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 He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16 
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 He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16
Recently Peter said he couldn't wait to get to the Adirondacks. Well, why wait any longer??!! This past Thursday the weather was forecast to be high pressure blue skies, and Peter hijacked a Prius, so we decided to see how far we could go on $20 bucks in gas. Turns out $20 bucks will get you anywhere that is day-hikable in the Northeast. If we weren't both going to Acadia next week we may well have gone there. The Whites are nice but old news. The Maine 4K's have roads a Prius might not navigate so well. That left us headed for New York for Gibba's introductory hike to the Daks, and what better place to start than the highest of them all? So at 4:30 we turned the car west and headed for Mt. Marcy. 243 miles later we arrived at the Loj parking lot, shelled out the 10 dollar fee and were on our way.

The forecast was just too good to not get an early start and go far, far away
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Early morning fog going through Vermont
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But NY and the Daks were in the clear!
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5344' Mt. Marcy awaiting our arrival
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The parking lot was pretty full, and with the long weekend for both Americans and Canadiens I was a little worried it might be crowded on top, but turned out the trails weren't very crowded at all. Once on the trails I think we only saw a dozen people or so. The Van Hoevenberg Trail is the easiest way up Mt. Marcy, and while not the most spectacular trail in the Adirondacks it offers a little bit of everything you can expect to find when hiking there. A ho-hum flattish warm up of a couple miles brings you to Marcy Dam, where there are plenty of sites to spend the night, and indeed the Daks are far better suited for backpacking than the Whites for those of us with a long drive, but we were day tripping, so after a break on the very scenic shores of Marcy Brook we carried on.

It is NY, so Peter signed in and then hit the trails in the Daks for the first time
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The furry little guys of the Daks are not shy. If you aren't paying attention you might actually step on one
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The Marcy Dam Interior Outpost was our first stop
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Things reflecting nicely in Marcy Brook
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Thegibba in action
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Lots of butterflies hanging around too
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The trail starts to gain a little elevation, as well as slogging through the typical mud and rock. I had only hiked this one in the winter so seeing the summer conditions kept it fresh and new for me, and it was all new to Peter, which made a slightly boring stretch of trail a bit more interesting I think. After a couple miles we crossed the brook and began to actually climb, steadily but not steeply for a couple miles until we reached Indian Falls, where we took another snack break and soaked in the views of Iroquois, Algonquin and Wright (3 of their 46ers) across the valley.

A good sampling of typical Adirondack of trail conditions along the way
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Gibba near the top of Indian Falls
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View from the top of the falls
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After that the climbing resumed, viewpoints opened up and eventually we hit treeline, where the black flies waited to ambush us! They were pretty relentless, and I was slightly ahead of Peter but couldn't stop to take a break, so I wandered around and then started back down to meet him just to keep moving. The little buggers should be going if not gone by now, but the summit steward said the unusually dry weather they have had seems to have made them have a second hatching this year, so they are still around. Anyhow at treeline we started the steepest part of the day, maybe half a mile of ledge and rock to finish off the ascent. A nice breeze helped keep the bugs away and let us pause frequently to soak in the views of the Great Range and the rest of the High Peaks unfolding before our eyes. Between the amazing views and the fun terrain the last part hardly even felt like work, even after the 6 miles it took to get to it, and finally, after almost 7 miles we stood on top of the Empire State under blue skies and puffy clouds. Not quite the high pressure blue they had forecast, but no complaints either.

Interesting, but it got the job done
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View of the summit with about a mile to go
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Breaking above the trees views of the Great Range open up
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Including neighboring Haystack Mountain
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And the rest of the High Peaks region
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Getting to the good stuff
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Peter and the Great Range
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Great Range minus Peter
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Summit in sight
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Top Of New York
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The views from Mt. Marcy are among the best I have seen in the Adirondacks, and we took a good long break to soak it all in, have a snack and talk to the friendly summit steward. A couple other people came and went, one guy on top of his 1st 4000 footer in blue jeans was concerned about getting back before dark, since he had no map and no light. We told him he probably shouldn't wait too much longer to start the 7 mile trip down, since it was already 3:00, wished him luck and headed down ourselves. We made pretty decent time, stopping only to get some more pics at Marcy Dam, and getting out of the woods around 5:30 IIRC. The Adirondacks have a more laid back feel to them, and the longer hikes seem to lend themselves well to wanting to chill out for a bit after, and people were doing just that, having a beer and grilling out in the lot. We wished we had brought our provisions to do just that on a perfect summer afternoon, but we didn't, so to finish off Peter's Adirondack 101 course we headed into Lake Placid to see the town and get some food at the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery. On the ride home we had a staring contest with a roadside black bear but he took off before either of us could get our cameras into action. After that all that was left was a 5 hour ride home, on which I averaged 50+ mpg under the setting sun and dark starry night skies of the northeast.

