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Old 12-30-2016, 02:49 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 4
Question Marcy Skiable new year's eve?

I'm planning to test the wind (40mph?!) at least to the tree line on the van hoevenberg trail to mt marcy over NYE. Hopefully, I'll do it on skis, but will have to decided in the dark.

Anyone here have insight? If it looks good on the flats, will it be good elsewhere? Is there a base yet? Will I destroy my skins?

The last trip report on marcy I can find was near 2 months ago (no snow, no surprise). The most recent report on the forums is 30 miles south (palmer pond) but in the same snow band. The pictures look bad for rock skis.
There has only been 2 in since then at the closets (my guess) station to macry (mt van hoevenberg). The total snow is around 8 in there; and it looks like 2 more will come while on trail.


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Old 01-02-2017, 11:53 AM   #2
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There was enough packed snow to ski to and from the dam. For a few miles past the dam, flowing water and too many exposed rocks forced me to switch to snowshoes. There is plenty of snow in the sub-alpine after the trail leaves Marcy book, but it's steeper and narrower than I can ski in daily light; I didn't bother trying with a headlamp.
I lost the trail not far after the tree line, but looked too rocky for skis there too.

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Old 01-02-2017, 08:09 PM   #3
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Mr 4n,
The suspense is killing me! Are you still up there? Did you summit? Did you retrace your steps once you lost the trail?
You made mention of skins, were you on AT gear?
Stripperguy's Photos (sort of)
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Old 01-03-2017, 01:53 PM   #4
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Looking at the GPS log, I was maybe 400m from the summit when I turned around. Had I known how close I it was, I would have pushed for it. (And maybe found myself in a headline before I found my car.)

Tele bindings on waxless skis took me to and from the dam. I brought skins but never used them. I was trying to hit the summit at midnight and behind schedule, so I didn't take the time to switched back to skis when there was more snow than rock and water. Instead I carried the skis(!) strapped to my pack with me the whole way up. Another too tired to make good decisions moment.

If I had a working AT setup, I'd have tried to ski down. It looked like it'd have been so much fun. But, I can barley turn on tele skis. In fact, this was my first trip of any length on them. I didn't realize how hot I'd get skiing compared to snowshoeing. I sweated through my layers before I'd even started the real climb. Nothing like being cold and damp in strong winds
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Old 01-03-2017, 02:33 PM   #5
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FWIW, the sister forum,, focuses on hiking in the High Peaks. You're more likely to find recent reports over there. For example, here's one where the individual left Marcy's summit in poor visibility:

Based on your tracklog, you stopped at the first patch of exposed terrain, right next to the "half-pipe" (a gully than looks like a half-pipe when filled with snow). The balance of the route has very limited to zero protection from the wind.

The blue line in this photo effectively represents the remaining trail to the summit from where you stopped. In the linked Trip Report, the hiker lost the trail about 800 feet from where you turned around, namely that large patch of exposed rock.

How do you like the Garmin Vivoactive HR? It seems like an affordable alternative to expensive multi-sports watches yet includes heart-rate monitoring and a barometric altimeter. Does it maintain a good GPS fix?
Looking for views!
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:41 PM   #6
Join Date: Dec 2016
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That perspective shows a lot more to be traveled than what I thought. I don't feel so bad for turning around now. Thanks for posting and for pointing me to the high peaks forum.

I really like the vivoactive. It's very quick to get a fix but seems to frequently be off trails by at most 10m. Tracking is sufficient to get decent pacing info (run, bike, or hike). I'm a little upset that it seems unnecessarily limited in open water tracking. As I understand it, that bit is all software.
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Old 01-04-2017, 09:35 AM   #7
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Just FYI, but when you do ski it, most skiers leave the trail and follow a route marked roughly in red that brings you over to the snow bowl and up to the summit entirely on skis. That last stretch up the rocky ridge does a number on your skins!

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