The Upper Devil’s Kitchen of Platte Clove, NY has been donated to the state of New York to be included as part of Catskill Park, for future generations to access and enjoy.
Elka Park, New York. Two ice climbers and local land owner work together to donate a unique parcel of land known as the Devil’s Kitchen to the State of New York.
Climbing partners Morris Sachs of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Marty Molitoris of Rosendale, New York, have been working hard the past two years to acquire a treasured piece of property in the Catskills with the vision of donating it to the state for future use and access. That vision has finally come to fruition. The property known as the Devil's Kitchen, is located at the top of Country Route 18, Platte Clove Road in Elka Park, Greene County, NY, just above where the road is closed in winter and the plows turn around. The parcel is known by many -- from hikers to ice climbers -- and starts at Mossy Brook, right under the old stone arch bridge and goes down the gully into the cliff-lined gorge known as the Upper Devil's Kitchen to where it meets existing NYS property in the Lower Devil’s Kitchen.
The existing state property known as the Lower Devil's Kitchen is regularly visited by ice climbers in winter. Over the years, Molitoris and Sachs have had many adventures on the ice in the Lower Devil's Kitchen. They came to realize how special a place it is and how, with the intricacies and difficulty of the current access, how vital the upper parcel is for access in the future.
Molitoris, author of An Ice Climber's Guide to the Catskill Mountains, operates Alpine Endeavors, LLC (www.AlpineEndeavors.com), based in the Hudson Valley region of NY. When he learned the property containing the Upper Devil’s Kitchen parcel was listed for sale he contacted Viera Bolcek, the land owner, to gauge her interest in dividing the land and selling off the parcel.
Hearing about the possibility of purchasing and donating the land, Sachs along with his wife Sheryl and their family, decided to support the project 100%. From their generosity, the idea become a reality. It took well over a year to work out the arrangements and purchase the property, then just over another year to complete the necessary paperwork and permits to gift the property to the state. As of October 30, 2015, the property is officially part of the Catskill Park.
For more information on ice climbing in the Devil’s Kitchen and all of the Catskills, please visit:
Alpine Endeavors - www.AlpineEndeavors.com
Catskill Ice Climbing - www.CatskillIceClimbing.com
Rock and Snow - www.RockAndSnow.com
The rock buttress that forms the corner of Palenville Corner has fallen into the creek, yep. Crazy, but it is no longer there and it took with it Palenville Coronary.
With the third edition now including a Buttermilk Falls in the Route 28 Corridor chapter, I am using the name Buttermilk Ravine to refer to the similarly named climb described in the ravines section of the Kaaterskill Clove chapter.
Stony Clove is the correct spelling for the areas along RT 214. It was misspelled as Stoney Clove in past editions.