A return to the stunning Slide Mountain for the second time this year, ascending into the seductive clutches of a dense forest of snow-laden conifers, with a copy of John Burroughs’ In The Catskills. A commemorative plaque to Burroughs is affixed to a large rock at the summit under which the writer frequently camped. Slide is so named because of a landslide that occurred in the early nineteenth century on its north face where the scar is still apparent after having been refreshed by another landslide in 1992 and the entire area was thoroughly traversed by the writer.
According to the Catskill 3500 Club, you can see 33 of the other 34 Catskills high peaks from the summit of Slide and it certainly feels that way when you’re peeking out through the evergreens at the top of Slide, which is the highest peak in the Catskills at 4180ft.
The last time I hiked this peak a couple of weeks ago, which you can read about here, it was warmer, but we were shrouded in fog at the summit that blocked the magnificent views. Yesterday, we had clear skies but it was colder and almost all of the many low stream crossings on the first mile or two of the hike were completely frozen over and there was at least another foot of snow in the conifer forest that caps the summit. There was a foot of untouched, virgin snow at the top of the Curtis-Ormsbee trail at its junction with the Wittenberg Cornell trail 0.8 miles from the summit: a perfect snowshoe trail.