Peter taking a look around
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View south and west
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North and east
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Algonquin is the only other 5000 foot peak in the Daks
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Haystack might just be the best of them however
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Skylight
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Basin, Saddleback, Gothics and Giant
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Nippletop
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Life is good!! :D
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But all good things must come to an end, so down we go
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Passing some alpine flowers as we go
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And 5 miles later Marcy Dam in the afternoon light
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I enjoyed seeing the summer version of this hike. It's not one of the most adventurous or even most spectacular trails in the Adirondacks, but it's far from the worst also. Probably at the outer limit of a day trip, at least one that involves a substantial hike. 14.8 miles with 3200 feet of climbing on the ascent and another 1-200 on the return. Not a monster hike, but long enough that with a 5 hour ride tacked on to each end and a post hike meal it winds up being a pretty full day. A spectacular day, but a full day none the less. As I said, the Daks are best as an overnight trip for me. Sometimes however you just have to take full advantage of a long summer day, and this was one of those times. As the saying goes, nobody ever looks back on their life and remembers the nights they got plenty of sleep! 8)

Time for some pub grub
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Fried pickles are a favorite of mine
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As is a good burger. And their Schultzy Burger is definitely one of those
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Sunset to finish the day while chasing a black bear
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Fire flies and starry skies in Vermont
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Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:23 pm
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 Re: He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16
You two did this all in a day? 5 hours each way, plus almost 15 miles of hiking? Nice intro to the Daks for thegibba. WOW, power to the both of you. :beer: Your pictures are awesome, you do know your way around a camera. 50+ mile to a gallon, I can't wait until they make a hybrid RV. :lol: :lol:

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Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:39 am
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 Re: He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16
Congrats Peter. How cool are you??? 8) 8) And with such a talented-photographic-eyed-chaperone you had in Derek.

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Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:09 am
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 Re: He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16
Not the most scenic? You could have fooled me!


Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:32 pm
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 Re: He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16
Looks like quite the day! Greg and I were talking about maybe making the Daks the destination for our annual fall camping trip. We have put off going there for too long now. :D

Brian


Mon Jul 04, 2016 4:07 pm
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 Re: He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16
You crazy kooks...

In all seriousness though, Marcy is a hell of an introduction to the 'Daks. Sure was when I did it in August 2011. Unfortunately, not including my two hikes near Lake George, my hike up Marcy five years ago is, to date, the only hike I have done in the Adirondacks. If I do the Northeast 115, I have a lot of work to do :oops: !

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Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:10 pm
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 Re: He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16
GG - seems like there's a case of "the grass is greener" hiking syndrome going around, whereby hikers make long drives outside their own perfectly good local stomping grounds, in the search for something new and exciting. I know because I caught it too. The only cure is to get out and do the hike lol! So while you were in NY hiking one of our long slogs, this NY'er was making a quick overnight trip to NH to hike one of your long slogs (Valley Way haha). Looks like you had a great weather day (and NH returned the favor today).

On a side note, the elevation gain for Van Ho trail (3200 ft) sounds a little light. I can check it for you when I get back.


Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:58 pm
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 Re: He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16
Beckie and Prema wrote:
Not the most scenic? You could have fooled me!


Well, the summit is great, but the other 6.5 miles of trail have a total of 2 viewpoints. All relative I guess.

New Hampshire wrote:
Looks like quite the day! Greg and I were talking about maybe making the Daks the destination for our annual fall camping trip. We have put off going there for too long now. :D

Brian


With all the places you two have been it must be tough to find something new and exciting. Do it. You won't be sorry.

wp_hiker2 wrote:
GG - seems like there's a case of "the grass is greener" hiking syndrome going around, whereby hikers make long drives outside their own perfectly good local stomping grounds, in the search for something new and exciting. I know because I caught it too. The only cure is to get out and do the hike lol! So while you were in NY hiking one of our long slogs, this NY'er was making a quick overnight trip to NH to hike one of your long slogs (Valley Way haha). Looks like you had a great weather day (and NH returned the favor today).

