Marcy-Skylight-Marcy Aug. 19

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Conditions in a word: wet.

I don't know what it was like from the Loj parking lot,since at 8:15 on a beautiful Sunday summer morning, the parking was already full. So we walked the trail from South Meadow and that was dry. From Marcy Dam it was mostly either wet trail, mud, standing water or running water, most of the way up, until the rock above treeline near the top. The same on the way to Skylight, on the back side of Marcy, and up and down Skylight. So care needed to be taken on the descents, to avoid slipping. There were some short dry sections from time to time, causing one to think the wet was finished, but alas, the wet sections showed up again rather quickly.

However, on the way down, around the Phelps cut-off to the former dam, things did seem drier, so perhaps with a couple of dry days, conditions will improve.

A couple notes:

1. If one is looking for an excellent workout, going up the back side of Marcy will do it for you, as it's around 1100 vertical feet in 0.8 of a mile, on beautiful rock.
2. If going in and out by South Meadow Road, keep in mind that going in one doesn't seem to notice that there is plenty of downhill, which of course means that at the end of a long hike, one has plenty of uphill during the final 2 miles. This can be mentally and physically punishing. I took poles with me in my pack all day except for the final 2.3 miles, and they really helped me with those pesky uphills at the end of our long hike.
3. Skylight is a very nice summit. We did it once as a loop, but found that going over Marcy and back to be more pleasant.