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Old 06-21-2018, 12:15 AM   #4
rickhart
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Northampton, MA
Posts: 312
Personally I love that loop. I've done it a few times (although last time was 3 or 4 years ago), and never had *that* much trouble. The upper Opalescent valley where the swampy part happens is a beautiful area. The stringers in the swamp are pretty negotiable, with care -- maybe a wet foot at one point. Then again, I'm light (high 140s) and fairly agile.
You should throw in a side-jog up to Skylight if possible. Not that much added elevation, and it's a great peak.
I do it in the direction you described, counter-clockwise. Then you get to Marcy later when the crowds have reduced (or gone, depending on your speed) -- and the VanHo is long but well graded & maintained. You can almost float down it. Just have a good headlamp in case it takes longer than you think (speaking of which, the days are longer now than in August).
Have fun! It's a classic.
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