Some people curtail their hiking during November. Reasons include: fear of hunters, the cold, the approaching holidays. The list goes on and on. I find indian summer to be a great time to hike. The bugs are gone, you can control your body temperature with a couple light layers, you can keep food and drink somewhat cold in your pack, you have better visibility since those leaves that obstruct your view in the spring and summer are gone.
Leesa and I chose Catamount for a hike based on another recommendation from staff at The Mountaineer. They had recommended Noonmark and Catamount as a pair of great peaks for half day adventures with rocky summits.
Our stats for the day:
Trailhead Elev: 1626'
Summit Elev: 3173'
Round Trip Distance: 3.57 miles
Total Vertical Gain: 1684'
Round Trip Hike Time: 3 hours
The temperature was about 30 degrees when we started and about 40 degrees when we finished. There was no wind, a deep blue sky and not a cloud in sight during most of the hike.
Catamount has a nice rock scrabble area on the shoulder of the mountain that is a nice reward in itself. There's a short section where you'll need to use your hands to help you climb in that area. We reached the scrabble in 1 hour, and the summit a half an hour later.
|Looking NE towards Catamount from Forestdale Road|
The trail was not officially marked, but is shown on the National Geographic map. We had no problem following the herd path and there were many rock cairns up higher on the trail.
View Catamount Mountain 20111105.kml in a larger map
Catamount is located just north of Whiteface Mountain. Although it is a little ways north of the heart of the high peaks, Catamount is worth the trip and shouldn't be missed.