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Ascent of Table Top Mountain on 2014-01-05

Climber: Crystal Davis

Others in Party:Richard Hamlin
Date:Sunday, January 5, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Table Top Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4413 ft / 1345 m

Ascent Trip Report

We started late because that's how Richard is. We finally got started hiking from the ADK Loj at approximately 11:45AM. I started off with my snowshoes, but after about 1 mile I took them off and put on my MicroSpikes. I wore them all the way until we were about half way up the Table Top trail itself.

After talking to one of the men working at the Loj and after reading many good things about Indian Falls, I insisted we check it out since it was only 0.1 mile past the Table Top trail. As I had thought from photos online, we were at the top of the falls. So there wasn't a splendid view of a waterfall, however, the stream that goes over the waterfall was wide enough to provide a wonderful view of some neighboring peaks.

We hung out there for a few minutes then headed back towards Table Top. Upon walking back to the Van Hovenberg trail Richard got a bit ahead of me. When I caught up he was talking with two other guys. The one called out "Hi Crystal!" And it took me a moment especially since we were all decked out in our finest winter layers, I realized it was Herb Terns. I hike Street and Nye with him February 2012. I couldn't believe he remembered my name and he instantly recalled the hike we did together with ADK-Albany. That man has a good memory! He introduced his hiking buddy as Spencer, and it immediately hit me that he was Spencer Morrissey. I got silly and said how I had a couple of his books and had seen him speak a few year ago at an ADK-Albany monthly meeting. They had just come down from hiking Marcy. We chatted for a few minutes and then went on our separate ways.

The trail up to Table Top is unmaintained, but it was in good condition in my opinion. The beauty of winter hiking is as long as someone else has hiked that trail since the last snowfall, you're good to go and you don't even need trail markers (provided the previous hiker(s) had gone to the same place you want to go.) The summit was mostly treed in, although there were a few breaks that gave some spectacular views. The clouds were high enough that we could see for miles. Table Top is well-named and has a very large, flat top to it.

We took a bunch of photos and headed back down. I wanted to go up Phelps as well, but it didn't happen. Richard was pretty slow hiking because all he had was snowshoes. There really wasn't enough snow on most of the trail we hiked and so they were pretty cumbersome. On the way back down after it got dark, he decided to take them off and strap them to his pack. This helped him go a bit faster since the trail was nicely packed down. However, there were a few icy sections that I simply cruised over with my MicroSpikes, but Richard was slower than ever because apparently it was pretty slippery.

It started lightly snowing as we were coming down and we passed the Phelps trail. The snow was light and fluffy and made for a really pretty hike. With about 1.5 miles left until the Loj it warmed up and changed over to a light rain. Although the weather got warmer, we got colder because the rain soaked us pretty quickly. By the time we got to the car is was almost pouring. We got back to the car a little after 7PM and it was covered in slush.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2234 ft / 680 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10.4 mi / 16.7 km
    Route:Van Hovenberg Trail
    Trailhead:ADK Loj  2179 ft / 664 m
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Overcast
Cold, overcast for most of the day. Storm was rolling in. It started lightly snowing when we came to



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