Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Breakneck Ridge Hike

Two weeks after my vacation...and I was itching for a hike.  I decided to head up to Breakneck Ridge Trail in the Hudson Highlands State Park.

Breakneck Ridge is a mountain between Cold Spring and Beacon.  There is a small parking lot and side of the street parking, and Metro North even has limited train serve to Breakneck Train Station.

Bank Boy had hiked this trail a few times and wanted to come along...I said OK.  I figured it would be good to do this one with someone...and even better that he knew what I was getting myself into.

The white trail, aka breakneck trail, starts near the tunnel and quickly ascends up the mountain.  The path is rocky and steep. As Bank Boy was telling me about the trail in the car, I started to worry, climb rocks?  I did an indoor rock climbing a few years before, and I did become comfortable with it after a while, but I was harnessed in.  This would not be the case on the hike, he told me we would just be rock scrambling.  I haven't heard of rock scrambling before.

Basically you are climbing rocks, sometimes scurrying around them to get up.  I was slow!  There were a few parts I was nervous, but the first I had a group of people quickly approaching behind me so I couldn't panic, I just had to do it so I wouldn't hold them up, the second part I couldn't find a place for my foot and hand...and started to slip...I panicked, but Bank Boy came to my rescue and didn't let me fall to my death...OK, it wasn't that dramatic, but in the moment that is how it felt!  

And it was exhausting.  I like to think I am not in horrible shape, but climbing those rocks and taking huge leaps up was tiring.  Constantly planning your next step.  And we did this for about a mile and a half.  I took a few breaks and the sweat started pouring down, I was glad for a mild summer morning.

me at the first summit
There are several summits, the first one we reached was about 720 feet above sea level and offered a beautiful view.  Two more to go before we hit the top.

There were a few people going down the steep rocks, they were in fantastic shape, that is not something I would even consider.  Once started on this path, you are committed to go to the top where you'll hit other colored trails that offer, for me a 'regular' hiking experience.

We took the blue trail to the red trail back down the mountain.

Here is a map.

view from the first summit looking south

 My pedometer logged:  12,590 steps, 136 flights, 5.1 miles and about 1200 calories.

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