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Anyone here climb the 1861 slide on Marcy before?

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  • Anyone here climb the 1861 slide on Marcy before?

    Hi all,
    First let me say how happy I am to find this board. You all seem to be my kind of people! I have climbed 24 high peaks thus far, and many smaller ones. My hiking season just started this past weekend, with Esther. Hope I can get up there alot more, but the drive from Buffalo sucks! Anyways, back to the reason for my post. I have been doing alot of research on older trails and different hikes, and I wondered if any one here had done the Phelps slide trail from Panther gorge before. One, is it worth it? And two I was wondering if there was any technical stuff involved. I have tried to scout it out through pics, but I'm not really sure which slide it is. Anyways any comments or stories would be great. Hope to talk with you all lots more! Thanks!

  • #2
    Panther Gorge

    DAX,
    Iím not sure what you mean by the 1861 Slide, but if I read youíre Post correctly, it is in Panther Gorge. I climbed through Panther Gorge two years ago and canít see where there could be a ďslideĒ to Marcy from the Gorge. The walls of both Marcy and Haystack are very steep and probably not climbable without technical gear. From the Panther Gorge Lean-to to the top of the Gorge, where it joins the Phelps Trail is about 1-1/4 miles and took me 4-1/2 hours to push my way through. The first ľ mile is a easy rock hop up the stream after that it become much more difficult, climbing over and under huge boulders, hidden leg traps and thick, Iíll repeat that, thick balsam. The only view was from one very lager rock about 2/3 of the way up the gorge. I did this as a solo trip and some friends climbed Marcy, via the Misery Mile Trail, and over Little Marcy, up Haystack and back to the Lean-to in slightly more time then it took me to climb through the gorge and return over Haystack. Iím glad I did it, but Iím not real eager to do it again.
    Tom
    Once you grow up, the only thing left is to grow old.

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    • #3
      Hi Tom,
      Thanks for the reply, and thanks for the info. The "trail" or slide I guess is the route Old Mountain Phelps first cut up Marcy in 1861. I know a few years ago some 46ers did a climb up it to commemorate the route first being blazed, but can't find any more info on it. I know the route climbs over Barlett ridge, and over Haystack at about 3900', into the gorge then up Marcy, but thats ALL I know. Thanks again. Oh yeah, just for reference, the book that has info about the route is Mount Marcy: The High Peak of New York by Sandra Weber...it also has a old map with a rough look at the trail.
      Last edited by DAX; 05-15-2006, 11:45 AM.

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      • #4
        Yeah, Dax, I was just gonna chime in, when I read your post. OM Phelps cut the first route up Marcy from Elk Lake in 1861, and the last part went up this slide out of Panther Gorge. It was later abandoned for a route cut (or selected) by Colvin in 1873.

        You can see it in this photo of Skylight, taken from Haystack.



        I beleive the slide in question starts down to the lower right and then snakes up to the large broad rock face to the right side of the picture. I also remember reading of someones trip up it (Jonnycakes ??) but it was a few years back.
        Last edited by Mavs00; 05-15-2006, 01:05 PM.
        "The forest is the poor man's overcoat. " Old Northeastern Proverb

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        • #5
          Thanks for all of the replys!!!!!!

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          • #6
            From Qam1's website:

            Marcy 5,344 (2)
            Prominent S, Unnamed, BWM, Wide slide on the south, Old Mountain Phelps used this route to the top

            SE, Unnamed, +78, Long Slide between the wide southern slide and Panther Gorge. The slide is probably climbable but it may be a technical climb from Panther Gorge to get to the base.


            So it looks like there are 2 slides and yes indeed the one up from Panther Gorge would be quite a challenge. The other one must be the one in the picture posted by Mavs and just happens to be on my list....

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Neil
              So it looks like there are 2 slides and yes indeed the one up from Panther Gorge would be quite a challenge. The other one must be the one in the picture posted by Mavs and just happens to be on my list....
              Yeah, I think so 2, you can see it here (the curved one to the right of the slabs). The slide that is the subject of this thread in not visible except the very top of it on the left side of the photo.

              Last edited by Mavs00; 05-15-2006, 01:43 PM.
              "The forest is the poor man's overcoat. " Old Northeastern Proverb

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              • #8
                I want in on this trip if someone wants to do it. I've looked at that numerous times but never really persued it. I've also read there was an old route by maybe the Marshalls that followed the Opalescent River up Marcy. Looked at that one before too.
                "Woods are not like other spaces.Their trees surround you, loom over you, press in from all sides.Woods choke off views and leave you muddled and without bearings.They make you feel small a confused and vulnerable.Stand in a desert or prairie and you know you are in a big place.Stand in a woods and you only sense it.They are a vast, featureless nowhere.And they are alive."Bill Bryson"
                Cheers
                Spence

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