Crevices

Lake Minnewaska and surrounding areas as they are now.
Ken
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Crevices

Postby Ken » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:13 pm

Time to start a new thread!

The Crevices are one of the most fascinating places in the Shawangunk (pronounced Shon-gum)! Unfortunately, the Park views this out of the way treasure only as an "accident waiting to happen" and accordingly they have covered the trail and removed the cairns that used to mark the way. To my knowledge, no one has ever been seriously hurt exploring this spot probably because it is an obvious danger that constantly reminds you of your place within the universe.

If you have something to share about this wonder, please place it here so that those searching for information can find it!

As an aside... Sam, Nina and I photographed the site from the air on the morning of September 11th. As we twisted and turned above the lake and arced low over the Crevices the planes bound for the twin towers passed a few miles to our east.

And Susan Titsworth walked around the lake. If nothing else, all of us are learning that this is an incredibly small world!

See the last few comments regarding the Minnewaska Poster to see some additional comments.

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Postby Admin » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:15 pm

Here are a couple of photos of the crevices (I think!!... never been there) which we took. I didn't think they came out that great which is why I didn't put them up before.

<img src="http://lakeminnewaska.org/pics/crev1.jpg">

<img src="http://lakeminnewaska.org/pics/crev2.jpg">

Ken
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Postby Ken » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:16 pm

Good job, Sam!

The top two pictures show the Crevices from the South (North at the top of the picture). The last photo is the entrance to what we called the Old Iron Mine located near the powerline on the Gertrude's Nose Trail, Northern End. I am searching hard but cannot come up with the name of the fellow adventurer -- how about some help here!

Exploring this crevice was an outlandish exploit. Jim Dahl, Bob Gastrock and I found it and followed the downward sloping floor until we came to the end: a jumble of rocks blocking the crevice itself. To my knowledge, that is as far as anyone ever got before us.

Since Jim was always the most adventurous (fool-hardy?) I will give him credit for suggesting that we try to climb over the fallen rocks to see if we could reach the other side. We stayed close to the wall on the left side following a ledge until we entered "The Chois" about 30 or 40 feet in the air. We wormed our way down until we couldn't go any further, at least I couldn't. Simply put, I was thicker than my cohorts.

Jim and Bob did go on and found that they were able to get to the back side of the fallen walls coming out about 50 feet in the air. Obviously, this was going to be a challenge!

We came back some time later with rope, carabiners, slings and (most importantly) a hammer and chisel. In the small confines of "the chois" we broke away a sharp ledge of rock so that I could make it to the other side. Once there, I tended the rope as Jim and Bob rappelled to the bottom and continued to explore. Their journey took them through the Shawangunk Grit to the shale layer below -- the only time I ever observed this.

Now, I was supposed to be able to get help if it was needed... but, as we left, we learned that the only way I could get out was to exhale as Jim pulled while Bob pushed. So much for leaving one guy to summon assistance!

Suzanne Phillips

Postby Suzanne Phillips » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:17 pm

The fellow coming out of the old iron mine looks suspiciously like Jim Dahl. I never actually went in the mine, but was relegated to sitting in the cool draft at the entrance so that I could run get help if needed. It felt as if the mine were breathing - cool breaths of cave air - felt great on a hot day in August.

Ken
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Postby Ken » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:17 pm

Good guess, but I believe that the person in the photo is named Hank or Henry. Can't remember a last name. Perhaps he'll log on and catch up with us! Let's ask Jim Dahl and Bob Gastrock.

As for the cool breeze feeling good, you are right. The hardest thing about coming out of the earth on a hot August day was facing the steep uphill climb back to the Millbrook Mountain Road. After the coolnest of the cave, we felt like we were moving like an oven... thanks for watching the entrance, Sis!

Sharon Saracino

Postby Sharon Saracino » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:18 pm

I am interested to learn more about the Old Iron Mine. We have been out to Gertrude's Nose a number of times but have never gone off the path. Do I understand that it is on the Palmaghatt side of Gertrude's Nose? How far is it from the power lines and in which direction? We are always looking for a new adventure!

