Ascent of Mount Marcy on 2015-08-29

Climber: Cynthia Chan

Others in Party:Hudson Valley Hikers (HVH) - Richard Black Ops organizer
Date:Saturday, August 29, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Marcy
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:5344 ft / 1628 m

Ascent Trip Report

2015-08-29 to 08-30 HVH ADK46ers: Marcy, Skylight, Gray, Porter, Cascade
The mountains are calling and I must go! Gorgeous weather the weekend I was able to get to the Adirondacks again. This time, our group decided to sleep indoors, at the Ausable Inn hostel in Keene Valley, NY rather than in the rustic outdoors. I joined Hudson Valley Hikers (HVH) for a spectacular 19.2 mi day-hike loop from ADK Loj to Marcy (5,344 ft), Skylight (4,926 ft), Gray (4,840 ft) and back, then decided not to waste the next day given the gorgeous weather and 5-hour commute from NYC and hiked a shorter 6.2mi round trip up Porter (4,059 ft) and Cascade (4,098 ft) Mountains with a Zoey, a hiking buddy, I met the day before.
Late Friday afternoon, the 4 of us (Stephen, Madira, Zahra, and I) took our 5-hour commute to the Keene Valley, NY. My roommate for Friday and Saturday night – Madira, 1st time ADK high peaks hiker, though this was only my 2nd trip to the mountains. We met up with Richard, HVH organizer and the hiking party for a late dinner at Ausable Inn, finalized meetup details and hit the sack, given 7am meetup time at the ADK Loj trailhead.
Gorgeous day! Sunny, not too humid. I was intimidated by the mileage for this hike; my longest hike in the Adirondacks had been 10mi, which took quite a long time! However this was the only way to summit Skylight and Gray, and the weather was so optimal. I carried 3L of water, and a water filter – the good thing about this route. And, given my last experience, was expecting mud, plenty of mud and rocks, plenty of rocks!
I ate many snacks along the way, including my famous peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, which proved to be amazing! I surprised myself – at the end of the hike, I still felt relatively fresh and at-ease; not tired whatsoever. Perhaps I was getting more comfortable with the environment. I pushed myself harder in sections along the hike, to try to keep up with others as well as improve time and performance. When we reached Marcy Dam at the end of the hike, we pulled out our headlamps in anticipation of hiking out in the dark, but luckily (and I was so happy!) I finished in daylight and my headlamp was unused. I was pretty amazed that I was able to hike ~19.2mi / 3 peaks and not feel exhausted. I sweated a lot! And my boots were incredibly muddy! But I felt good; just wanted a nice shower. My trekking time was decent:

Start 7:40am (ADK Loj trailhead)
Marcy Summit 11:20am
Skylight Summit 12:25p
Gray Summit 2:20p
Finish 7:20p (ADK Loj trailhead)

After a nice, cleansing shower (the mud was yucky!), I relaxed in the room, ate some foods I had brought and would otherwise have had to carry back home and tried to turn in early. Then a knock at the door – folks were coming back from Lake Placid dinner after the hike and wanted to coordinate for the next day! Yes! I had spent some time earlier in the week trying to find a shorter, relatively easy / mild hike for Sunday in the hopes of being able to hike a short one before we started our long drive back to NYC. Based on recommendations, I had my eyes set on Porter and Cascade and had been mentioning it to folks during the Marcy hike. And so, Zoey and I finalized – we tried to coerce Richard to come with us, but he decided to hike Phelps and Tabletop with a few other hikers. And so, Zoey and I were set. She’d drive us to the trailhead and Stephen would pick me up from the trailhead at 1pm to start our drive back to NYC. Madira and Zahra were going into Lake Placid with Stephen for a quick tour and look-see. Perfect!
Start 7:50a (Cascade trailhead)

Porter Summit 10:30a
Porter / Cascade junction 11a
Cascade summit 11:30a
Finish 1:20p

I loved it! This was a wonderful, productive, inspiring weekend in the Adirondacks! I never thought I could multi-peak summit, let alone hike such distance (and still finish in daylight!). Wonders never cease. I am grateful for the ability and opportunity to be out there in the beautiful mountains and look to return!
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Part of Trip: Marcy-Skylight-Gray (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Marcy2015-08-29 
2Mount Skylight2015-08-29 
3Gray Peak2015-08-29 

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