A Cold Mountain Hike

Photo by Stijn Dijkstra on Pexels.com

Storm King Mountain State park. Snowy trails. A family of four stumble along one. One of two children—a boy of about 12—slips and falls. None of them wear crimpons, micro spikes worn over footwear. Mira and I hike past them, wondering why people hike in winter so unprepared.

sunlit ascent

the swush-swush

of our boots

The trail bends around the curvature of Storm King Mountain’s southeastern slope. A steep drop-off to our right leads to the partially frozen Hudson River, some 1100 feet below. We take our first break on a rocky outcropping with views of Cold Spring. A father and son arrive. The father asks us to take a photo of them, and I oblige.

soft snow


our gloves

Even with our crimpons, the descent along one trail is too steep and icy. Retracing our steps, we divert to an ascending leg of the trail, perpendicular to our original one. It is a familar one; we both hiked this route last summer. Soon, we see views of Bannerman Island, the Newburg-Beacon Bridge, and nearby Cornwell-on-Hudson.

ice flows

the current moving

in the channel

Stretches of gentle ascents and descents soon lead to Butternut Hill, and a near rock-scrambling descent over snowy and slushy ground. Down one hill, and our trail meanders ever steeply downward. We follow it, until we finally reach the snowy base from which we began.

nearly spring

buffeting the car

this sudden wind

My late contribution for my own hosing of dVerse Poets Pub’s Haibun Monday, where we wrote about Cold Mountain—the mountain experience, or in the style of the eponymous poet.

Categories: haikai, haiku community

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12 replies »

  1. It’s an adventure to be out and about in the mountains in winter. You’ve highlighted a few reasons why. Good idea to be very familiar with your terrain in the good weather so when you’re out in it in winter it can help you with the best paths.

    Liked by 2 people

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