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Old 10-31-2018, 11:34 AM   #1
tenderfoot
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Marcy Oct 27

Original plan was to drive 6 hours to Adk Loj, hike in past Marcy Dam Fri night, go up and over Marcy and try for Skylight and Gray. Possibly bag Tabletop on way back.

Well - I have to do a bit better with pre-trip prep. Left late, got to Loj at sunset on Fri. Could have hiked in under headlamp, but heck - a nice leanto with a campfire was sounding pretty good after hectic packing and long drive. I don't mind hiking at night, I don't mind hiking on ice, I don't mind hiking unfamiliar trails - but all three at once when not needed seemed unnecessary.

A great night in Leanto, temps in low 30's. Skim ice on water bottles in morning. Got on trail at 7:30.






As expected trail had more snow and ice as we worked ourselves higher. Put on spikes between Marcy Dam and Phelps trail. Left them on for remainder of day. Stopped again to layer up prior to leaving tree line.



Made good time (for us) and reached peak after 5 hours. As expected from weather mountain top forecast there were severe winds (40-50mph). Could not really stand up for casual selfies. Sleet was akin to having one's face sandblasted.



These conditions paired with our late start and skill level prompted us to skip Skylight and Gray. Did not want Marcy between us and camp. Visibility was such that compass & cairns used to get back to tree line.

Weather took a turn, warmed up a bit, so now it was sleet and rain so we hiked right by Tabletop too on way out. We were warm and dry but wished to enjoy the day by getting off trail sooner than later. I'd say on our way out there were two more inches of snow on the ground.

Trail well traveled. Maybe 50/50 with hikers that looked prepared and ones that looked less than prepared.

Lessons from this trip
  • Always good to know when sunset is, but also moon-rise. Dark at 7pm Fri night but I could have almost read a book at 1am.
  • A box for the fiddly bits of gear that go on shelf for every trip. Separate containers for summer, winter, canoe, etc.
  • Still need to work on trail food. exertion makes some food hard to get down.

Thoughts on Gear
  • Still loving Primaloft. Jacket and gloves. The gloves were soaked but still warm.
  • May look into water proof gloves or a vapor barrier like Trailboss uses.
  • Need either a puffy or another primaloft layer for camp. We had enough layers, but they were bulky.
  • Hiking pants with magical water repellent finish were fantastic.
  • Got better use from Giai GPS on cell phone.
  • Yes, technically the one piece fleece Halloween costumes would have made nice sleep gear / outer layer but fellow hikers might feel a tad odd when confronted with giant chicken on trail. Close enough to Halloween though - we could have pulled it off.
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:40 PM   #2
Eddie Fournier
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I think it's still hunting season, so chicken suit might've been risky

Great report

Did you do anything special to keep your water liquid?
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:21 PM   #3
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Eddie,

Your recent report was helpful in trip planning - thank you for that.

As for water we sleep in colder seasons with our water bottles filled with hot water in a sock. Keeps hammock warm and ensures you have 'soft' water for coffee in the morning.

Our second water bottles were inverted, so ice forms at bottom rather than at top. No snow at camp, otherwise would have stuck them in there.

Travel with a steripen for refilling from babbling brooks, which were easy enough to approach this time but we did not need to.

I also still carry my Sawyer filter but it stays in inside pocket for entire trip. Cant have that freeze.

Since we used Lean-To at Loj we had access to their outside faucet and inside sinks. This is what was actually used.
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:55 PM   #4
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Thanks for the report.

Our group stayed to tree'd summits that day to not tempt high winds.
We saw the Great Range socked in from Colvin and figured we'd made a good choice.

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Old 11-01-2018, 05:23 PM   #5
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Good TR.
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Old 11-01-2018, 10:38 PM   #6
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Careful. Whistle while you hike. Bigfoot has been spotted in that area.
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:31 AM   #7
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I love conditions like that. Great TR!
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Careful. Whistle while you hike. Bigfoot has been spotted in that area.
This cannot be stressed enough.

