We set off this past Saturday to hike 4 peaks in one day - an aggressive challenge, but one we were all eager to accept. The goal was to top Plateau Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain, Twin Mountain and Indian Head Mountain. We started out from Notch Lake at 9 am and began our hike up Plateau Mountain.
The first mile is a grueling 1900 foot ascent. The smile you see above was quickly replaced with that of, "Seriously... why did I plan this hike?" But thankfully, I have been conditioning for weeks, between our major hikes, and all that hard work was paying off. Yes, I am slow going when it comes to the climbs, but today I was doing well and going at a pace comfortable for me. Alas, the hard work was about to payoff - we hit our first real view and it was glorious!
We continued on across Plateau Mountain and began our decent - an insane decent at that! Everyone's knees hurt and at that moment, it dawned on me that we will be doing this 3 more times! I had the voice of Boromir from Lord of the Rings saying, "One does not simply hike multiple peaks in the Catskills".... But hey, a challenge is a challenge!
We go ahead and start up to the peak of SugarLoaf, where I had been planning all along to help a dear friend on the hike celebrate her birthday. What better way to celebrate than to surprise her with a cupcake on SugarLoaf! Success!
And this is even after I managed to slip and fall flat on my backpack, bruising and slightly scraping my arm. Everyone who knew about the surprise was worried I was hurt, and just as worried about the cupcake they knew was stashed in my backpack. Two frosted flowers came undone, but I was able to pop those back on and use one of the candles to hold it in place.
Time to push on again and make our way down SugarLoaf. Two peaks down. Two more to go!
We start up Twin Mountain and we are all feeling the pains and pressures of the hike today. It's starting to become clear that this may be our last peak for the day. We hit a point on the hike where it was a sheer cliff - with barely enough footholds to climb up. It's navigable for folks over a certain stature, but for the smallest in our group, we were thankful we had rope to help her scale the sheer wall.
Once we get over that point I start to fall pretty far behind. I tend to bring up the rear of the group in general since I am slow going up. This changes on the descent - I tend to bounce down the mountain as going down doesn't hurt me as bad as most. The good thing is, I could still hear the ladies off in the distance and my dear husband stayed right by my side - encouraging me the whole time. It's moments like this that remind me of just how lucky I am to have someone as wonderful as him in my life. Finally, at last, we made it and we are rewarded with the best view of the day. The smile on my face is that of satisfaction - I knew we were going to nix the last peak, but that's ok. We still accomplished a lot in one day.
We hiked 9.53 miles in 9 hours and 23 minutes. We celebrated a birthday and we topped 3 mountains. Today was a good day.