That that don't kill me, can only make me stronger. I need you to hurry up now, cause I can't wait much longer. Kanye West, Stronger

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sweat to the summit

Hiking was so much fun today. It's hard to believe that this great spot is less than an hour from the city. I hadn't been hiking in years, and this mountain, Breakneck Ridge was serious business. Definitely far more difficult than I had imagined, but totally doable, exhilarating and rewarding.

Breakneck Ridge is between Beacon and Cold Spring, New York, so we climbed up the two peaks and down into Cold Springs Village which is a pretty cute little town.

For more info on the hike check out the GORP review, which is pretty accurate. I am glad I read it after the climb, but here are a few excerpts:

"Hudson Highlands State Park and the hills immediately to the northeast present a far more rugged feel than anywhere else in the chain. Along the Hudson's eastern bank lies bulky Mount Taurus, the all-but-vertical rock face of Breakneck Ridge These are the craggy, weather-beaten relics of once-overwhelming mountains...They offer rewarding views and also present the most difficult hiking in the Highland chain."

"Once you locate the trailhead, navigation is simple. If you deviate much from the rock ledges that comprise most of the trail, you'll fall hundreds of feet down the mountain's south face. Take utmost care on Breakneck, as carelessness has occasionally resulted in deaths. When you reach the summit, the surrounding landscape flattens out considerably. You feel you can reach out and touch Storm King, directly across the water. Taurus looms to your southeast, and the views of West Point are unsurpassed. Relax, picnic, and enjoy the views. While the climbing is arduous, Breakneck is not a long-distance hike."

This was hard but there were not really any "jump and trust my luck" places where I had to jump to reach the next hand hold. However, there were a few "grip don't fail me now" spots.

View looking up from the streetThe start of the climb, just steps in. I instantly realized this was not a walk in the woods. Almost to the top of the first peak, wow that's steep!

These would be the great views, several along the climb! But we are only about halfway up!

This was the steepest patch, basically vertical rock without too many foot holds. Totally doable.
At the top of the first summit. I am much happier than I look, I just wasn't ready for the photo!

I think I could have busted out my Girl Scout skills a bit more and shared the responsibility for map and campus reading and trail blaze navigation, but I decided to follow the leader today.

The peaks took about an hour and half and were a great workout! The rest is cake, you really get to enjoy your way down. The area (originally Dutch New Netherlands) is rich with history and the remains of old farms and mills can be found along the route. After being abandoned around 200 years ago, the forest grew over the farmlands. It's amazing all this new growth in so little time. It gives me hope for the earth's resilience!

After the climb we walked into cold spring for a little shopping, and a well deserved nosh a Blue Moon (him) and a diet coke (me), lots of ice water and a plate of sweet potato fries (shared).

One last silly photo, just for fun and to show you that I do smile!

At Dylan's Candy Bar holding an ingenious shirt "Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts." Shocking that I look infinitely more happy in a land of chocolate, sugar, and cute shirts by Dylan Lauren! Lately my fav desserts have been Stoneyfield Cookies and Dream froyo and almond butter stuffed menjool dates. yum-o
Note: I am equally sweaty in both photos. Crazy that running around in NYC humidity is about equal to mountain climbing on the personal dew point factor!

Happy trails folks!


VeggieGirl said...

Such gorgeous scenery for your hike!

Dylan's Candy Bar!! I haven't been there in YEARS!!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a fun time! What pretty scenery!!