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 Back To The 'Daks - Phelps & Table Top - 2/18/17 
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
Posts: 7137
Location: Exeter, NH
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 Back To The 'Daks - Phelps & Table Top - 2/18/17
Welcome to the Dead Zone. :( If anyone still actually visits this place here's a report on my hike this past weekend. If nobody sees it here, well, at least it'll get picked up by TrailsNH! :D

A couple friends and I headed to the Adirondacks for the weekend. Sundays weather seemed to be going downhill so we decided to pick a hike with some views the first day and get an early start home Sunday after spending the night. Phelps and Table Top seemed to fit that bill, two of their 46ers that we needed for the 111 as well, so at 7 am we left Exeter and headed northwest. After a quick stop for provisions in Lake Placid we parked at the Loj lot ($10 a day/$5 a half day) and were on the trail around 1 pm. Weather was ridiculous for mid February, 50 degrees and sunny, so t-shirts it was for the two mile mostly flat hike out to Marcy Dam. We got stuck behind a group of 15 or so for a bit but they stopped at the wilderness boundary and it was clear sailing from there to the dam, where we decided to set up in a lean-to, if any were open, before going up the mountains. The first was full, the second had two people in it but the third was a charm, so we set up our sleeping gear and then set out for Phelps.

Ready to roll!
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Sign in and strap on snowshoes. Both required in New York
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Into the wild
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In need of a passing zone
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Smooth sailing to the dam
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People enjoying the 45-50 degree sunshine in mid February
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Colden and Avalanche Mountains
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Score!
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The Van Hoevenberg Trail, as usual, was moderate and easy going up alongside the frozen Phelps Brook. The spur trail up Phelps wasn't so moderate. 1200 feet in 1.0 mile, so steep enough to finally provide a good workout for the day. Mostly snow with one steep 20 foot pitch with ice poking out, but nothing difficult, and before we knew it the trees were getting shorter, the wind picked right up and the views above the trees opened up. A shell for the wind and some gloves came out of the pack before the final stroll to the top. Passing a great view ledge, which gave you a 180 degree panorama of the Great and MacIntyre Ranges, we enjoyed the afternoon light on the mountains for a bit before wandering around looking for the actual 4161 foot high point, which we think we walked over but have no way to know for sure.

Crossing the dam area with Phelps and Table Top ahead of us
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Going up!
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Marcy peaking over the trees
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More up
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Almost there
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First open view out over Tabletop and the Great Range beyond that
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Marcy and Colden in the afternoon sun
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Best view ledge right near the summit
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Great Range from Phelps
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Next stop, Table Top, with Marcy behind it
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Marcy's summit
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Basin
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Saddleback
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Pyramid
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Gothics
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Colden
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View down Avalanche Pass
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Obligatory summit shot/We was here
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We broke out the sleds for the trip down, which made long stretches of the trail go by quickly, and soon we were back at the Van Ho Trail where we had a snack before moving along. Back to the easy going trail we marched along as the sun set, able to follow the well trammeled trail without needing the headlamps until we hit the junction with the herd path up Tabletop Mountain at about 3600 feet. We dropped the bags for the spur path up, which climbed about 850 feet in .6 miles under brilliantly starry skies. No moon in the sky so the brightest thing in sight was a planet, Mercury maybe?? And the lights of Lake Placid occasionally visible above the treetops, as we climbed up to the last flat .1 mile trail to the actual 4427 foot top of the 19th highest peak in New York, and clearly just past the high point was a sign on a tree. Normally this peak has very restricted views through the trees, but with 5 or 6 feet of snow on top we could see right out to the Great Range under a starry sky. I was a little disappointed it wasn't daytime but you could see enough and seeing it under the clear, starry skies was pretty awesome too. The cold wind was whipping right along so we headed down, breaking out the sleds again when we hit the steeps back to the bottom of the herd path.

