2017-11-26 - Harriman North 7 Peak Challenge
The Harriman North 7 Peak Challenge was a hike hosted by Scott through the Hudson Valley Hikers Meetup group. We started around 7:15 AM from Bear Mountain Inn and headed up our first climb to the top of Bear Mountain. Other than the views of the surrounding landscape, the tower at the top and the moon rocks scenic site a short hike later were very cool to see.
As Bear Mountain receded in the distance, we headed southwest to the lean-to near the summit of West Mountain. After a short break, the Timp, Bald Mountain and the out and back to Dunderberg Mountain followed in quick succession. From there, it was a few miles back down to the Bear Mountain Inn area for a lunch break at noon. By this point 12 miles into the hike, I knew many of the other hikers by name and was in good company. We had runners, ultramarathoners, mountain bikers, rock climbers, and hikers who have or are summitting the highest peaks in the Catskills, Adirondacks, or White Mountains. One person, Chris, was even in the middle of changing his technology career into one more fitness and health focused just like me.
We regrouped and walked to the eastern start of the Popolopen Gorge Trail. About a mile and a half down the trail, we turned right onto the Blue Trail to ascent up Popolopen Torne. We loved sitting in the warming sun at the summit next to the monument.
Our route took us east down Popolopen and past Brooks Lake to Fort Montgomery which I remembered from my bike ride up to Poughkeepsie. I loved the foot bridge across the water south of the fort and soon reached the Trailside Museums and Zoo near Bear Mountain. Two of us took a bathroom break there and refilled our water before heading over the Bear Mountain Bridge to the foot of Anthony's Nose.
The steep unofficial bushwack route starting at the bridge up the rocky ridges of Anthony's Nose was slow going but we eventually made it to the top. Many others were there, enjoying the views. An American flag waved in above the hudson river and Bear Mountain Bridge. We really earned it. After one last break here where we could see the Bear Mountain Inn area, we headed down the easier AT path back across the bridge and to our cars. What a great day.
I tracked a total of 21 miles and 5700 feet elevation gain. And most of us succeeded in reaching the summit of 7 peaks.
I used the Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Quick Lock Trekking Poles with Cork Handles which I highly recommend: