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Old 10-12-2009, 05:46 PM   #1
Kyler
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Elizabethtown
Posts: 309
Phelps 10/10

My original plans for Saturday were for Mt Jo, Colden, Indian Falls, Phelps, and Van Hoevenberg. For a couple of reasons (mostly the weather) this list ended up being shortened to Phelps.

I got to the Loj around 8AM, which was later than I had planned to be there. SARNAK was collecting donations on the Loj Road, and one of the guys told me that the forecast was for the rain and clouds to clear up around noon. The last forecast I had seen indicated that things would clear up around 9AM.

I decided that I would climb Phelps first, and then re-evaluate from there, based on how the weather looked. The parking lot was nearing capacity, and there were lots of people moving around the parking lot. Fortunately, there weren't a lot of people on the Van Hoevenberg. I passed a large group at the beginning, and then a family of 4 are the Wright junction, but then no one until Marcy Dam. The trial from the Loj to the Dam was in really bad shape. Pretty much the entire trail was muddy, and of course is ever widening as people try to walk around the mud.

The trail past Marcy Dam was in much better shape, I would guess mostly due to it's rockiness. I passed more people along this stretch, and saw a lot of people that didn't seem to be dressed appropriately. There were lots of people wearing t-shirts, jeans, sweatpants, shorts, etc. It wasn't raining heavily, but it was drizzling, and everything was wet.

The Phelps trail was in decent shape, there was some mud here and there (where there isn't rocks). The climb to the summit was uneventful, until just below the summit when the rain picked up and turned to sleet. I made my way out to the summit, where there was no view and no sign of the clouds breaking. I started back down and the sleet turned to snow. Once I got back in the trees, it turned back to rain.

On the way down, I passed lots of groups headed up. One girl even told me she didn't like me because I couldn't assure her the the summit was just around the corner. I got back to the Dam, and there were still no views. I kept going and got back to the Loj in a little under 4 hours.

The clouds were just starting to clear when I got to the Loj, but at this point, I was cold and didn't feel like hiking anymore. When I left the Loj, the lot was full. When I got to the South Meadow road, there were cars parked on the side of the road as far as I could see, and then probably 30 or so cars were parked on the side of the Loj road too.

I headed into Placid and met one of my friends at the pub. It was late afternoon when we left there, and the low clouds had all cleared by then, so I was at least able to get out the camera and take some shots. I haven't taken the shots off of the camera yet, so I'll post those in a different thread.
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