Catskill Peak Experiences

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Eighty-eight different mountaineers/writers offer 101 true tales of high adventure in the Catskill Mountain High Peaks, as compiled and edited by Carol Stone White. The stories are divided into sections that include: Marathon Hikes, Wildlife Encounters, Wild Weather, Navigating in the Wilderness, Misadventures, Winter Adventuring, Lost in the Wilderness, Mysteries, Reminiscences, and Catskill Mountain Highs. Since 1962, mountain climbers in the Northeast have joined the quest for membership in the Catskill 3500 Club, reserved for hikers who summit all thirty-five Catskill Mountain peaks over 3,500 feet high. Adding to the challenge, four peaks must be climbed in winter, and thirteen of the peaks are trailless. (A special, separate membership badge is awarded to those who summit all 35 peaks in winter.) Despite these obstacles, the Catskill 3500 Club has over 1,700 members, and membership continues to flourish. It s no surprise that many seekers after this hikers Holy Grail come out of the wilderness with tales to tell. Some of these tales of success and failure, misery and exultation, rejuvenation and near-death, make their way into the Club s quarterly newsletter, the Catskill Canister (named for the canisters the club has placed on the trailless peaks to pinpoint the summits). Carol Stone White, a Club member (summer and winter) and accomplished writer and editor of hiking guidebooks, sifted through 45 years of Canister issues and solicited stories from current hikers to come up with over 100 tales that run the gamut from exhilaration to sheer terror.