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Phelps, TT, Colden, Basin, Saddleback on 6/12

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  • Phelps, TT, Colden, Basin, Saddleback on 6/12

    Left my tent site at South Meadows and started down the Marcy Dam truck trail by headlamp. It was a nice, comfortable morning. Passed Marcy Dam and headed up towards Phelps. As I summited around 6 AM there was a pretty morning sun and the surrounding mountains were in its golden glow.

    Headed back down and towards the Table Top junction. The trail was not too muddy, and I felt like I made good time. Table Tops trail was muddy as to be expected but not too bad if you just walk right through it. When I summited, I took a few quick photos and headed back down.

    Passed the Indian falls section and took the side trail over to Lake Arnold. This never seems like a nice place to camp when I am through here, maybe I am wrong. There were some dark clouds passing over, with intermittent sunshine in between. Pressing on to the summit I decided I would take a short break on top. Once on top, the higher mountain summits were shrouded in clouds and it felt like it could rain. Luckily, it stayed dry the entire day. Ate a quick chicken sandwich and began my descent.

    Once down I headed back the way I came to the Van Hoevenberg trail and pushed onward. The trail from the shoulder of Marcy to the summit of Basin was tough as usual, very rocky, rugged, and wet. The summit of Basin was very windy, but the dark clouds had cleared by then and it was a beautiful day. I could see the snow field on top of Marcy but there wasn’t any snow on the trails anywhere.

    I had never been on the trail between Basin and Saddleback before and heard it was steep. I was not disappointed. The cliffs of Saddleback were dry and were not bad at all if you take your time and think about hand/ foot placement. At a PB&J bagel on top and began my descent down to the valley.

    The Ore Bed trail was ok, the slabs were a bit slick, so I took care while descending. When I arrived at Johns Brook I had a decision to make. Originally, I had planned on going over Big Slide and Yard on my way out to South Meadows. I was pretty knackered at this time and decided to just head right for the Klondike trail and skip Big Slide. This was a little bit of a disappointment, but I think it was the right decision.

    I was pretty zoned out on the Klondike trail on my way back. As I made a turn in the bend, not far east of the lean-to I was surprised by a female Moose sitting in the middle of the trail about 20 feet down. This startled me to say the least, she hopped right up and ran 50 feet or so off the trail. I could see her through the branches as I made my way (quickly) passed. I feel so fortunate to have this sighting as I had never seen a Moose before. Simply stunning.

    The rest of the hike out went down without a hitch. Made it back to South Meadows, ate a bunch of food and retired to my tent for some much needed rest. A great day in the mountains as always.

    Bug Report: mosquitoes and some black flies at South Meadows but not bad. Other than that they were a non issue.

    Snow Report: I did not encounter any snow anywhere on the trails

    Mud Report: The higher you get the muddier and wet it is, as to be expected. The lower trails are decently dry though


  • #2
    Originally posted by Earthworm View Post
    The Ore Bed trail was ok, the slabs were a bit slick, so I took care while descending. When I arrived at Johns Brook I had a decision to make. Originally, I had planned on going over Big Slide and Yard on my way out to South Meadows. I was pretty knackered at this time and decided to just head right for the Klondike trail and skip Big Slide. This was a little bit of a disappointment, but I think it was the right decision.

    I was pretty zoned out on the Klondike trail on my way back. As I made a turn in the bend, not far east of the lean-to I was surprised by a female Moose sitting in the middle of the trail about 20 feet down. This startled me to say the least, she hopped right up and ran 50 feet or so off the trail. I could see her through the branches as I made my way (quickly) passed. I feel so fortunate to have this sighting as I had never seen a Moose before. Simply stunning.
    That was a VERY tall order, you should not be disappointed in yourself, besides you might have missed seeing the moose had you completed Big Slide and Yard.

    Very nice trip report!
    If by chance some day you're not feeling well and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled ~ Red Skelton

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    • #3
      Congrats on a crazy amazing hike. The magnitude of this prompted me to plug it in to my watch's route planner, and it came out to roughly 26 miles, and the difficulty point-meter maxed out way before the route was back to south meadows, and the programming app said to me "wait, you aren't really going to consider this yourself, are you Mike?" and I said no as i dropped my head as a mere mortal, and closed it out without saving the route.
      I actually like how you didn't hit Haystack, this seems like a super awesome challenging hike that you went where you wanted knowing that you could. Thanks for the write up.
      35er #3133
      46er #11779

      "Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds"
      Zarathustra

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      • #4
        A unique combination of peaks! I enjoy doing the Co-TT-Ph triplet with Avalanche Pass but have not yet included other summits on the same day. I'm now inspired by your report. And what a treat to see the moose! Sounds like you had a really great day. Thanks for sharing!
        We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige

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        • #5
          Could the moose been ready to give berth? Nice hike and description.

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          • Earthworm
            Earthworm commented
            Editing a comment
            I did not consider this, not being too familiar with moose behavior I really can't say.

        • #6
          That's a helluva stout day of hiking, Earthworm! Wow! And to see a moose on top of it all, fantastic!

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          • Groundpounder
            Groundpounder commented
            Editing a comment
            Yep...I just checked it on caltopo. 26 miles, and just shy of 9400 feet of elevation gain. Definitely more stout than any day of hiking I've ever done in my life. Kudos!!! (note - I did camp at Lake Arnold once way back in 2009...it was kind of a dank and depressing spot. I've camped at Sno Bird 3 times and enjoyed it much more.)

        • #7
          Wow. From the title I expected two hikes. Kudos!
          ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 277/552
          Photos & Stuff

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