View Full Version : Marcy Dam/Trap Dyke

06-17-2004, 10:45 AM
Hello everyone,
I'm planning on heading to the dacks late on friday, probably arriving around midnight. We plan on climbing the Trap Dyke saturday morning so I'd like to get as close as possible to the base of it. I've never been to Marcy Dam, but my ADK map shows a road leading to it that has a gate. Does anybody know if this gate will be open on friday night? If I could park at Marcy Dam, it would shorten our hike back in. Also, the weather looks shitty for this weekend (scattered t-storms), if a storm rolls in we''ll just traverse left from the slide and find shelter in the vegetation, but has anybody been on the slide when it's wet?
Thanks for your input

06-17-2004, 10:52 AM
That road is only open to rangers. Its a 3 mile or so hike to Marcy dam from the parking lot, not hard to do at night. Finding a leanto at Marcy Dam may be a challenge on a friday night.


06-17-2004, 11:28 AM
The "Fire Truck Road" is never open to the public. There is parking right at the gate and a little further down the road. It offers a free and faster (IMHO) access to Marcy Dam, but it is about a mile longer then going in from the Loj (where you have to pay to park).

If you're looking for campsites close to the dike, the closest legal sites are at the Avalanche Camp which is a mile above Marcy Dam on the way to the dike. You can't miss them - the lean-to is RIGHT on the trail. But as precious said, finding sites late on a Friday night might be a bit of a challenge. Bring bear cannisters too - the bears in the Dam area are more then willing to steal your bear bags.

As for the dike itself - the slide can be slippery. That combined with the exposure could make for a hairy ascent in a storm. Climbing through the veg on either side is THICK (and i mean thick).

If you want pics of the dike to get an idea of what its like - check out this link (http://community.webshots.com/user/mroysterhead) . They are under the May ADK Trip.


06-17-2004, 01:22 PM
Nice pics dude. I did the Trap Dyke last year in perfect weather, hopefully it'll be more challenging this time. It sucks I'm leaving sunday morning though, from what I remember and looking at your pics, there is some awesome single pitch cracks on the walls of the Trap Dyke that have probably never been climbed. Maybe someday I'll lug my rack back there and spend a few days. Where is the NL industries mine in your album? I wonder how deep the water is in pic VI? It would be a cool place to water solo.

MD Cuse
06-17-2004, 01:28 PM
You can also camp for free at South Meadow if you are coming in real late and don't want to hike in. Might be easier than trying to find a site near Marcy Dam after dark and it is only short easy hike into Marcy Dam anyways the next morning.

There are plenty of sites at South Meadow to pitch a tent and leave all your hiking gear in the car.

06-17-2004, 02:31 PM
I used the truck trail two weeks ago, and I parked in the spot directly accross from the gate. There is broken window glass in that spot. Maybe it's from someone that lost there keys while hiking, maybe it's from some person jacking nice gear out of a parked car there. Luckily, I have a not so nice vehicle, and all my gear went with me on my back. I was in for three days, and my car was not tampered with. That is my preffered approach to marcy dam, really quick.

06-17-2004, 05:53 PM
Mavs is correct in both the location and the thing about private property. As far as I know, the owner of the mine is National Lead still, while the areas Mavs references are owned by the International Paper Company. Either way - it is technicaly private property. We were there on a sunday and noone was around except for a few people on bikes riding around the site.

My only word of caution is that there were several construction trailers there as well as some front loaders that had definetly been used recently. There were also sheds full of freshcut lumber. That leads me to believe that if you visit during the week you might run into people - whether they'll care is something that I have no idea bout.

As for the water - it looks really deep but it is an old mine pit and I have no idea what it was like - I know they can be real dangerous. The cliffs are really high, probably 70 feet or so, and wrap around almost all of the lake. There is one site just about opposite from the side of the lake that the mine backs up to where it looked like there was access to the water. Either way - be careful - help is a long way off.


According to the latest edition of the ADK Rock and Ice Guide, the area in the dike is largely unclimbed. And if it has been climbed noone has shared the tale. I know that several areas south of the dike towards Marcy Dam including the second, steeper, and smaller dike as well as the face right at the end of the lake have both seen ascents. Unless you plan on rapping back into the dike after your climb, you might also need pro to make it up the slide safely - i know it is VERY steep at that point. Probably just some long sligs around trees everyone once in awhile.