Ascent of Mount Marcy on 2008-03-15

Climber: John Sherback

Others in Party:Mike
Date:Saturday, March 15, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Marcy
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:5344 ft / 1628 m

Ascent Trip Report

A few inches of fresh snow Friday night, no wind below treeline. Started at the Adirondack Loj at about 8:30, took Van Hoevenberg Trail to Marcy's Summit. Trail had many people near the beginning, but thinned as we went further in. Trail very packed in. Saw numerous Pine Martins. Long (7.1 to summit) gradual climb until a few hundred vertical below summit. Became windy at the summit, which was in the clouds... very low visibility. Reached the summit about 3:15. We were the second to last group on the summit (a couple were heading up that we saw at about 430, still had a good hour or more ahead of them). Strapped on my snowboard just below summit taking great care not to lose the hiking trail in low visibility. Got to snowboard for the first half-mile down, before the trail became too tight. Would strap in wherever the trail became wide enough. The actual ski trail that parallels the hiking trail for about a mile was in good condition, tight but easily ridable. Was able to ride all but a few hundred yards all the way back to the Dam. SNowshoed back to a mile from the Loj, then strapped on the board and rode until about .2 from the Loj.

I have read many online reports that made the trail sound very skiable all the way down (noting the trail only becomes two pole-widths wide in a few spots. Most of the trail was a single track that you pretty much had to go straight and look for an opening to scrub speed. This may be due to the snow levels helping to narrow trails, but it was much tighter than expected. Above treeline was 2 inches of drifting powder with bulletproof ice under. Trail below treeline had corn snow.

Lots of melting throught the day near the bottom. A few inches of snow melted off throughout the day from the bridge crossing .8 mi uphill of the dam down to the Loj.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Skis, Snowshoes
    Weather:Snowing, Pleasant, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Start Trailhead:Adirondack Loj  
Descent Statistics

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