Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ein Gedi Nature Reserve

Judean Desert, Israel

Hiking Members:
Avigael Friedman
Mutty Friedman
Gitty Friedman

Took a winter break to Israel, and made sure to take a hike to Ein Gedi, an oasis in the desert. The temperature was surprisingly warm - about 80 degrees. Not bad for February.

Started at Nachal David up through several waterfalls (the most popular part of the hike where it is quite busy with people), up to David's Fall, and headed up the mountain passed Shulamit Spring and the Chalcolithe Temple Ruins. Took a break at Ein Gedi Spring, then hiked down the Lookout trail and then cut accross to get to the trailhead.

After the main hike took a short hike down the dry river bed of Nachal David to the Dead Sea.

On Nachal David Trail looking East towards Dead Sea

Cliff on side of Nachal David
David's Waterfall

Mutty Friedman in a natural arch

On lower Summit, with Dead Sea as background

Me on top of cliff, near Chalcolithe Temple

Climbing down cliff near lower summit.

Mt. Yishai, from the bottom

Another profile of Mt. Yishai.
Note the Ibex's and their huge horns

Descending the dry riverbead towards the Dead Sea.
At the Dead Sea shore.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Diamond Mountain, Pine Meadow Lake/Lake Wanoksink

Harriman State Park,
Rockland County, NY

This hike was on one of the few "warm" winter days - the temperature was in the 40's and the snow was wet and melting. Parked car at the lot at the Lake Sebago landing. Hiked southwest along the trail that hugs the shore of the lake. At the end of the lake by the dam, took Tuxedo Mount Ivy Trail briefly (for about 3 minutes) to the beginning of the orange-blazed Hillburn Torne Sebago (HTS) Trail. Went south up the cliff scramble to the summit of Diamond Mountain. At top at intersection of Seven Hills Trail, turned north onto Seven Hills. Went to the viewpoint overlooking Lake Sebago, then turned around for about a minute or two to the Diamond Tower Mountain (DTM) Trail.

Took the DTM Trail south down the mountain, then at the bottom bushwacked across the old dam over the swamp to the old Pine Meadow "Road". Went south on Pine Meadow Road till Pine Meadow Lake. Hung out by the lake for a bit, then headed on the unmarked road thru Pine Meadow Mountain to Lake Wanksink. Then headed north on Pine Meadow Road, made a left onto Woodtown Road, and continued along the Seven Hills Trail where it met with Woodtown Road. Took Seven Hills back to the parking area.

Lake Sebago on east shore looking east to Dutch Dr.
The thick ice layer on the lake is beginning to melt.

Ditto. With the trees as a foreground.

On east shore of Lake Sebago looking towards the gap.

Pine Meadow Trail right before the HTS Junction.
Looking southeast towards Diamond Mnt. (background)

Steep scramble in the snow near summit of Diamond

Lookout on Diamond Mnt. near the summit.
From 7 Hills Tr. looking northeast to Lake Sebago.

Looking east towards the south portion of Lake Sebago.

Me at the lookout atop Diamond Mnt.

West side of Diamond Mountain,
looking towards Pine Meadow Lake.

Rocky Point at Pine Meadow Lake.
Note the tire tracks on the lake.

Lake Wanoksink, south end of Lake.

Lake Wanoksink south end.
Note the tire tracks on the lake.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Kakiat Park During Snowstorm

Kakiat County Park,
near Suffern, NY

Hiked at the foot of Kakiat Mountain during snowstorm. This was a brief hike just to get out in the snow. Took the Old Mill Trail along the Mahwah River around and back to the Kakiat Trail, back to parking lot. Photos taken from my cell phone camera.

At beginning before bridge crossing Mahwah R.

Mahwah River on the Old Mill Trail

Kakiat Trail trailhead

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ramapo Torne Hike

Harriman State Park,
near Sloatsburg
Rockland County, NY

This hike was on a relatively warm winter day. It may have even hit 50 degrees! The warmth was especially appreciated considered it was hardly above freezing since mid-December. Anyways, parked at the Visitor Center trailhead at 7 Lakes Drive right outside of Sloatsburg, and headed south on the red-blazed Pine Meadow Trail for about 3 minutes until I hit the blue Seven Hills Trail. Went south along this trail, and took the turn east to ascend the mighty Ramapo Torne. Near the top headed south on the HTS trail to the panoramic summit. The wind was awful on the rocky summit and I couldn't stay there long. I had an excellent view of the Manhattan skyline looking past the sheer cliff to the southwest.go

On my 2003 edition of the Trail Conference map, it shows the HTS trail as ending here, but I was quite surprised to see the orange blazes continue past the summit. I continued along to discover the end source of this path. The trail descended SHARPLY, and I mean sharply, down those cliffs, and I slid down the melting snow and ice. The trail ended up looping around like a drunk lollipop back to the Seven Hills Trail. I then took the Seven Hills Trail back to the car.

Heading south on 7 Hills.
The mountain behind the trees is Ramapo Torne.

Junction of HTS and 7 Hills near the summit.

The Manhattan Skyline from the summit.
The helicopter came in just at the right time.

Another Skyline Pic

Looking south towards the Ramapo Notch
and the Sheraton Crossroads in Mahwah

Auto-timer from the summit

It's about an 1.30 till sunset so I had this great
shadow perspective right below the summit.

Looking northwest from the summit

Looking north from the summit.
The first mountain is South Hill, and that follows all
the way to "Almost Perpendicular" at Dater Mountain,
which you can see in the right corner of the pic.

The descent. This is about a 70 degree angle.
Its a good thing the ice was melting otherwise
this would be totally impossible.

Down below with the summit in the distance behind the trees.