Another Death at Devil's Kitchen

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Another Death at Devil's Kitchen

New postby dave » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:10 pm

A 17 year old girl who resides in Ulster County fell 100 feet to her death in Platte Clove. She is believed to have fell very close to where Bill Costello (52 years old of Delmar) back on May 1, 2010. According to NYS Police she did not have the proper hiking shoes for this hike. She was hiking with a group of 4 people. There are reports that she stepped away from the others when the accident happen. It is believed that she may have fallen very close to where the forth picture was taken. The land in this area is about 25% in grade. As you get close to the edge the incline increases. Additionally, there are slippery pine needles. If a person falls here, they are is near zero chance of a recovery. The person then slips off the ledge to their death. This area has been the site of many deaths over the years.

Olivia Rose Belfiglio:
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You can visit her Facebook Page here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/RIP-Olivia-Belfiglio/127407273947237?ref=ts

Update #1 (June 4): According to the Kingston Freeman, there were two girls and two boys. The kids "cut" school to go hiking. They are reporting that she fell 200 feet. This region does have cliffs that are 100-200 feet high. It is also reported that they tried to revive her with CPR without success. The Greene County corner was called to scene. It is also reported that the other 3 teens had to be rescued from one of the ledges close to the cliff.

Update #2 (June 5): The name of the 17 year old girl has been released. Her name is Olivia Rose Belfiglio of Saugerties NY. According to sources, the entire Senior class of the high school were hiking in the region for Senior day. It is our information that a small group of 4 people went down the path on the left of Hell's Hole Creek. This region has very slippery pine needles. There have been a staggering number of deaths over the years. She slipped on the slippery surface and once she hit the ground, she could not recover and slid off the ledge. The accident happen approximately at 2:30 PM on Friday, June 4, 2010. Conflicting reports continue to state that the ledge was 100 feet or 200 feet. Based upon what we know, we believe that this particular ledge is around 100 feet high. We have also received unconfirmed that she may have also attended Kingston High School several years ago. We could not confirm this. The EMS agencies involved were NYS Police of Catskill, Tannersville Fire Department, and NYS DEC Forest Rangers. No other names have been released.

Update #3 (June 6): Olivia Belfiglio was an honor roll student of Kingston High School until her Senior year. She had transferred to Saugerties High School a couple of months ago. She had been on the Kingston High School Track Team for quite a few years. She was well liked by friends and classmates of both schools. Olivia Belfiglio was also a Student Member of the Town of Esopus Environmental Board.

She was also an experienced hiker. She loved the outdoors. There are conflicting reports that she was wearing sandals, flip-flops, or sneakers. None of the four hikers were wearing quality hiking boots. The dangers of this particular spot is not obvious to experienced hikers. Even if she had been wearing hiking boots, she many not have realized the dangers. It is possible that she had hiked in this area before. Not that many people know about this trail.

Olivia Belfiglio is the daughter of Ulster County Legislator Carl Belfiglio (Port Ewen). Her Mother lived in Saugerties, NY.

The Wake for Olivia Belfiglio will be held at the A. Carr & Son Funeral Home on 65 Lucas Ave in Kingston New York. Times are from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m on June 6, 2010.

The funeral for Olivia Belfiglio will be at 11 AM, on June 9, 2010 (Wednesday) at St. James United Methodist Church, which is located on the corner of Fair and Pearl streets in Kingston.

Olivia will be buried in the Hurley Cemetery.

Notes to family and friends: You can post pictures and stories on this page. If you need help, please contact me, and we will post them for you. Our condolences go to the Family and Friends.

Note from Catskill Mountaineer: Devil's Kitchen region is exceedingly dangerous. Many very experienced hikers will not hike in this region. It is recommended that you hike in this region with climbing gear (ropes). There is a fairly easy access to a view of one of the larger waterfalls. This area has very slippery pine needles. There have been countless deaths of people falling and sliding off the ledges to their death. There are 14 waterfalls over 20 feet high, and climbing these Falls is exceedingly dangerous and the paths are very slippery. Please do not hike in this region.

More information to follow in Updates.

Image of Devil's Kitchen from Huckleberry Point:
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Antique Grand Canyon Postcard (bridge is now gone):
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Satellite View:
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View of Bridal Veil Falls (near where he fell):
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Memorial to one of many deaths over the years in this region:
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View of Devil's Kitchen from further down Platte Clove Road:
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Terrain Map centered on Huckleberry Point (click on link): http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=42.12681,-74.06219&z=14,&t=R
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Re: Another Death at Devil's Kitchen

New postby kristoon » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:39 am

Dave,

Thank you for posting these warnings.
This is truly heartbreaking and another very tragic loss. Another life taken FAR too soon.
I had really hoped that my father's death would have been a warning to all about this area.
It's just so sad to see another fall so close to my Dad's. :(

My heart breaks for this poor girl's family. I can feel their pain and it just brings back those feelings of what I went through the day I found out that we lost my Dad to the mountains...

