Ascent of Phelps Mountain on 2011-08-22

Climber: Gabriel Couët

Others in Party:Luiza Manceau
Date:Monday, August 22, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Phelps Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4160 ft / 1267 m

Ascent Trip Report

Early Monday morning, we were awoken by the sound of people packing at the lean-to nearby our tent. It was around 8:00am and we had lingered in our sleeping bags far longer than I would have wanted already. We slowly activated and ate breakfast on rocks near Marcy Dam. After packing the food back in the bear canister and stashing it safely, we filled the day pack and left along Van Ho trail. It was now 10:00am.

The trail was easy and weather was pleasant. We soon passed a couple of guys going for Marcy. It wasn't long that we arrived at the junction for Phelps trail. Here I could see some footprints in the mud and expected at least another group in front of us. The way got steeper quite quickly but it was still easy to manage. When we hit the treeline, we started having some views of mounts Colden and Marcy. The trail eased off along the summit ridge and after meandering a bit around rocky outcrops, we reached the summit slab. It was now around 11:35am. There were two guys there already. They were friendly and one of them asked if I knew where the true summit was. We looked together and came to the conclusion that it must be around 6 feet to the NW of the slab under a fir thicket. At the slab's edge, we could see an old benchmark socket hole.

Luiza and I popped our lunch out and ate while chatting with the two guy who turned out to be from Toronto and just starting on the ADK 46 list. After a while, a family joined us at the summit. Everyone was in great spirit and it was the highlight of the weekend. Phelps mountain is definitely an underrated summit. It has awesome views - we could see Camel Hump to the east along with the MacIntyres and the whole Great Range - and the trail is varied and challenging.

I asked the family's father about the herd path for Table Top mountain and he gave very helpful info that motivated me to go tag it later on. Luiza and I planned that I would go for Table Top while she would hike back down to Marcy Dam and pack her stuff along with the bear canister in order to return it to HPIC while I would pack the tent when I came back down. We left the summit around 12:05pm. I stayed with her on the hardest part of the trail but as soon as the terrain became gentler, I gave her the last gulps of water in my Nalgene before taking speed down to the junction.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1827 ft / 556 m
    Elevation Loss:1243 ft / 378 m
    Distance:3.4 mi / 5.5 km
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1827 ft / 556 m
    Extra Loss:33 ft / 10 m
    Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Route:Van Ho, Phelps trails
    Trailhead:Marcy Dam  2366 ft / 721 m
    Time Up:1 Hours 35 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:1210 ft / 368 m
    Distance:1.2 mi / 1.9 km
    Route:Phelps trail
    Trailhead:Van Ho, Phelps trails junction  2950 ft / 899 m
    Time Down:45 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Adirondacks (August 2011) (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Colden-North Peak2011-08-20 a
2Mount Colden2011-08-20 b
2Mount Marcy2011-08-21
3Mount Colden-North Peak2011-08-20 c
3Phelps Mountain2011-08-22 a
4Table Top Mountain2011-08-22 b
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Gabriel Couët
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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