Devil’s Kitchen of the Catskills

September 19, 2010

The Catskill Region area known as Devil’s Kitchen had an official tour from local politicians in mid September of 2010 because of several recent deaths in this particular location. This past year Devil’s Kitchen had a high profile death that gained the attention of many media sources. This area of Devil’s Kitchen where the death occurred is also known as the ‘Grand Canyon’. It  has been reported the hiker was attempting to look at a waterfall named Red Falls. Red Falls is one of the many waterfalls located in Platte Clove.

The death involved a female hiker named Olivia Rose Belfiglio who was 17 years and died on June 4 from injuries suffered in a 100-foot fall from a cliff in the area of Red Falls near Platte Clove Road. The police report was quoted from several sources that noted Olivia Rose Belfiglio and three classmates decided to go hiking on “Senior Cut Day” and none were wearing proper footwear for the area known as Platte Clove.

New York  State Senator James Seward has since reviewed the concerns related to two deaths in the Platte Clove and Devil’s Kitchen area of the Catskills.

According to CBS Channel 6: “Devil’s Kitchen is a treacherous section of the Catskill Mountains.”

Links:

http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2010/09/14/news/doc4c8ed07d0f560560988401.txt

http://www.cbs6albany.com/news/kitchen-1278361-area-lawmakers.html

Devil’s Kitchen danger concerns draw official tour
By WILLIAM J. KEMBLE
HUNTER — Officials are scheduled to tour sections of Devil’s Kitchen with state Sen. James Seward today to review concerns related to two deaths this year in the Platte Clove area.

A visit scheduled for noon at Tannersville Fire Station on state Route 23A is expected to include discussions with town Supervisor Dennis Lucas and Greene County Emergency Services Director John Farrell.

“The senator is going to come down here to speak about his interactions with the (state) Department of Environmental Conservation with regards to all of the hiking tragedies we’ve had in the clove and our health and safety organizations are going to speak with him about what they feel is the better of all approaches to curtail people from hiking in improper areas,” Lucas said.

Incidents this year have included William J. Costello, 53, of Delmar, on May 1 losing his footing on steep mountainous terrain and falling about 100 feet to his death, according to state police at the Catskill barracks. Police said he was an inexperienced hiker and was unfamiliar with the area.

2 comments

  1. I use to climb Devils Canyon, when I was 12yrs. old. One particular day it had rained hard the night before & the waterfalls, were beautiful, but dangerous, @ one point we had to cross the rapids, to continue climbing down, we held onto each other arms as we tried to cross w/out being swept away with the waterfall. As we were young & not experts, & the conditions that day were not for climbing, my life passed before my eyes, as our human arm chain link did not work. First to go was my friend Mary Senzino, then I slipped away w/her, as we were just about to go over the deadly edge, by older sister Deborah’s boyfriend swam & caught us just in time by grabbing the end of our very long hair(thank God for having long hair) Alan Peseri saved our lives that day. We lived to talk about it over & over again, something that has stayed w/me, very exciting, looking back now, but, it could have been a very tragic day. My sister ended up marrying Alan, & we spoke about that story to all. He passed away of pancreatic cancer Nov. 1st 2006. I love hiking & the beautiful sound of the waterfalls, the water was so clean we could drink it. I will always remember our great summer August vacations @ The Police Recreation Center, with our Dad. It was so beautiful, I have so many wonderful memories, with my family & friends there. My Dad passed away too of cancer on Nov. 16th 2003. He gave us so much love. Those were the times when children played outside all day, in the Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall, inventing there own games. I had such a wonderful childhood. I have to add though, please be careful, & use guides, it is exciting, but very dangerous.
    Devils Canyon, was right across from Devils Kitchen.

    Donna Quinn

  2. I remember hiking in Devils Valley when I was a kid, terrified of the steep drops at the cliffs edge. It seemed there was a force at the bottom of the valley pulling me closer and closer even though I was standing far from the cliff. I begged my dad to leave, I was so scared of heights. Years later I began coming back to devils kitchen to cliff jump and later to Ice climb. Now I’m cooking in the kitchen, the steep drops excite me and the force in the valley fuels me through long days of Ice climbing. The devil’s got a hold.

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