunny days. Quiet, except for all those grouse.
    We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige

    Comment


    • #7
      A sad day. I feel like I'm at a funeral. I never got to do the whack between Graham and DoubleTop, but at least I got to experience both mountains.

      Im sure there are other mountains that are nice or even nicer, but......Whether you sub other mountains in or you don't, i just dont like change!
      Catskills: 39/39, 35W/35W
      ADK: 46/46

      Comment


      • #8
        Originally posted by Nivek View Post
        i just dont like change!
        We fear change...



        From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

        Comment


        • Nivek
          Nivek commented
          Editing a comment
          .........Lol

      • #9
        So long, and thanks for all the nettles! I'm in the camp of not adding peaks that don't meet the height requirements. Graham is whatever, but I've climbed DT who knows how many times from all cardinal directions and loved it each time. Losing that one is a bummer.

        Doug and I had a funny trip where we whacked from DT to Graham and were BSing and just kind of assumed the other one was paying attention to where we were going until things stopped making sense. OK, time to get the maps out and figure out where the heck we are!

        Comment


        • #10
          FYI, since people seem to be confused elsewhere, you can still hike any of the official DEC trails inside Gould property, on the way to peaks such as Balsam Lake, Eagle, Big Indian.
          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!

          Comment


          • #11
            I figured this outcome was likely sooner or later given the publicized issues with trespassers/groups showing up without permission. As we've seen elsewhere, whenever a popular hike starts to see issues to the extent that threats are made to close off access if the hiking community doesn't work to correct the problem behaviors... the hiking community is inevitably unable to self-regulate. (I can't help but see parallels between this situation and the situation at Glen Onoko Falls in PA, even if the specifics were a bit different there.)

            (And to be clear, by "hiking community" I mean hikers in general, not those dedicated to and heavily involved with the 3500 club, who I know were doing what they could to try to protect this area and preserve public access.)

            Like I posted over on ADKForum, I don't doubt that the AllTrails generation shoulders some of the responsibility for this... why do research on a hike in advance when all you need to do is pull up the map on your phone at the trailhead?

            Comment


            • #12
              Below is a copy of the email that I sent to the Catskill 3500 Club Executive Board. The reply I received was very clear that a decision has not been made and dropping the list to 33 peaks is being considered.

              I submit that the Catskill 3500 Club should consider just making the list 33 peaks. When I finished my first round you were only required to climb 34 peaks (SW Hunter did not count) so the Club already has the precedent of not having a “cozy” 35 peaks over 3500’ for admission. The mountain criteria was ALWAYS that the peak had to be 3500’ tall. Stay with that requirement. Future members should only have to climb 33 peaks. As you mentioned there are already examples of hikers using shortcuts across private land to get to South Doubletop. To be clear, adding South Doubletop to our list will only encourage people to cross private land regardless of the possibility of prosecution. We should steer clear of this area. And adding Millbrook Ridge will only cause trampling to this seldom visited area. The Club would be promoting the creation of more herd paths as not all hikers would use established trails. Is that what we really want? If and when access to Doubletop and Graham are re-established, they can be added back on to the list. Finishers with 33 summits would be grandfathered in as was done when SW Hunter was added. For the record, when SW Hunter was added, I promptly climbed it to be “whole”. I am aware that Rocky is now considered under 3500’. This peak was thought to be over 3500’ (when I have climbed it) but new measurements have lost a few feet. Sticking with tradition, the peak is rightfully grandfathered in as the Adirondack 46ers have done with Blake, Couch, Cliff and Nye. With Rocky there is no issue with private land so this is not a problem. There is nothing wrong with using the old elevation data. I encourage you not to “water down” our 3500’ criteria by knowingly adding peaks that do not meet our criteria. There is no reason the number has to be 35.

              Respectfully,
              Dave Bourque
              #468
              #533w

              PS. If at some point Millbrook Ridge is confirmed to be over 3500’ then that would be the appropriate time to add it to the list, not now.

              Comment


              • #13
                I think that hikers used to be a group that you could more easily say does no harm. Hikers today are not the hikers of yesteryear, and that's not just because of numbers. There is out-of-control use of microspikes in the seasons that should be easier on the land. Microspikes can be limited, but the user is not self-limiting the way they should. So, what is a landowner to do? What is the DEC to do with the rest of the Catskills, as they are the land manager of the rest? So far, nothing. The numbers of hikers, though, does require this issue to be addressed, even more so. Factors that cause issues... Unfortunately, some issues are never addressed, just accepted.

                As an addition to this thought, hiking clubs should address this also, in my opinion. But, like DSettahr said, hikers don't do self-regulation. The product is out there, so..., what can be done?

                Actually, it would have to be micro-spike police, just like the snowshoe police, that we have out there. So, its really just an attitude shift. Good luck with that, though... I'm only one. It takes more than one to make a shift. Its easier to state the problem, than to actually do anything about it, unfortunately. So here we are, no more Graham and Doubletop.
                Last edited by CatskillKev; 01-17-2021, 07:27 AM.
                I might be kidding...

                Comment


                • #14
                  Originally posted by CatskillKev View Post
                  Should being close to Gould land be a problem?
                  It shouldn't be, but it could be. The temptation to go to the real peak would be great.

                  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!

                  Comment


                  • #15
                    Originally posted by Dave Bourque View Post
                    Below is a copy of the email that I sent to the Catskill 3500 Club Executive Board. The reply I received was very clear that a decision has not been made and dropping the list to 33 peaks is being considered....
                    PS. If at some point Millbrook Ridge is confirmed to be over 3500', then that would be the appropriate time to add it to the list, not now.
                    If I can get LIDAR data for Mill Brook, I'll post here.

                    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!

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X