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Gray, Skylight, Marcy 8/17/13

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  • Gray, Skylight, Marcy 8/17/13

    What a gorgeous day to be in the Adirondacks! We wanted to get an early start since it was going to be a long day so we actually stayed in Lake Placid Friday night. We were on the trail by 5:35 Saturday morning and the Loj parking lot already had quite a few cars. It was a crisp 49 degrees. Reached Marcy Dam in 40 minutes. Our first time back there since Irene. What a change! We took the trail towards Colden and were at the sign that said Lake Arnold, 1.1 miles at 7 am. The next 1.1 miles was a pretty good climb. I'm a snail and my pace is about 1 mph when climbing. So after just over an hour and no Lake Arnold, I got nervous. I was with my friend, but her son and mine were somewhere ahead. We called for them but heard nothing. We continued on a bit further and started losing serious elevation. I remembered reading that would happen AFTER Lake Arnold. Now I'm wondering if they stopped and we passed them or if they missed it and kept going??? My friend went ahead; I turned around and we yelled. Finally heard a reply - they were ahead. They missed is too. Later we found by talking to others that we were not the only ones. So that was a bit nerve wracking. Back together we got to the dreaded water crossing bog thing at Feldspar. The boys crossed and gave us instructions as we picked our way across. A little more adrenaline for the morning. By 9:15 we saw the sign that said we were just 1.5 miles from Lake Tear, which we reached by 10:27. Some guys were pumping water by the cairn for Gray so we didn't see it right away but when we asked if they knew where the trail was, they pointed it out to us. We started up at 10:37, thinking maybe 30 minutes to the summit. Well, after about 5 we came across the rock slab you have to go down. For a pokey, careful hiker like myself, I took a little time to negotiate that. We kept going and just before the summit was saw an imposing section of rock that I thought looked impossible to climb. My son and my friend's son managed to get themselves up it and were ready to pull us up. I thought I'd cry - this was not something I wanted to do and I couldn't believe no one on this forum had mentioned it! Somehow I got in a position that the boys could both grab a hand and pull and I just scrambled until I felt safe. When I stopped and looked to the side I saw... the trail. Yep, there was no need for any of us to climb this rock. I thought I'd cry again - joy tears!!! The summit was anti-climatic after that but we did make it (in about 50 minutes). On the way down we laughed to see the cairn marking the trail AROUND that rock which was literally almost at the base of the rock. How did we miss it? Probably the same way we missed Lake Arnold. We got back to Lake Tear in 30 minutes and less than 15 minutes later were at Four Corners. We grabbed our rock for Skylight's summit and headed up. This climb was very easy - just some cobbly rock but nothing out of the ordinary. Even I made it to the top in under 35 minutes! What a spectacular summit! We soaked up every minute of the 50 we spent up there and decided we were going over Marcy. The main reason was the Feldspar bog, but we also thought it would be about the same time as returning the way we had come, just a more pleasant walk in the woods. Amazingly, I got from the summit of Skylight back to Four Corners in 20 minutes. I was up Marcy in just under an hour, which is keeping with my 1 mph pace. It was a good climb and the sun was really beating down when we hit the open rock. I did a fair amount of walking/resting, slow and steady. This was my second time on Marcy and it was better than I remembered. We left just before 4 and were back at the Loj by 7:30. It was a great hike! I was very thankful to be parked right near the trailhead because wow was it crowded. There were cars parked at least a mile down the road away from the Loj. Hoping for another beautiful day next Saturday to finish our 46 on Saddleback. Having mixed feelings about finishing...

  • #2
    This sounds like a terrific day -- good luck on your big finish!

    The bog does sound interesting...


    • #3
      Congratulations to you on a very successful hike. I took the same route as you last summer and can't wait to go back and visit those awesome views off Skylight. The guys in our group enjoyed "assisting" a couple of the women down that first rock on Gray (but they might have had ulterior motives too). Glad your group reconnected after Lake Arnold without too much trouble. Sure does get the heart pumping thinking you might have gone astray.
      Good luck on your finish; I'll be waiting to read the TR!

      Mama Mac
      ADK 46 (11W)
      Mama Mac
      ADK46 #7948W


      • #4
        Hi there. We met on Skylight yesterday. I took your group photo. Glad to hear your return over Marcy worked out well. We went on to Gray after Skylight and then back to the loj via Lake Arnold. We did catch a glimpse of the lake through the trees, but just barely. We finished just a little after 7:00 so just missed you at the parking area. Good luck with Saddleback. All I have now is Gothics and Armstrong. Love your website.
        It's a magical world, Hobbes, Ol' Buddy. . . Let's go exploring!


        • #5
          I remember that spot on Gray. Fortunately we saw the cairn before we went up. Good luck on your finish. I have enjoyed following your Trip reports on you web page. FWIW, your times have mostly been faster than ours!


          • #6
            Congratulations! Yesterday was a great day, and wish I could have met you. My two friends and I also did Gray and Skylight (in that order) yesterday.
            We are closer now than we were five minutes ago


            • #7
              I know how you missed Lake Arnold...

              ...I missed it the other day too. My head was down while I was concentrating on balancing on the log bridges. The sign is up and to the right and partially hidden by a bent over balsam. I walked right by the sign and the log bridge heading perpendicular on the right. And I've been there numerous times in the past!? I just shook my head in disbelief and went on my way to Colden...