Ascent of Phelps Mountain on 2011-03-12

Climber: Austin Black

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, March 12, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Phelps Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4160 ft / 1267 m

Ascent Trip Report

Left Milton at 6 and arrived at the HPIC at 8:30. Jim Sr. was delayed by poor roads, and arrived at 10. We booked out lean-to for the night at Heart Lake, and hit the trail at 10:40. The temperature was a comfortable 30F, and remained so for the day. The snow was very well packed, but not as icy as I had expected in to Marcy Dam. From Marcy Dam, the trail was still in nice shape. When we paused for a snack at the Phelps junction, we saw a couple of hikers headed our way at a swift pace. When they approached, I knew I recognized one of them and asked if he hiked the Great Range last fall. Sure enough, it was the same hiker from New Jersey that I had hiked about half of the Great Range with. We continued on after chatting for a moment, and reached the Indian Falls trail junction by just before 14:00. The trail to Tabletop was broken, but very narrow. This was my second ascent of Tabletop, but the first in the winter. We topped-out at about 15:30 and had the summit to ourselves. Tabletop has a wooded summit, but we wouldn’t have had much of a view anyway due to clouds. We had a snack and drink, and headed back down 15:45 as it began to very lightly snow. On the descent, Jim mentioned that he would likely not be up for Phelps, and encouraged me to tag it solo. We got back down to the Phelps intersection at 17:20, and Jim chatted with a skier, also Jim, as I headed up Phelps. I summited at 18:10, just as light was beginning to fade. Strangely enough, as I took my headlamp out of my pack to put it on, I had the nicest view of the day as visibility increased just enough to see the slides of Colden, and parts of Wright. I descended with increasing darkness, and by the time I returned to the Phelps Brook trail at 6:40, it was completely dark other than my headlamp. It was an uneventful march out, I reached Marcy Dam and continued onward to the HPIC, which I reached at 19:40. Overall an excellent hike, and the training I’ve been doing proved to be beneficial.
Summary Total Data
    Route:Phelps Trail
    Trailhead:Phelps Trail  
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Snowing, Cool, Breezy, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:25 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Table Top- Phelps 2.0 (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Table Top Mountain2011-03-12
2Phelps Mountain2011-03-12

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