Sep 28, 2009

Hike Report: Mt. Marcy, NY - state highpoint #31

While Alex and Joe were out of town, I took the opportunity to take a quick daytrip up to the adirondack mountains of new york to climbg Mount Marcy, which is the highest in New York State.

For those of you who don't know, I am a card-carrying member of the highpointers club, which exists solely for the purpose of
promote climbing to the highest point in each of the fifty (50) states; provide a forum for education about the highpoints; aid in the preservation and conservation of the highpoints and their environs; provide a vehicle through which persons with this common goal can meet and correspond with one another; maintain positive relationships with owners of highpoints on private property; assist in the care and maintenance of highpoints; and support public and private efforts to maintain the integrity of and access to state highpoints.
I maintain a separate web site about my highpointing adventures, here to see it.

Anyway, I had been to 30 state highpoints, including all but three east of the mississsippi. I've gone on roadtrips of thousands of miles and slept on sides of roads several times to grab highpoints in remote parts of states that I'd otherwise have no reason to visit. I've hiked in the rain, the snow, the ice, and the heat to grab highpoints. Yet I had not been to my home state's highpoint, and as of this weekend hadn't bagged a new highpoint in about a year, so I figured now was about as good a time as any to go grab it.

That was the longest introduction to a report I've ever written. The actual report will be shorter. I'll include lots of photos to make up for it. (:

Grabbed my traditional bagel-with-lox-and-cream-cheese pre-long workout breakfast and hit the road at 4:15am, and made it up to the Lake Placid area in about 3½ hours. Started hiking, jogging the flats and downhill areas, which there weren't many. After 2 miles I reached Marcy dam and had 5-6 miles to go, where the trail got both steep and very rocky. I powerwalked all the way to treeline until bonking a bit and dragging my sorry ass the last 500-feet to the summit. I took a bunch of pictures, called my wife in california, and started back down after a half hour up there. Total time trail-head to trail-head was just a hair over 6 hours. Got back in the car and drove home, making a stop at cracker barrel in albany for a pancake dinner. Love the pancakes there. (:

Enough of the report. Here are some photos. Enjoy.


help us out, shlep a rock


trail register


Lots of this in muddy parts


Marcy Dam


Lots of this on the trail


And a tremendous amount of this. Literally miles of it were like this.


Nice view, still a ways to go


1.2 miles to go


Approaching treeline


summit always visible now


this is how you know you're at treeline, merely 5000' high in this part of the country.


Thought the trail was tough before?


Rock shlep complete


Made it!


From what I could tell, that little rock next to the puddle was on the actual highest point of the state. that little puddle next to the rock was the highest puddle in new york state.


dorky summit plaque shot, taken by the forest ranger paid to hang out on the summit. what a job that must be.


Nice view. I could see a lot of clouds.


To be fair, this direction had better views


The summit. plenty of company up there.


Marcy Dam, coming back


closer look at the dam


Mt. Marcy, from the dam


Typical trail at lower elevation, below the dam


More trail below the dam


More trail below the dam


And, in case you're wondering, the only two highpoints east of the mississippi i have left are now maine (Mt. Kathadin, big mountain) and virginia (Mt. Rogers, not quite as big.)


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