On a side note, the elevation gain for Van Ho trail (3200 ft) sounds a little light. I can check it for you when I get back.


I don't think it's a case of the grass is greener. Just different, and on this trip new and exciting as you said, at least I hope. Who wants to stare at the same lawn over and over even if it's the greenest on the block! :D

3200 for Van Ho is a little light. 24 feet light to be exact if you buy what they're selling on the sign. A nice feature on many of the hikes in the Daks BTW.

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Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:24 pm
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 Re: He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16
How in the world do u drive home without falling asleep and then go to work the next day! Looks like u had a perfect weather day. Gorgeous views, it just looks so much more appealing than NH. What time did u get home?


Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:57 am
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 Re: He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16
While I don't see myself day hiking the daks much (I've heard this ) :roll: for sure I'll be back. There are some great looking mountains here. Haystack for one is high on the list. The daks seem to lend themselves more to backpacking / overnighting than any place else. Perhaps they will be the launching pad for me in this regard. Just don't forget the bear can!

The hike, while lacking in the view point department was still fun. New woods! New stuff to look at. The rock structure was different. These hills were formed during a different orogeny so it doesn't look or feel like the whites. Even when we went to N. Carolina least year, it was the same rocks we have back in NH. Even the drive out there was cool. Stuff I've never seen. Podunk towns. One was all but boarded up. It sure beats the trip up 93 or 16. One thing I thought was impressive was the wall that the greens put up over VT. another point of view, another perspective. But man,. Do the radio stations suck out this way! Be prepared to bring your own entertainment for the trip.

The trip was worth every mile. However, I didn't feel right for two days afterwards. I had a weird head change till I was able to get some solid sleep. Anyway. Off to Acadia! 8) I feel like this Prius is my new home. Not quite as comfy as the mudfunmobile. :lol:


Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:59 am
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 Re: He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16
hiking lady wrote:
How in the world do u drive home without falling asleep and then go to work the next day! Looks like u had a perfect weather day. Gorgeous views, it just looks so much more appealing than NH. What time did u get home?



I got home at about 2 in the AM. I did catch a (very few) Z's on the way out while Derek was trying to keep the MPG above 50. He got home at about 1AM.


Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:21 am
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 Re: He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16
I was thinking more on the order of 3600 ft? As I learned yesterday, 400 ft more of elevation can indeed make a difference :( I'll check the book tonight at home and let you know. Either way it's still a long hike.

[Edit] Rereading that sign, it says "to Marcy Ascent." Not to Marcy Summit. A little misleading and I'll bet that's the difference (the mileage also looks .5 mile light).


Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:50 am
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 Re: He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16
Since two of the coffee stops were closed and one only had the last of the daily sludgr this is how you make the drive! :D

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WP, the ascent could be more. I never even read the guide book but I think it's in there. And there's definitely a couple hundred feet of pita ups along the way back. Still a very easy trail relatively speaking. If one can handle 15 miles the elevation is really spread out and easy going for 95% of the trail.


Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:28 am
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 Re: He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16
thegibba wrote:
But man,. Do the radio stations suck out this way! Be prepared to bring your own entertainment for the trip.


I forgot my iPod in my pack one day when we were shuffling cars around for a second hike. So I bounced around several stations, all playing country music ( :x ) until I stumbled on what sounded like a local band's live performance already in progress. It was sort of a jammy rock sound, like The Greatful Dead or Phish (could have even been Phish for all I know) and figured it wasn't half bad and was probably as good as I was going to get. As i say, I came on it already in progress....and it finally ended 13 minutes later!

So yeah, they have some odd music choices out that way. :D

Brian


Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:33 pm
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 Re: He Said He Couldn't Wait!! - Mt. Marcy - 6/30/16
Granite Guy wrote:
WP, the ascent could be more. I never even read the guide book but I think it's in there. And there's definitely a couple hundred feet of pita ups along the way back. Still a very easy trail relatively speaking. If one can handle 15 miles the elevation is really spread out and easy going for 95% of the trail.


ok just checked the guidebook ... turns out that sign is half-right (or is it half-wrong?) The vertical is correct (3200 ft), the higher ascent I had in mind is for a different route (from the Garden lot). Whoops :oops:

But the sign mileage is indeed only to the start of the ascent, so tack on another 0.6 (1.2 round trip) bringing you to your 15 miles RT.

In any event this one is on my ADK short list, hopefully later this year if I can get up there.


Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:05 pm
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