God Bless her family.
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Re: Another Death at Devil's Kitchen

New postby mtnclimber » Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:04 am

How sad! My condolences to her family and friends.

Was this a school sanctioned event? Did she fall in the conifer section of the trail? I wonder if they got curious from the accident back in May.
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Re: Another Death at Devil's Kitchen

New postby mike » Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:27 am

I don't know if it is a "sanctioned" event or not. From what I understand, it was "Senior Skip Day".

It is my understanding that this is where she fell. This region doesn't appear to be dangerous. But, when I hike down there, my hiking boots slip-and-slide as I hike down the 25% grade. The 25% grade isn't that bad. But, the slippery pine needles are what is dangerous. If you fall, you will continue to slide off the cliff. It is very hard to self-arrest on the pine needles. It is probably safer to hike in the Winter then in the Summer.

Back in the 1970's when the area was very popular, there were a lot of deaths. Most occurred where the picture of the water falls was taken. Back then, there were few trees and bushes on the ledge of the clove. The pine trees were there.

There is a concern that people will visit the area after reading about the deaths. I hope this is not the case. There are plenty of great places to hike without visiting this region. Most people who do hike here, are very experienced hikers and rock climbers. I strongly recommend climbing gear. I prefer a group of about 3 people. I would never hike in a group greater then 5 people. I cannot overemphasize the dangers here. It is an exceedingly dangerous place to hike. Better yet, don't hike in the Devil's Kitchen.
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Re: Another Death at Devil's Kitchen

New postby bikenhike » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:20 am

My condolences go out to the family. She was so young. I had biked up Platte Clove Road a couple weeks ago.
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Re: Another Death at Devil's Kitchen

New postby dave » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:34 am

The Devil's Kitchen and Hell's Hole get their name from the unbelievable number of dangers. Some of the dangers are obvious, and some are not obvious at all. The ones that are NOT obvious, are the ones that claim so many lives. Hence the name Devil's Kitchen and Hell's Hole. Of particular concern is the rim. The land slopes off the ledges in many points. When people slip near the rim, they often slide off the ledge before they can get themselves self-arrested. In some areas, it is not possible to become self-arrested. It is this rim that claimed the lives of Bill Costello on May 1 and Olivia Belfiglio life on June 4.

If you are not a very experienced hiker, you should stay out of this region. If you are experienced, then obtain a guide who knows the area. Some routes are much safer then others. NYS DEC Forest Rangers strongly recommend getting an experienced guide. There are NO official trails in this region! Hiking with ropes and a harness are strongly recommended. The area is often used by ice climbers in the Winter.

I cannot emphasize the dangers of this area. And, PLEASE do not take the trail down into the clove at the mouth of the parking area.
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Re: Another Death at Devil's Kitchen

New postby heartbrokenFather » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:38 am

Hi,
I am the father of Olivia Rose Belfiglio, My name is Carl Belfiglio. As you can imagine, my family and I are struggling with the realization of what happened to Olivia on Friday June 4th 2010. I only know what the New York State Police have told me about her fall. As her father, I am trying to piece together what happened that day. I am devastated at the loss of my beautiful Olivia, question the lack of information I have received from the State of N.Y. Department of Environmental Conservation and angry at the fact that in the past Month and a half there have been two deaths in this area called Devils Kitchen. I called the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Director Eugene Kelly and did receive a call from Peter Innes, who is knowledgeable with this area. He tried to describe the area to me but had to rely on publications and Google earth to assist him. You all here seem to know much more about this area than the State of New York and I ask for your help. It is not my intention to deny anyone the beauty and rich experience our Catskill region offers, yet I will pursue answers and information about this area in the hopes that Olivia's death will be the last. This Saturday June 19, I will visit Platte Clove and the area known as Devils Kitchen with the New York State Police in an attempt to see where Olivia and her friends hiked. I am also inviting Kristen Costello-Truax, the Daughter of William Costello, who died there on May 1st 2010. I ask any hiker who has been to the area where these two deaths occurred to contact me and help me understand the area better and perhaps come with us on Saturday and offer your experience and knowledge of the area. My only intention is to prevent this from happening again. Email cbef@co.ulster.ny.us
Carl Belfiglio
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