I had forgotten just how breathtaking its views are; after all the climbing I’ve done, it was nice to scan the peaks from the opposite direction.
Staring down the sheer south side of Redfield, thick with what is nearly impassibly thick trees and debris, and over to Allen Mountain jutting steeply from the surrounding flats, a vulture launched beside me a circled the thermals over my head. I understood the symbolism, took some pictures and headed back.
The Catskills seemed like a good option for distance and vertical, and additionally there are two over-4,000′ peaks which are part of the New England “115” peaks. (The 46 Adirondack peaks are part of that list, too, along with 48 in the White Mountains, 14 peaks in Maine and 5 in Vermont.) I chose to start with Slide Mountain, the highest point in the Catskills and an easy climb.