So I know I'm not in "fight shape" but I'm certainly not out of shape...or so I thought. I've done a lot of hiking in the south, where "cold" is just below 32. So my friends invited me to go with them to the Catskills and go with them. They are working on the Catskills 35 club which is where you do the 35 highest peaks in in the Catskills that are over 3,500 feet. A certain 4 have to be in the winter and this is the hardest one. Can't be that bad, I've done all kinds of hiking at that altitude and with harder inclines. But I forgot about one thing Fucking snowshoes. They broke me. You have to relearn to walk and it uses a totally different muscle group. This is at the beginning where I'm all naive about how easy this is going to be. I mean hell...look at Will, I have to be in way better shape than him...right? He walked me into the ground on the snow shoes. At the bottom looking toward the summit. Also, I learned all kinds of cold hiking tricks. First, put your water bottles in your pack upside down...so after they start to freeze you can still drink them. Second, you NEVER want to sweat..so start off cold. I did the over half the trip in short sleeves( 11 degrees outside) and was actually comfortable except when we stopped to rest or eat. I threw a light rain jacket on as the sun started to get low. We did a day trip of 7.5 miles round trip to the peak that was at 3,750 feet. It was like this...almost the entire trip up. First overlook was at about 2,300 feet. Awesome view Suck, 4 feet of snow and I tripped. I'm glad they took a picture before helping me up. This is the point where I'm thinking "I want to be hiking in Alabama again" This is at the 3,750 foot summit. You could see forever, the picture doesn't do it justice at all. I feel like balls and I still have half the trip to go. This is the only wildlife we saw, it was on the summit. It was a small snow hamster. I gave it a piece of my cliff bar and it let me pet it but ran away when I tried to pick it up. After a while you just get sick of going down hill on show shoes...so you slide penguin style. When running water starts to freeze..you know its balls cold. I had an awesome time. Originally we had planned to do a slightly easier 5 mile trip the next day to 3,600 feet but we were all so beat at the end of this one we just went home that night. Plus it was supposed to sleet hard that night( it did) and we didn't really want to sleep out there. Just because you have the gear to survive doesn't mean it will be comfortable. I went to sleep at 8:30 last night and woke up at 11:30 this morning. It kicked my ass. I can't wait to go back and do another one though.