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Local Sports

November 30, 2012

There's always something to climb

I got an email the other day from one of my readers. She told me about two women in their 50s who had some amazing achievements this year. So I checked it out.

Nancy Macdonald and Cheryl Pellets spent a lot of spare time cycling. All of us who ride find it a little saddening when we have to put our bikes away for the winter. When that happens, I hunt and ski, but others find another way to be active.

These two adventurous women decided to climb all of the 35 Catskill Peaks that rise above 3,500 feet. This would be a feat in itself, but they decided to do it in the winter.

Well we all know how little snow we had last winter, but there was enough cold and ice to make it a real challenge. Some of the climbs have no trail to the summit, so they had to bushwhack their way through brush and forest to reach the peaks.

Living in Delaware County made their climbs much easier, and they completed their quest between January and March. Four of the peaks were even summited twice.

As spring rolled around, they decided to head north and take on the Adirondacks. After all, “the bug bit.”

They needed to continue. The Adirondack High Peaks offered a slightly different obstacle, however. They weren’t in their backyards anymore. A climb in the area around Lake Placid was several hours away from Hamden.

One of their climbs in the spring was Giant Mountain. Summiting Giant was a daunting task, but they were unable to get to the adjacent Rocky Peak Ridge. They would have needed snowshoes to get there, so they’d have to check off Rocky Peak at a later time.

Nancy and Cheryl decided to make a change in their hiking and climbing plans for the summer. They chose to hike the Northville-Placid Trail. This is a wonderful, 125-mile stroll through some of the most outstanding wilderness in the entire northeast. So with packs on their backs, they left the Benson trailhead and started north.

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