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Sunday, September 23. 2018
Photo is one of the easy sections.
I need to revise anything I said about Mohonk's Labyrinth scramble. It's not doable by the average person. I suspect very few people I know over 40 could handle the challenge. We were the only people we saw attempting it who had some grey hair - the only people over 40 for sure.
In fact, I had a great sense of accomplishment after getting through the Lemon Squeeze up towards the top of Skytop. Proud of myself.
We wondered how they cleaned up the bodies of those who slipped and fell, or got stuck and died of starvation. Must be a special clean-up crew.
With temps in the mid 60s, by the time we got to the top we had shed jackets, vests, and shirts, and still emerged drenched with sweat. I was right: those with daypacks were in trouble going under tight holes under boulders. My pal from youth had to extract my feet from crevices twice. We worked out a routine where he would toss his backpack to me, and I would throw it ahead of us. I smacked my head hard on ledges twice. Slipped and slid a couple of times, not on purpose. Sometimes you have to scramble up almost vertical boulders.
At the top of Lemon Squeeze, a pal's wife who is an accomplished climber gave me advice on how to get up and through it. I was facing right and she advised facing left. Shouting down the crevice in the cliff. There was a one-inch groove in the cliff to get your boot onto, and then you needed to push against the wall for traction and get your foot up 3' for your next purchase. Lean forward. Many places where you could fall. Always lean forward to avoid injury or death.
Well, the Fat Man's Misery section was manageable for us because we are skinny enough. Most challenging and crazy ascent I have ever encountered. Anything more risky would require ropes.
My special kudos go to Mrs. Bulldog. She has no experience with such things. Now, nothing will seem difficult for her. The Breakneck Hike has nothing on this.
So after that, our intrepid group of 9 decided it might be safer to skip another bouldering climb so we all just took a 2-hour hill hike before the fine Mohonk Sunday buffet brunch with beers at 2. I had prime rib with fresh horseradish, fries, blini with caviar, a plate of sausage and bacon, and strawberry ice cream. By complete serendipity, one of my pal's sons ( who joined us) met his girlriend and her family who were spending the weekend at Mohonk, so they joined us for bunch. Good big party. A fine vigorous outing, in my opinion.
So, my final advice is don't take this on because once you begin there is no turning back. If I did not work out, I could not have done it. It is tough for those over 40 without good upper body strength for pulling on rocks, good balance and agility, and a GoGoHiHo, Can-Do attitude.
I eagerly await Bulldog's review. Next time, we should do the Arching Rocks and Giant's Playground boulder fields, which is a serious bitch but easy by comparison.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 19:24 | Comments (19) | Trackbacks (0)
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Ha! I'll post something tomorrow, but honestly, it was one of the toughest climbs I've done. I'm not sure the over 40 comment is fair. After all, at 56 I'll admit to huffing and puffing at least 2 times, but by the time we finished Lemon Squeeze I felt energized and wanted more.
That said, Mrs. Bulldog says thanks for the kudos and points out, for her, the toughest parts were due to her stature and the need, at times, to find a foothold which required a bit more height than God blessed her with.
It was a great day, though, no question.
Toughest ascent I've encountered too.
And the hardest is at the end.
A minor comparison but I had the temporary insanity impulse to crawl through the tunnels of Cu Chi a few years ago and and had a panic attack for the ages.
Incidentally I went to SUNY New Paltz for a couple years and worked briefly as a waiter in Mohonk.
I just watched a GOPro version. Two guys ran through it in less than 15 minutes. That didn't strike me nearly as much as the shot of the 5 year old girl in a sundress and sandals with her little brother half way along.
Watch it yourself. It says it's the Monhonks Labrynith. I skimmed through it again and didn't see the two kidsbut I did see a little girl in shorts and a white top who looks to be about 7, 8 tops.
Can't find that youtube but, believe me, not do-able for a 7 year-old. Probably the Spring Path which runs below the Labyrinth. It begins at the same spot.
The video is Mohonk Labyrinth POV. The guys filiming are obviosuly doing it for time. At 6;35 into the video there is a shot of a young boy and a little girl, at 11:38 is the 7 or 8 year old girl. From ther sign they allow kids 8 and up to climb.
Whatever, it sure looks like a fun time. You've thrown the glove down so I'll have to try it the next rip up that way.
Just completed Vezelay to Saint Jean Pied de Port French Pilgrimage and first stage of the Frances Camino over the Pyranees. 930 kilometers of fun and torture. 44 days...great. Next year I,ll do the Camino de Santiago. 67 years young.
The hardest trail I ever climbed was the Flume Slide Trail in Franconia Notch in the Whites. It’s almost 2000’ straight up over a horizontal distance of about a quarter mile. You can only do it going up, going down would be suicide. The AMC trail guide gives an estimated time of ascent of three hours plus almost two hours to walk in to the base of the trail. I’m way too old to even think about it these days but if you’re up for a challenge, go for it.
Plan on about a nine hour roud trip since it will take you at least another two hours to reurn via one of the easy trails from the top plus rest breaks. There aren’t any tea houses on the trip so you’ll have to carry everything on your back. Good luck and have fun.
We walked the boardwalk moments after they put the last section in. I was exhausted! Lol!
I'm 57 and did it earlier this summer blindfolded, with both hands tied behind my back. Piece of cake!
I'm 57 and I did it last year and probably for the last 10 years in a row. And we did that Arches (maybe wrong name) scramble afterwards which I thought was harder but it might have been due to fatigue..
Did you eat in the dining room or go to that out door area where they have burgers, ribs, corn on the cob etc etc..
It is very challenging. Glad you had a good time.
One year some woman was at the top of the Lemon Squeeze and had a very hard time getting out of that crevice at the top. I was right below her and a line was forming and her husband was trying to pull her up from the top. I finally convinced her to stand on my shoulders and we got her out. lol
They say like 2 or 3 people die there per year. When we go I always make sure an adult is the first one through the Lemon Squeeze because once, out if you walk 10 feet there is a HUGE drop and no railings. You have to be careful if you have kids with you..
Impossible to do in 15 minutes. Unless you walk half way up and take the short cut.. Even then it's impossible.
My wife took me to do this hike under the guise of a nice hike at Mohonk, which I love. Boy, was I in for a surprise. We're both late 50's but in relatively good shape, but still a challenge, esp that last 100 feet up and out. We've enjoyed many similar types of challenging hikes in Acadia National Park - go when the crowds thin out.