Panther Mountain – Catskills, NY

May 6, 2009 at 4:59 pm 5 comments

Several friends were hiking Panther today, so I decided to join them. It was raining heavily when I rolled out of bed, but the forecast and radar looked promising, so I hoped for the best. By the time I drove to the meeting point, the rain had mostly stopped, and it looked like the day would be OK. Things got even better as we drove south to the Catskills.

At 3720 feet, Panther is the 18th highest of the Catskill summits. The usual approach from the south first climbs and crosses Giant Ledge, a minor summit with spectacular views from its eastern cliffs.   Unfortunately, the USGS classifies Giant Ledge as a “cliff”, rather than as a “summit”, so today would not be a two-fer.  The clouds were mostly just above us, and wisps of cloud were hanging around and over some of the other nearby summits.

Slide from Giant Ledge

In true Catskill fashion, the trail was a series of steps, first a steep rocky climb, then a flat section, followed by another steep rocky climb.

Rocky trail

Like Saturday’s hike to Balsam Mt., wildflowers were everywhere today. On Balsam, the real stars of the show were the spring beauty and red trillium. Panther had some of each as well.

Spring beauty Red trillium

But far overshadowing the spring beauty, today’s star was the trout lily, named for its spotted leaves. They were everywhere, both singly and in clumps or even carpets.

Trout lily Trout lily

Reaching a viewpoint near the summit that has obviously been both created and improved by illegal cutting, we stopped for lunch.

Lunch near summit

After lunch, we made a quick trip to the true summit, where I downed a cheeseburger for the team.

Summit cheeseburger

As we headed back toward Giant Ledge, the clouds were rolling over it, and the views of the morning were all but obscured. We descended down the steep and rocky trail and reached the car after another fine day in the woods.

Entry filed under: New York Summits.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sirloinofbeef  |  May 7, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Another fine looking Catskills hike – seems like you’re hungry for Cheeseburgers. Thanks for the little plant identification lessons, I remember the trout lily from my days in NY.


  • 2. adk46r2783  |  May 7, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Nah, since I’m hiking anyway, I’m just doing this to impress friends by saying that I’m ranked #12 in the world. Then they find out the details and think I’m certifiably insane. Cold White Castle cheeseburgers don’t do much to inspire hunger.

  • 3. samh  |  May 7, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Your rank is probably skewed as the database hasn’t been updated since last fall I don’t think. * hint hint *

    Thanks for the trip report. I think I’m going to start referring to things as Giant “this” and Giant “that as it has a cool ring to it.

    • 4. summitcheese  |  May 8, 2009 at 9:10 am

      Oddly enough the database has been updated. Mr. adk46r2783 is now tied for 10th place IN THE WORLD. And samh – you’ve rocketed to a tie for 31st place IN THE WORLD.

  • 5. samh  |  May 8, 2009 at 4:59 pm


    I’m speechless… : 0


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The Mission

To encourage, enable, and document the consumption of a Cheeseburger on every summit on earth.
May 2009
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