Reluctantly leaving the summit and views behind
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Let the games begin!
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Start of the herd path up Table Top
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Star gazing on the way up was excellent whenever we needed to catch our breath on the steep climb
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Wooded summit
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Nearby view of Marcy under the stars thanks to a deep snowpack
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Lake Placid on the way down
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Next up was a short trip up the trail to visit Indian Falls, which had a star lit view out to Algonquin. Cold winds whipped right over the top of the falls so we didn't stay long, and back at the bags we broke out the sleds again for the ride down. They worked really well for about a mile or so, all the way down to the bridge that crosses the brook, where the trail got too flat to use them anymore, so the last mile or so was on foot back to the lean-to, where we had an 11:00 dinner of some coldcut subs we had buried in a snowbank before calling it a night.

A little celebratory warm up at Indian Falls for the ride down
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Most of the trail was like a luge track and lots of fun!
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Back at the dam and the lean-to for dinner and bed in no time
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The forecast called for clouds and snow flurries around midnight and all through the next day, which is why we chose to do most of the hiking the first day, rather than put a tent up at 3500 feet (max allowed in the High Peaks Wilderness) and getting Tabletop first thing in the morning. Well, we awoke to clear skies and the sun coming up over the mountains in front of the lean-to. Grrrrrrr!! :evil: After packing up we had 2 easy miles out to the car and we were on the road before ten. We even tried to give away our parking pass for the day since it didn't say non-transferable, but nobody wanted to try it. Oh well. We tried. Off we went for the 5 hour ride home, and even with a 2 hour stop at Worthy Kitchen for some amazing Brisket Melts, Worthy Poutine and a Lake Hopper Cider, we were back home by 4:30. Earliest we've ever managed to return from the Daks. The peaks and hike itself were not the most exciting, but not bad summit views either, and it did bag #'s 89 & 90 on the list. 12.6 miles wih 3750 feet of elevation from what I can figure out. Add in some sledding, a night under the stars, some fun with friends and our first overnight trip to the Adirondacks in almost a year gets a solid B+ of an excursion from me.

Up with the sun
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Enjoying watching the world wake up to the sun
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Ready to move out
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Clouding up, just a tad later than forcasted
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No name on the maps for the mountain that makes up part of the backdrop that I can find
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Colden & Avalanche Mountains across Marcy Brook
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Headed out through a grove of cool pines
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The Worthy Kitchen for lunch. Highly recommended if you find yourself in Woodstock VT
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Jam packed and an hour wait, so we had a drink on the deck
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Amazing, and worth the wait
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Equally good
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Pair with a Citizens Lake Hopper Cider and it was an awesome way to end a great weekend
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Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:28 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman

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 Re: Back To The 'Daks - Phelps & Table Top - 2/18/17
DAMN!!! I'm hungry!


Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:09 am
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Flatfoot
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2015 6:54 pm
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 Re: Back To The 'Daks - Phelps & Table Top - 2/18/17
Forget the hike! I'm going up to the Worthy! :beer:


Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:00 am
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Mountain Maestro
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 Re: Back To The 'Daks - Phelps & Table Top - 2/18/17
What an amazing day you got to hike - I always love your night hiking pictures so cool. I ski frequently at Killington - Worthy is basically a staple stop for us now on the way home.


Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:38 am
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:37 pm
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Location: Exeter, NH
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 Re: Back To The 'Daks - Phelps & Table Top - 2/18/17
That place must be a zoo when the ski areas close and everyone heads home! This was at 2 o'clock and it was packed. We had to walk from down the street because parking was full. But it was awesome. Anytime I can work Worthy Burger (or now Kithcen) into a hike I will. Vermont has the best pre/post hike snacks and meals in general, and they have vegetarian options Beckie!


Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:13 am
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Peak Bagger
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Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:04 pm
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Location: Maine
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 Re: Back To The 'Daks - Phelps & Table Top - 2/18/17
That report was great until you got to the food. That's a heart attack on a plate, I don't care
how much exercise you got, that just undid all the good to your body.

My son was also there on Sunday afternoon after skiing Killington. He swears by that place.
Someday I'll get there, but try to have something a bit more healthy.

Your pics are great as usual. Wasn't it a bit scary sliding down in the dark?

