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Mount Marcy 2/3/18

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  • Mount Marcy 2/3/18

    The Garden into JBL was a fast track. I wore Hill Sound Trail Crampons and they performed great going into JBL. The trip took about 1 hour and 10 min, stopping periodically to take pictures of the GR at sunset. I stayed at Grace Camp. The next morning we left camp kinda late at 8:40 am. The trail was perfect once again, hard pack with just an inch or so of fresh powder at JBL. I chose to wear my Hill Sounds once again and carry my MSR Evo Ascents on my back until needed. We were at Bushnell Falls by 9:20 am. At this point it seemed about 3" of fresh powder that has been packed down already. Original plan was to go Hopkins trail out to pick up Marcy then head over to Haystack if conditions and endurance allowed returning via Phelps. The Hopkins trail hadn't been broken out so we decided to conserve our energy and follow everybody else up the Phelps trail which was nicely packed and fast. We proceeded up to Slant Rock which we reached by 10:25 am. I switched to my Evo Ascents as the trail had about 5" of fresh powder and I knew these would provide better traction going forward. The Phelps trail was still packed nicely and Shorey's (which we passed by) looked nicely packed and broken out also. We kept going up Phelps and reached the junction to Haystack at 11:30 am. The trail was broken out going towards Haystack but not going to Marcy. So we broke trail from this point forward through approx. 6-8" of fresh powder. The weather up to this point had been absolutely delightful. Although it was cold (temps just above or near 0 deg) the wind was non existent until we started to near tree line (Winds began gusting 5-10 mph). We passed the Van Hoevenberg trail (which was still untouched) and finally reached tree line nearing the summit. The trail near the summit was very hard pack but very little exposed ice. Snow shoes were still perfectly fine as far as traction goes but this is where weather conditions changed dramatically. Winds were steady 20-30 mph (at least), visibility was severely limited (couldn't even see the summit of Haystack) and it was cold! Face mask and goggles were a must. We reached the summit at 12:45 pm and didn't linger. We immediately turned around to descend and by the time we had reached tree line again the winds were basically non-existent. It turns out coming up Phelps had allowed us protection from the strong winds coming directly from the southwest and then realized if we headed towards Haystack we would have to take that wind the entire way. That was enough for us to make the right call and head right down Phelps back to JBL. The descent back down was easy and fun and we made it back to JBL at 3:30 pm, where we met two guys who had attempted Basin and Saddleback (up Shorey's), and had come back without a summit due to wind/weather. A memorable trip for sure!

  • #2
    Sounds like a nice day out. Good call on playing it safe with the weather.
    We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige

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