Catskill 3500, #3 & #4. Wittenberg and Cornell Mountains
September 25, 2016
Wow, okay. This weekend was a doozy of a hike. My goal was to “bag” both the Wittenberg and Cornell summits. Little did I know how strenuous it would be.
The Wittenberg-Cornell-Slide Trail trailhead is located at the Woodland Valley campground, so I decided to set up base camp at the campground. That way I could do a dayhike on Saturday and return to an already set up tent.
I did my usual leave-after-work-on-Friday trip and arrived at the campground well into pitch black (the sun is going down sooner and sooner these days). I set up by the light of my headlamp and tucked in for what was to be a chilly night. 7:30 am the next morning, I was up and on the trail. Just the initial hike to the Register Box winded me. It couldn’t get harder than this, right? Well, upon reaching the first boulder I had to vertically climb up, I knew that I was in for some serious hiking. This was a tough hike with lots of bouldering required and even a rock “crack” to shimmy up. I came upon three separate hikers who had harnesses hooked up to their dogs in order to raise and lower them.
All in all, this was a very tough hike. I’m glad that I only had a five pound daypack and not a 25 pound backpack. The hike began at 1,400 feet and ascended to 3,800 feet, an elevation gain of 2,400 feet to get to the top of Wittenberg Mountain. Hard work but let me tell you, the view was breathtaking. The exhaustion I felt immediately washed away.
Hopping over to the summit of Cornell Mountain required some more exertion but went by fairly quickly. Cornell had some nice views also but not as panoramic as Wittenberg. I did, however, make a couple new friends. I met Dan and Jen, fellow Catskill 3500ers, and tagged along with them on the loooong, rocky descent back to the campground.
Yeah, #3 and #4 of my Catskill 3500 peaks. Enjoy the photos.
September 24, 2016
Date of Hike
September 24, 2016
Sunny, Clear, Crisp (48°F – 60°F / 8.9°C – 15.6°C
Wittenberg – 3,800 ft / 1,168 m Cornell – 3,800 ft / 1,168 m
Woodland Valley campground
Distance (Round Trip)
10.1 miles / 16.2 kilometers
Total Elevation Gain
3,400 feet / 1,036 meters
+ Beautiful panoramic view from Wittenberg summit + Decent view from Cornell summit
– Precarious bouldering at times – Rarely any level ground – No water sources