Important Announcement:

In light of the rising frequency of human - Bigfoot conflicts, the NY DEC is advising hikers, hunters, and fishermen to take extra precautions and keep alert of bigfoot while in the field.

They advise that outdoorsmen wear noisy little bells on their clothing so as not to startle Bigfoot.

They also advise outdoorsmen to carry pepper spray with them in case of an encounter.

It is also a good idea to watch out for fresh signs of Bigfoot activity. Outdoorsmen should recognize the difference between black bear and Bigfoot dung.

Black bear dung is smaller and contains lots of berries and squirrel fur. Bigfoot dung has little bells in it and smells like pepper.
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:37 AM   #9
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I love conditions like that. Great TR!
To use an old Robin Williams quote, "But then again, I also like to wear fiberglass underwear sometimes."
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:25 PM   #10
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I love conditions like that.
Neal - we were both pretty pleased with the hike. We have been up on a peak socked in with no view, that can be disappointing. This was new for us, and she will not soon forget being on top of Marcy. Very memorable.

PS Thanks for your writings on fitness for the trail. This trip my back pack was the same but my "front pack" was noticeably smaller and it made a world of difference.
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Old 11-06-2018, 05:38 AM   #11
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PS Thanks for your writings on fitness for the trail. This trip my back pack was the same but my "front pack" was noticeably smaller and it made a world of difference.

What writings?
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:47 AM   #12
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I think it was just last year when Neil embarked on a winter odyssey - climb the 100 highest peaks in ADK's within a 3 month winter period - Dec21-Mar21.

His project site is here.
His writings on fitness are here.
He has donated an ebook on the project here.

I'm 53, was way heavier than I should be, and hike with my daughter. I would never consider hopping out on the field with professional (or even High School) football, hockey, soccer, etc players either. Was not in shape, did not know the rules, have not been taught the needed skills, did not have the equipment, etc. Good chance if I did I would get hurt, let down fellow players, not have a good time or require outside assistance. Well, in some ways ADK hiking is the same. Not as severe as my example but in some ways similar. The gentleman I passed in sweat pants, 'normal' down coat and no pack on the way to Marcy on a day with 30F temps and freezing rain was not having as good a time as I was.

So I pick up tips on skills and rules here. I am always adding to gear closet. Most items not crazy expensive (ex wish to try Trailboss's food-service glove vapor barrier trick next). And I started losing weight and working out. I am of the age where it is easy enough to attribute aches and pains and limitations to "getting old" but much of those issues are weight related and as such reversible to some extent.

Sorry - this reply is longer than needed. My point is Neal's epic travels encouraged me to drop some pounds to become a more responsible hiker. And the last couple of hikes have been much more enjoyable.

I really like the "Leave No Trace" ethics. And as my daughter points out a fat guy laying across the trail clutching his chest is a "trace."

PS I'm not saying one needs to be in tip top shape to enjoy hiking in the ADK's. Know your limits and work within them, pushing a bit now and then. I really like the recent 29'r post. Less traveled peaks, shorter hikes, every one with a view.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:46 AM   #13
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Most items not crazy expensive (ex wish to try Trailboss's food-service glove vapor barrier trick next).
I started using vapor barrier gloves (nitrile mechanics gloves purchased by the box) last winter. I wear wool mitts inside eVent shell mitts and especially in cold weather the wool mitts would take on a lot of water. I would swap them out and was always amazed at just how much my hands would sweat. And how much weight I wound up lugging around in the form of frozen mittens.

Once I started using the vapor barriers my wool mitts remained bone dry all day long. I still carried spares but stopped needing them.
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:34 PM   #14
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Where does the water go with the nitrile?
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:11 PM   #15
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Where does the water go with the nitrile?
It runs down your arms and exits at the elbow.
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:49 PM   #16
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I think once you have a thin film of water under the gloves you cease producing it.
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Old 11-06-2018, 03:58 PM   #17
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"Black bear dung is smaller and contains lots of berries and squirrel fur. Bigfoot dung has little bells in it and smells like pepper."


Excellent!
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