View Full Version : Mt. Marcy + Gothics in a single day?

06-10-2004, 03:19 PM
Can anybody give me advice on the feasibility of hiking Mt. Marcy, Saddleback, the Gothics, etc. in a single day? My preliminary plan is to hike in from Keene Valley, hit Marcy first, come back via Saddleback, the Gothics, WolfJaw, etc., and spend the night at JBL.

It's about 20 miles; is that even possible?

06-10-2004, 04:33 PM
If you do it you'd be no slacker.

There is a lot of elevation gain, especially climbing the Wolfjaws notch between Upper and Lower Wolfjaws.

I've done Basin, Saddleback, Gothics, Armstrong, and Upper Wolfjaw (about 18 miles) in a day in under 10 hrs.

If you tack on Marcy & Lower Wolfjaw and subtract the hike out from JBL to the parking lot it is less mileage but a hell of a lot more elevation gain. You could always bail out down the Orebed Brook Trail or Wolfjaws Notch if the tank starts going empty.

So -if you love climbs and are in great shape - make sure you get an early start and bring a headlamp! Unless you're a trail runner.


06-10-2004, 09:21 PM
Phew-- all I can say is JELLO legs. Actually I've thought about that a couple times myself. But I keep talking myself out of it. There's no possible way to enjoy the day, at least from my angle.

If you decide to try it, good luck.

06-11-2004, 05:28 AM
Biggest problem once you get on the range trail is the lack of water. You either need to schlep lots of water or you need to be a camel.

06-11-2004, 06:00 AM
A couple of guys from work did the entire Great Range last year(Marcy, Haystack, Basin, Saddleback, Gothics, Armstrong, UWJ, and LWJ) as a dayhike! One of the guys is a distance runner, but the other guy just hikes for exercise...


BirdHead Studios (http://www.birdheadstudios.com)

06-11-2004, 06:09 AM
Originally posted by SlackerMike
...It's about 20 miles; is that even possible?
Possible? Yes
Fun? Well, I guess that depends on your definition of fun. I'll be impressed when I read your trip report, but probably not tempted to try it myself.
Good luck!:D

06-11-2004, 07:20 AM
They divided the great range into Upper and Lower for a reason! lol

I've done the Gothics-arm-up/low wolfjaws hike, as a 2 day last year. It's definitely do-able as a day hike, but I wasn't in shape at that time.

I plan to do Haystack, basin, and saddleback this summer as a day hike. Aparently water is an issue, so bring at least 4 liters and a water filter to fill the first liter at the last decent spot on your way up!

Marcy was another day for me, but I had some energy left over (enough to carry my full pack out to the car from marcy dam that evening).

I wouldn't recommend it, unless you're a strong hiker, insane, or a little of both. :p

06-11-2004, 08:40 AM

How much experience do you have with hiking in the Dax? I would say that if you did any of the range trail already, then you would know if it is do-able for you or not. I would personally save marcy for another day. Saddleback->LWJ is a decent daypack from JBL. I really recommend this hike. Water is a problem. I recommend filling up at the first SLIDE on the way up the Ore bed trail. I wish I had the day I did the range.

If you want Marcy, and a tough hike, I suggest the following: Stay at slant rock. Hike Marcy, over to Skylight, up the south side of Haystack (crazy steep) then grab basin if you have any feeling left in your legs, and return via shorey short cut. If you cut out Basin, its a much easier hike, btw. Vertical Mile over 10 miles.

I would say split Marcy off from the rest of the range. The mountains arent going anywhere anytime soon. Just what I think.


06-11-2004, 09:09 AM
Is this Pin Pin under a different screen name? ;)

My advice is: you should be in great shape, carry lots of H2O, and not be interested in enjoying this climb, but rather, ENDURING it.:eek:

06-11-2004, 09:54 AM
I think all enjoyment would be lost on a hike like this. I agree that removing Marcy from the hike would be the best idea considering all of the other visual rewards the other peaks would give.

Doc McPeak
06-11-2004, 01:15 PM
There are people who do the full Great Range from Roostercomb to Heart Lake with all 8 in between ... EVERY YEAR. Granted these are A+ hikers who are in superb shape so they can enjoy it. (more or less) But most have been on all the peaks many times so they've had their lounging and savoring and this is more for the challenge. If you're in great shape, and know what the mountains will dish out at you, go for it.

Bob Brainard
06-11-2004, 04:24 PM
Yes, it can be done, but you need to do some serious planning -- water, knowing your physical condition (the total vertical ascent is in the 9,000 to 10,000 foot range), knowing your bailout routes, take enough of a pack for your essentials (especially important on this hike). Do not do this hike as a first hike in the Adirondacks, but ony after getting to know the terrain.

My cousin and I did it as a HS graduation trip with each other. We did a loop from the ADK Loj -- 3 days, 2 nights. camped below 3500' on the trail to the UWJ/LWJ col. Did the whole range the next day, stayed at the 4 corners leanto (no longer there). And we did this with full packs. I awoke about 5:30 the next morning and climbed Skylight to watch the sun rise.

Oh yes, the year was 1971! Ah memories.

Were we crazy? Did we enjoy it? Guilty on both counts. I guess that is why I mostly hike solo now.

06-11-2004, 06:50 PM
Don't forget Hedgehog. I do believe that's the first mountain in the range.

06-13-2004, 12:18 AM
I am in moderate shape, strong legs but starting to carry around a bit of extra weight in a pot belly. Did most of the great range last year started at Ausable at dawn for variety, up the Wolfjaws and across all of the Range until I was staring at the junction for Haystack and Slant rock. I realized I was going to run out of daylight on the far side of Haystack and headed down the trail Past Slant Rock to find a campsite close to the Lodge. A decision my legs thanked me for.

From Roostercomb to Heart lake in one day? theres a fitness goal to aim for by autumn.:D

06-14-2004, 12:02 PM
This is a long day no matter how you cut it. Bring lots of water as mentioned. I have done the Rooster to Heart Lake twice. Once with Haystack and once without. I believe it took about 13 hours at fast pace. The walk from Marcy to Heart Lake felt very long. It is doable but only for those in great shape. (Both trips were on cloudy/rainy days with no views so lounging on summits never happened)