My first ever backpacking trip in the Catskills probably 20 years ago was to do the Burroughs Range loop over Wittenberg, Cornell and Slide mountains. There was torrential downpours, heavy flooding and 45 lb packs to carry up into the unknown.¬† We did not do it. We summited Wittenberg Mountain and then decided to hike back down a bit and make camp for the night and call it a trip, due to the conditions and blister ridden feet on my cousin.¬† Fast forward 10 years later, with my son when he was maybe 9 years old or so. We hiked up the other direction from Slide mountain and Cornell to the Cornell Crack, where we stopped and turned back to where we were camping for the night with another friend. I explained to him about the loop trail and my failed attempt many years ago and he always asked me from that day on if we could one day go back to the Crack and hike the loop. Over the years I have hiked up and over those 3 mountains several times in all 4 seasons but never actually hiked the loop in 1 shot. Its short, maybe 16.5 miles total, but lots and lots of scrambling and climbing. My youngest daughter has been hiking and camping with us a few times,¬† Hunter mountain in the Catskills and plenty of trips in Harriman state park.¬† Fast forward present day.. My son is now 18 years old and in August heading off to college, so our time to do these trips on a whim together is dwindling. We had 2 days to spare and I decided to complete this loop with the 2 of them. It would satisfy myself to complete my first attempt to go backpacking in the Catskills from 20 years ago.. now with my son and daughter. It would satisfy my son to go back to the “Cornell Crack” and hike the loop I told him about many years ago when he was first starting camping and backpacking. It would initiate my daughter to the Catskills hitting 3 peaks above 3500 ft and Slide mountain being the highest peak in the Catskill mountains at 4,190 ft. So, here it is. A lot of climbing and a lot of laughs. This was one of those special trips that was not about the miles and the distance. It was a short overnight hike that will forever be remembered by the 3 of us. I even decided to pack our Nemo Dagger 3P tent thinking it would be easier to find 1 spot to pitch 1 tent. It was so fast and convenient to set it up and break it down.. Mere seconds to minutes. No fly needed either. Perfect weather and conditions..