Wildcat Mountain

Wildcat Mountain, Sterling Forest (2/9/2008)

The last few hikes in Sterling Forest have all had surprises, and this one was no exception. This was a simple out-and-back, beginning at the large parking lot at the intersection of Route 17 and Route 17A near Tuxedo, New York. We took the white-blazed Wildcat Mountain trail north, expecting to reach its northern terminus at Orange Turnpike, and then head back. As you can see, there was no precipitation when we started, but within minutes it started snowing. And then harder. And then even harder. We decided, after about 75 minutes, to turn back -- just to be on the safe side. Of course it stopped snowing by the time we got back to the car, but then began with a fury on our drive home. The forest was lovely in the snow. As if God/the Tao/the Universe/Whatever decided to sprinkle it with powdered sugar. It was magical.
(Click on the thumbnail to bring up a bigger image in a pop-up window)

Tranquil at the trailhead

Creek crossing

A dry forest ... for now

The first switchback up Wildcat Mountain

It's beginning to snow

And harder


Changing the camera batteries at a waterfall

An animal skull placed through a limb

Close-up of teeth


Snow cover begins

Snowing so hard the view is gone (see later photos)


Light dusting makes slippery rocks

There should be a view here too (see later photos)



It wasn't very cold; off came a layer

Off goes my jacket [photo by Laura]


Mountain laurel covered

Wind blew snow onto one side

We turned around soon after this point

Blazes are getting covered!


Damned tree hugger! [photo by Laura]

Damned macro photographer!

See! I told you there was a view here


View south from the ridge

Virabhadrasana III in the forest

View of Route 17 and Interstate 87

Interstate 87 from the ridge

Compare with Row 4, 2nd photo

Ambulance on Route 17

Interstate 87 and Route 17 ... oh, and Dan [photo by Laura]


Same waterfall, snow-sprinkled

Back down the first switchback


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