Snowshoeing in Catskills – Table and LoneCatskills雪鞋健行 – 登上 Table 和 Lone

“I can’t believe this is my first winter hike of this season,” stunned by the snow-buried mountain range, I soliloquized.
My mountains complained to me, “Why does it take so long for you to visit us?”
“Yes, it has been too long,” I echoed.

It was winter, and Catskills in winter are always beautiful. Rocky and steep terrains in the Catskills earn them a good reputation, in which a 24-mile long trail is called the Devil’s Path. But, in winter, devils retreat from their playground and yield it to white angels, with whom we humans dance hand-in-hand on the soft and tender snow and our hearts are soon filled up with joy.

Saturday morning, we took off by dawn. The plan was to peak-bag Table and Lone and if possible, Rocky. We hiked in Phoenicia-East Branch Trail and turned onto Peekamoose-Table Trail. We were making good time and our spirits were high; who could have expected that first gate-watcher of the peaks was only several turns away?

It was the Neversink River. Neversink never sinks; even if the severe winter has frozen it by a couple feet from the banks, under the thin ice, the current keeps running day and night. Across the river, there laid two logs, one was inches below the other but together these two logs should serve as a bridge. They looked inviting yet malicious: Under the several inches of fresh snow, does it hide a layer of ice which is so slippery that we might trip and therefore are forced to terminate our journey?

A few of us managed to cross the river; we not only walked on the logs, but crawled with our hands and slid with our butts. The others searched up and down and finally spotted an opening pathway where the water was shallow enough. It took us good 30 minutes or longer, but at least our group was safe and dry. Shortly, the sun came to join us, as if a fairy swung her wand, the brightness of this new member energized us right up and we threw Neversink behind us.

Fresh snow bathed in the sunlight looked just delicious. On the ground there was pile after pile of granulated sugar. On the leafless branches, rock candies with mixed-fruit flavors reflected rainbow colors. Cotton candies fell on top of evergreens. Water ice was served on semicircle plates made of fungi and was waiting for you to put a cherry on top.

As we were approaching the summit of Table, through the cherry flower blossom, there was the clear sky, whose blue was so pure and transparent. I had a chance to break the trail for a while. The snow was powdering and deep which made breaking trail a challenging and tiring job, but in return I got to enjoy the widest and freshest view and it was magnificent. I looked around; with this blue, with this white, I wondered whether I was in fact floating with ocean waves, otherwise how could I witness this sand beach and watch all the corals swimming in the sea?

We bushwhacked to the summit of Lone from the col between Table and Peekamoose. It was almost 3 o’clock which meant we had no time to collect Rocky. We shot toward northwest and descended swiftly to the Neversink. Pushing ourselves pretty hard like marching a troop, we hiked along the riverbank and gladly we stepped back on Peekamoose-Table Trail before sunset.

The moon accompanied us for the last one and half miles, and we were back to the trailhead. It was a long trip: we were on our snowshoes for almost 11 hours. Everybody was tired and starving but everybody was excited and fulfilled. This trip, just as one of the crew said, “How can we find a better day?”




那是Neversink River,河如其名,永不沈。就算嚴酷的冬季,也只能從沿岸凍出一兩英尺的冰,卻,在那層薄薄的冰下,河流還是不停地向前奔流,不捨晝夜。河上搭著兩段圓木,高低不平,勉強可以做為橋樑,只是這橋樑似乎不懷好意,讓隊伍有些猶豫。會不會圓木上那幾吋的積雪下,暗藏滑不溜手的冰,等著讓隊伍摔入河流,被迫遣返?






6 thoughts on “<lang_en>Snowshoeing in Catskills – Table and Lone</lang_en><lang_zh>Catskills雪鞋健行 – 登上 Table å’Œ Lone</lang_zh>”

  1. 同樣身處雪國

  2. 我倒是還沒有看過日本的雪呢,

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