Terry


Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:20 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:23 pm
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Location: Lakes Region, NH
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 Re: Back To The 'Daks - Phelps & Table Top - 2/18/17
Amazing views as always! U were looking atVenus btw, just learned that the other day. It must have felt soo good to get back out there with friends, like going home. It also must be sooo hard to leave in the morning! Thats at least how i always feel when starting and ending backcountry trips. So i realize u were sledding late in day, but generally speaking, dont u worry about plowing into an oncoming group of hikers? Love the picture of the pass, so rugged looking out there. Too bad NH doesnt have similar rules about snowshoes, etc. Loved the night shots. Looks like u r finally getting within striking distance of finishing, 20 to go. So much for finishing by 40. Maybe shoot for 50?

Not sure i would have the patience for all that waiting around and crowded restaurant. Looks like u guys had fun and good weather.
Glad i clicked on hike nh, i have pretty much given up on it so glad i caught ur report. The ADK ones r always a fun read!


Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:01 am
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:39 am
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 Re: Back To The 'Daks - Phelps & Table Top - 2/18/17
Looks like you had an awesome trip. Love the pictures over Marcy Brook. :) I wanted to stop at Worthy Kitchen last summer after hiking killington with Becky. She wasn't that hungry so we skipped it. I love Poutine and their's looks incredible. Thanks for showing what I missed. :evil:

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Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:55 am
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 Re: Back To The 'Daks - Phelps & Table Top - 2/18/17
pgwido wrote:
That report was great until you got to the food. That's a heart attack on a plate, I don't care
how much exercise you got, that just undid all the good to your body.

My son was also there on Sunday afternoon after skiing Killington. He swears by that place.
Someday I'll get there, but try to have something a bit more healthy.

Your pics are great as usual. Wasn't it a bit scary sliding down in the dark?

Terry


I try and eat healthy at home. Hiking is my excuse to let loose and cheat on the diet. You probably wouldn't have thought much of our snacks and dinner on the trail either! :lol: And nothing scary about sledding in the dark. It was brighter by headlamp than it looks, and there was nothing to crash into but snowbanks most of the time.

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hiking lady wrote:
Amazing views as always! U were looking atVenus btw, just learned that the other day. It must have felt soo good to get back out there with friends, like going home. It also must be sooo hard to leave in the morning! Thats at least how i always feel when starting and ending backcountry trips. So i realize u were sledding late in day, but generally speaking, dont u worry about plowing into an oncoming group of hikers? Love the picture of the pass, so rugged looking out there. Too bad NH doesnt have similar rules about snowshoes, etc. Loved the night shots. Looks like u r finally getting within striking distance of finishing, 20 to go. So much for finishing by 40. Maybe shoot for 50?

Not sure i would have the patience for all that waiting around and crowded restaurant. Looks like u guys had fun and good weather.
Glad i clicked on hike nh, i have pretty much given up on it so glad i caught ur report. The ADK ones r always a fun read!


It was great to gt back into some new territory and yes it was very hard to leave, but nice to be home at a decent hour too for once! I don't worry about hikers, we stay in check with our speed so we don't get hurt and you can really only go fast on straightaways with good lines of sight anyhow. Skiers however! The Daks are filled with them and they FLY down the trails and around corners. They just yell "Look out" or "Coming through!" as thy go! :evil: I don't know who has the right of way, but we always step aside quickly. I did take great pleasure in seeing one of them wipe out right after he blew by us. :twisted: And yeah, still 25 to go for the 46 and 111. Definitely won't finish by the time we turn 40 in May but hopefully it won't take until 50! :D

JustJoe wrote:
Looks like you had an awesome trip. Love the pictures over Marcy Brook. :) I wanted to stop at Worthy Kitchen last summer after hiking killington with Becky. She wasn't that hungry so we skipped it. I love Poutine and their's looks incredible. Thanks for showing what I missed. :evil:


The poutine was incredible. Find a reason to go back, like maybe a trip to the Daks or something. 8)


Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:33 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman

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 Re: Back To The 'Daks - Phelps & Table Top - 2/18/17
Those Reese's remind me of your demonstration of how much that bear cannister you bought (and eventually I bought) holds!


Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:38 pm
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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 Re: Back To The 'Daks - Phelps & Table Top - 2/18/17
I remember that one. Good ol' Sams Club. Reese's of all kinds by the case! :D


Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:55 pm
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