Another stellar day in the ADK's - Gray/Marcy

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New member
Jun 23, 2005
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Denver, Coloradical
I left my apartment in Burlington, VT around 5AM on a mission to hit Skylight, Gray and Marcy today. I had previously done Marcy when I was younger in 1991 (I was 11), and unfortunatly was socked in a freaken monsoon at the time so saw nothing from the summit.
My father grew up in the Essex/Willsboro area, 46er #1248, and preached the ADK's to me growing up. I finished my NH 48 when I was 14 years old (26 years old now) and spent most of my time climbing out there, but I absolutely love the ADK terrain in the High Peaks region. Aside from Baxter, the ADK's are my favorite, so I am always stoked to go climbing. After doing Table Top last week in wet weather, I was excited for a nice day.

I hit the Cumberland Head Ferry at 6:00, and reached the Loj around 7:30, was on the trail around 7:45. I cruised into Marcy Dam in the usual quick time, always a good warm up trail. For the first time in about 10 trips to the Dam, I didn't see a snake. (Hoorah!).

I kept on trucking up to Lake Arnold to the Mt. Colden trail - and onward to Feldspar. That section of trail from Lake Arnold to Feldspar is interesting. 1) Some great views of Colden. 2) Lots of mud. 3) Plenty of places for snakes to hide in the grass. 4) Open, soft woods.

At Feldspar junction, I headed East towards Lake Tear and Four Corners. I had plans to go to the Drive-In tonight(Pirates) with my gal, and I had completely forgotten any sort of time telling instrument on my trip today. I decided to bag Skylight for the day at this point, and just do Gray and Marcy.

I reached the Gray Herd path start, and took a quick water break. While waiting, I ran into a couple comming up to Lake Tear, and thinking the Gray herd path was the trail up Marcy. I corrected them, being all friendly like, but apparently they didn't believe me and headed in...they turned around fairly quickly. I however started plowing up the herd path, which I enjoyed. Some ledge scrambling is always fun, and in no time I was standing at the summit. Some great views of Colden, and the whole Algonquin ridge. Skylight as well as Marcy, Big Slide, Table Top, Phelps etc.

I hadn't realized how close Marcy actually was to Gray, and you could see the very faint, but distinct bushwacking path over to Marcy from the summit of Gray, so I headed over. The path is fairly easy to follow if you keep your eyes on the ground, but make no mistake, you are still crawling and pushing through very very thick terrain. Thankfully, there werent many blowdowns on the way, just your standard bushwack at 4600 feet. This was easily the slowest part of my trip, but eventually I ended up on the west slope of Marcy. After a steep 300 yards or so, I reached the summit, which was fairly crowded of course. (Including the couple who started up Gray. :D ) I got a couple of strange looks from people as I climbed up the slope from the woods...hah.

I took in the views which I hadn't seen from this angle before, including my future #115 on the NE115, Haystack. Great great views all around, although cloudy. I knew the sun would come back out eventually, but I just kept truckin down. I was into Indian Falls in about an hour and a half, was tempted to climb TR Mountain 10 min later but passed on it, and back out to ADK Loj at exactly 3:30 PM. An 8 hour trip exactly...which blew me away, I hadn't realized how fast I was moving.

I love the Whites - but those ADK peaks are just so fierce to look at and climb. If you have never been out to or even seen Big Slide, Gothics, Colden have no idea what your missing.

Pictures/GPS route at: