Bear(?) on Northeast Aproach to Kaaterskill High Peak

Buttermilk Falls, Cortina, Devil's Kitchen, Haines Falls, Hawkeye, Huckleberry Point, Johnson's Point, Kaaterskill High Peak, Poet's Ledge, Round Top, Viola Falls, Wildcat Falls

Bear(?) on Northeast Aproach to Kaaterskill High Peak

New postby patmauro » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:22 am

On Sat, Jan 18, I was hiking on the NE approach to Kaaterskill High Peak (23A starting point, http://www.catskillmountaineer.com/KM-falls.html) when we encountered some wildlife between Viola and Wildcat Falls right on the trail. About 90% of the way between Viola and Wildcat, the trail goes up a 3-4' rock step (covered in ice this time of the year). I was showing the hiker behind me a handhold when we heard (and felt) a low, prolonged growl from a cluster of bushes about 20' in front of me on top of the step. That was enough for us to retreat 100' and figure out a path around to Wildcat Falls. Based on the sound of the growl and it's volume - it resonated our chest cavities - we think the growl came from a black bear. We told all the hikers we saw on our descent about the encounter, and a few made the questionable decision to try to lure whatever animal we encountered of its den so they could see it. If they managed to find the bear, it might have moved on. One hiker said he'd seen a bear out and about around Jan 4. Apparently the weather might be messing with the bears' hibernation.

In other news, there's plenty of ice around the sides of Buttermilk Ravine. I think I saw a few 40-60' pitches of WI3 and WI4 ice just northwest of where we had the wildlife encounter, and that was before the cold freeze. I'm sure there's even better ice now.
patmauro
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:02 am

Re: Bear(?) on Northeast Aproach to Kaaterskill High Peak

New postby mtnclimber » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:34 pm

Kaaterskill mtn range is known for having lots of bears. You can find them on the trail between the falls almost every morning. It is a hard place for hunters to get to, so the population grows. They do come out in the winter. Not a lot of snow, which brings them out.
mtnclimber
 
Posts: 498
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:46 pm

Re: Bear(?) on Northeast Aproach to Kaaterskill High Peak

New postby mike » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:34 am

Lots of bears on this trail. I have seen them there many times. You can almost count on them being on the trail early every morning. It is too hard for hunters to get them there. Too far to drag them out of the woods or across Kaaterskill Creek. A couple years ago there was a large 500-600 pounder in a den not far from Poet's Ledge. but, a hunter shot him. I often see them around Buttermilk Falls and Twilight Park. I do have a picture of an incredible amount of bear scat around one of the dens. Never had a problem with them. If I am too close they snort or clack their teeth. Never had one growl at me there. But, every bear is different. I'll have to see if I can find that picture.
User avatar
mike
 
Posts: 1419
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:20 pm
Location: Ravena, NY

Re: Bear(?) on Northeast Aproach to Kaaterskill High Peak

New postby kennykb » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:09 pm

Black bears almost never growl. They make kind of a huffing or whoofing sound and clash their teeth when they're upset. But a big coyote can put on quite a growl - think Cujo. And the coyotes stay awake in the winter. Or maybe it was that cougar that people keep reporting and the DEC denies.
I'm not lost. I know exactly where I am. I'm right here.
User avatar
kennykb
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:19 pm
Location: Niskayuna, NY

Re: Bear(?) on Northeast Aproach to Kaaterskill High Peak

New postby kkayaker8 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:51 am

For what it's worth, all hear say, but I ran into a guy I hiked with last year, who last year described a similar situation, minus the growl, and was completely convinced it was not a bear - on KHP. Also, saw (not hear say!) fresh bear prints on Table last weekend...walked on the trail for a while and then veered off.
kkayaker8
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:32 pm

Re: Bear(?) on Northeast Aproach to Kaaterskill High Peak

New postby kennykb » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:08 am

Yeah, that whole area around Slide is full of bears. I did the Giant Ledge/Burroughs Range loop back in October, and saw a bear sow between Giant Ledge and Woodland Valley, noticed bear tracks all over the trail between Terrace Mountain and the start of the Wittenberg scrambles, and stepped in bear poo on the Garden Path between Cornell and Slide. I was particularly careful about hanging my food that trip. ;)
I'm not lost. I know exactly where I am. I'm right here.
User avatar
kennykb
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:19 pm
Location: Niskayuna, NY


Return to Kaaterskill Mtn Range

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron