Download Rusk's Hiking Guide - FREE!

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Re: Download Rusk's Hiking Guide - FREE!

New postby rkugel » Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:10 pm

Thanks for replying Mike. I would be very interested in seeing the route to the Sphinx from Laurel House Road. I'm sure it's much easier than the harrowing way that I went! By the way, the photo you attached is beautiful. The colors are vivid and the contrast is excellent. I can even make out Route 23A in the treeline below. Where was the Sphinx in relation to your shot?

Here's a shot I took from the quarry on my way up. I'm pretty much facing the same direction that you were.

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Re: Download Rusk's Hiking Guide - FREE!

New postby mike » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:48 am

I never went below the ledge. I knew that the Sphinx was below the ledge. I was thinking of going down just west of the ledge. Going up from the parking lot seems to be very difficult. Harrowing is a good word.

I do have better pictures from the ledge, but I can't seem to find them. I have never seen a picture of the quarry. And, I think you picture of the Sphinx is the only recent one that I know of.

Maybe we'll have to explore this area a little more.
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Re: Download Rusk's Hiking Guide - FREE!

New postby rkugel » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:59 pm

Exploring the area around the Sphinx sounds like a great idea for a hike. I bet a lot people have never been to the Sphinx and would welcome the chance to see it. There's also supposed to be an overlook on Prospect Mountain (for the life of me, I can't remember the name of it) where you can see both Kaaterskill Falls and KHP. Bob Guildersleave mentions it in his superb book on the Catskills and I would love to find it. Perhaps we can try for both!

Since you mentioned that you've never been to the quarry on Prospect Mountain, I thought I'd share a few more photos.

More than anything else, these photos convey how precipitous the climb was! My footing was tenuous at best. As I mentioned before, extreme caution must be exercised.

The photo of the old road is rather disorienting, so I'll try to make some sense of it. Believe it or not, the photo is leveled correctly and I was not drunk when I took it! That is simply the slope of the land. I was standing with my back facing the base of ledge with the Sphinx about 30 feet above me and almost directly behind me. I am facing south (towards 23A) and looking down the steep incline towards Kaaterskill Clove. The path you see vaguely curving to the right is the old quarry road.

I am convinced beyond any doubt that our ancestors were "supermen". I was exhausted after that climb and I carried no more than my backpack and my camera bag. I cannot even imagine ascending or descending that hill with a load of stones!

By the way, I remember seeing the road on an old map (possibly either from Rusk or Van Loan, but I can't remember which). I also tried to locate the road by examining the north shoulder of Route 23A, but I could not find any trace. My guess is that the construction of the many retaining walls obliterated all traces of it.




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