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Ascent of Mount Marcy on 2012-08-09

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Daniel Musser
David Musser
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, August 9, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Marcy
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:5344 ft / 1628 m

Ascent Trip Report

Drove to Adirondack Loj and left from there. Rented required bear canister for $5. Daniel and I carried the tents and sleeping - cooking gear and Karen carried our food. The trail you take to begin is the Van Hoeveberg Trail (the most common track) but we deviated to the right and took the trail that takes you to Avalanche Pass and Lake Arnold to find better camping opportunities. Karen expressed a desire to not try and push a 14 to 16 mile day hike on her. I was also interested in getting away from the bustle of the normal trails so crowded at this time of the year.

The beginning of the trip is rolling terrain on the way out and climbing up and over the Lake Arnold Pass adds extra gain as you climb to around 3700 feet. Water became scarcer as we neared the ridge. Lake Arnold must typically have decent water but it was very shallow and stagnant on this trip so we took water from far below.

We only saw about 8 people on the trail all day so we felt good about our less used route but despite that, all of the lean-tos were taken. We camped at Feldspar Camp and pitched tents. We started late in the afternoon and made about 6 miles and then ate and went to bed. The next morning we got up at 6 AM to begin when it began to pour rain on us. It had been threating to rain all day and we thought we made it. After it stopped we bugged out early and began our climb up Feldspar Brook where there were some nice clear pools of water.

There is a long broad walk up to the summit over a number of steep slabs lined with conifers of the Krumholtz section. Nothing that was scrambling but still, the backside approach to Marcy appears much steeper than the front assault.

We were so early that we actually had the peak to ourselves. The park carefully ropes off the alpine tundra vegetation and hopes that climbers will stay off the fragile environment. The cloudy day continued to spoil our views so we set for the next peak - Mount Skylight. We finally saw someone at the bottom as a volunteer trail warden climbed up to give us the speel about staying on the rocks and off the green etc...
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3766 ft / 1147 m
    Elevation Loss:1597 ft / 486 m
    Distance:9 mi / 14.5 km
    Grade/Class:1,2
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
It rained heavily in AM and was overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:3766 ft / 1147 m
    Extra Loss:600 ft / 182 m
    Distance:8.3 mi / 13.4 km
    Route:Van Hoeveberg to Arnold to Feldspar to south side
    Trailhead:Adirondack Loj  2178 ft / 663 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:997 ft / 304 m
    Distance:0.7 mi / 1.1 km
    Route:same
    Trailhead:4 corners  4347 ft / 1324 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Marcy (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDate
1Mount Marcy2012-08-09 a
2Mount Skylight2012-08-09 b
3Gray Peak2012-08-09 c



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