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Rick Brockway

February 15, 2013

Winter is wonderful, as long as you don't freeze

I went skiing Wednesday at Belleayre Mountain. It was one on those spectacular winter days. Temperatures were in the lower 30s, there was no wind and the sky was as blue as it gets. The sun was bright and the conditions were perfect.

One of the best parts of the day was the magnificent views of the Catskills from on top of the mountain. We’d get off the chairlift and there it was in front of us. It was perfectly clear, so we could see every mountain peak for at least

30 miles.

I bring this up because this winter is a wonderful time to hike in the Catskills as well. There’s little snow in the woods and every peak has a view.

I have always preferred to hike in the Adirondacks because of all the treeless summits. You can see other mountains from the tops of many of the High Peaks, but the Catskills lack that once the leaves come out, for the most part. There are few mountaintops in the Catskills that offer the views I am interested in seeing come summer.

I can hear it now from some of you: It’s cold out there!

Sure it is. It’s winter in the Northeast, and that usually means snow, ice and freezing temperatures. But let me tell you about a young friend of mine and cold weather.

Jonathan Deitch is a local man. He grew up in Franklin, works at Covidien in Hobart and has become a fantastic photographer. He likes to hike in the Adirondacks, too.

Even as crazy as I am, though, I question his sanity sometimes.

Last weekend, he went to the High Peaks to get some photographs of the snow-covered mountains and the ice-covered ponds in the backcountry. He and a friend started hiking in at midnight to get the photos he wanted when the sun came up. The only problem he had was staying warm enough. It was 25 degrees below zero.

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Rick Brockway

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