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Old 11-21-2017, 12:34 PM   #1
Neil
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 5,982
Day One: Skylight and Colden in slush. Nov. 19.

I met Bethany (for the first time) at the HPIC and we set off in the rain with temps just above freezing. It was windy and it was moaning in the treetops. The watercourses were all flowing well and Marcy Brook in particular was quite audible. The trail to Feldspar Brook from Avalanche Camp via Lake Arnold was very wet and icy. There was a lot of deep slush that dammed the water – until you stepped in it. We ducked into the Feldspar Lean-to (no issues with the frozen-in-place-floating bog-logs) and made a complete clothing change. It was now snowing very lightly.

Minutes later, after crossing Feldspar we decided that Cliff and Redfield would be much too wet and miserable so we headed up to Four Corners. The trail was much drier until Lake Tear and then it became another slush-fest. The trail up Skylight to tree-line was pretty slushy as well and then the wind had its way with us. I could feel my face freezing and then I remembered I was wearing a bala-clava, which I pulled up above my nose. We figured Skylight would give us a good indication of what Marcy would be like. Long story short – we opted to go down Feldspar and back over the Lake Arnold speed bump.

At Lake Arnold Bethany continued out while I went up Colden. I was really feeling the fatigue in my legs by this time and was wondering, at this stage of my preparation, why? And thinking, “if I'm this tired on day one after a single peak and having just had 2 days of rest how the hell am I going to do Project -100? The false summit was wild in the wind and I scooted across it quickly. Neither did I linger on the true summit. When I turned tail I contemplated the walk out and broke it down into sections and estimated 3h30: Summit-Lake Arnold-Indian Falls Junction-Avalanche Camp-Marcy Dam-Algonquin junction-and finally, my car with its powerful heater.

Then it was tramp, tramp, tramp for exactly 3h30 with the trail getting progressively easier. When I got out my vehicle was the last one in the lot at around 6pm. Next: Ice-fest on Giant-RPR.
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