Ken
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Postby Ken » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:19 pm

The Old Iron Mine is located at the eastern end of the power line just as it plunges off the mountain into the Gardner Valley. The name came from a map of the Minnewaska property from the early 1900's. I recollect that Mr. Fletcher Smiley drew this map -- a wonderful work that I earnestly hope we can locate someday. You will find the "Mine" on the northern side of the path -- you'll recognise the entrance from the picture above.

There is also a cool spring and a rock ledge shelter just down hill on the southern side of the powerline. Don't know the condition of the spring now, but used to drink from it. The shelter might be a nice spot to stay of it starts raining or you plan an overnight when the weather is cold.

I plan to get GPS co-ordinates of this location as well as the Crevice entrances this summer. This would make a great place for a GPS Treasure Hunt!

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The Crevices - GPS

Postby jfoster » Mon Aug 01, 2005 11:50 am

My son and I visited Minnewaska for the first time in a decade July 28th and decided to locate the crevices - a spot I visited many times in the 60s when visiting the area.

The ariel photos give a good reference and my memory of the path behind the Cliff House got us off to a good start. An older son and I had climbed to the Crevices from Lyons Road in the early 90s, and I used his software (ExpertGPS) to locate the photos with online topo maps and satellite imagery of the site. We laid down a GPS waypoint and judged the easiest route to the site from the topo maps.
Starting from the yellow trail behind Cliff House we proceeded N to the Start (below) and bushwhacked a bit down the draw along the easiest route. Within 100 feet we came across the faint remnants of the trail and followed it to its exit at the Crevices. Small cairns mark both ends of the trail. Basically, the trail is heavily overgrown, but pretty easily passible.

A great site - we stayed on top. Too bad the ladders rotted away decades ago!

Three waypoints from our hike follow:

Start: N 41 43 46.4 W 074 13 46.5

Mid: N 41 43 41.9 W 074 13 38.8

Crevices: N 41 43 37.9 W 074 13 30.9

Dave McCarthy
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What time were you there?/Phillips House

Postby Dave McCarthy » Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:50 pm

I made my annual trip to the park on the 28th and was looking for the Crevice path (at about 10:30 in the morning)--I couldn't find it--too bad I didn't bump into you. I had to satsify myself with a walk out to Gertrude's Nose--not a bad compromise. Wasn't the weather splendid?

Thanks for the GPS coordinates. I will use them next year.

While I was out there, I heard someone speak who said the Phillips house was "falling down". (This person is highly knowledgeable about the trails on the Shongums, so I feared this might be the truth.) I took a quick peek through a couple of windows, and things looked ok. I hope the state spends a little bit of preventative maintenance money on the place. It's such a stunning building and deserves better than neglect. I saw the power is still out--I can't believe they have so few resources that they can't bring power up the mountain.

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Postby Flipper » Mon Feb 20, 2006 3:11 pm

I don't recognize the landmark (tennis court) in the above aerial photos. Where exactly are we looking?

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Tennis Court

Postby Dave McCarthy » Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:55 pm

I think the tennis court is at one of the homes on Lyons Road?

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Postby Flipper » Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:21 am

Thanks. That'll help. I'll look on my maps and see if it make more sense. :)

tom

Crevices

Postby tom » Sat Jan 13, 2007 11:01 am

Hello all,
I found the Crevices last weekend, as well as the old trail leading to them. I have all of it now, along with the coordinates, in the form of a printable map and will share with those interested. The trail needs work! A friend and I have done some marking and will re-visit soon. The beginning of the trail is very vague, but the midpoint and on is still in tact.

tom

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Postby Admin » Sat Jan 13, 2007 11:49 am

I would love to have this info. The last time I looked I couldn't find the trail. Going again in March, so would love to have a map and co-ords.

tom

Directions

Postby tom » Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:49 pm

Sam,
As I said, I will share this information on the Crevices.....but First I would like to go back in there to research the position of the old trail a little better, define the path a little more, and do a little exploring. When we first went in, I used the coordinates mentioned in an earlier post above. They were a help, and got us there, but it took us three hours in thick bush (Rhododendron Hell). By the time we got there, it was beginning to get dark. We spent fifteen minutes exploring, and had to leave. There is a much easier way in (the Old Trail).

tom


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