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Mar. 1, 2003 (Sat.)
Elevation: 4427 feet; Order of Height: 19
Participants: Markus Wandel, Andrew Lavigne
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It has been almost two months since our first failed attempt to climb Tabletop Mountain. The thought of our failure burns our minds and makes us ache for the victory of the summit! Well, maybe we don't feel quite that bad about it - but I wanting to try it again, and this time, there won't be any mistakes. I keep a close watch on trail reports online and have a very good idea now of where the herdpath is (it is just below Indian Falls, just a few feet from where we stopped looking the first time. Argh!).

Markus can't sleep the night before the hike, so I tell him to just call whenever and I'll get up and we'll go. This turned out to be sometime between 2 and 3am! So we were on the road early, to say the least! We arrived at the ADK Loj trailhead at 6:15 am. Quite early. We start out our hike in the dark and are treated to some nice sunrise light at Marcy Dam. We opt this time to go straight up the Van Hoevenberg trail (no fancy detours this time) and we make the start of the Tabletop Herdpath at a very early 8:30am. A quick break at Indian Falls and then it is back to the start of the Herdpath, which is actually well marked (red flagging, I think). Also there is a very good snow path beaten down. It is an easy and pleasant and quick ascent from here, especially in contrast to the attempt back in January. Soon we are atop tabletop, and, although there is a fair bit of vegetation, the snow does indeed help elevate us in places and we are treated to great views of the Great Range wreathed in Clouds, of Big Slide mountain from a unique angle, and, after a while, Mount Marcy itself, rising out of a cloud bank. It is still very early 9:30 am-ish. In fact, this is probably my earliest summit ever in the Adirondacks. It is a still and relatively warm and sunny late winter day. Quite peaceful and beautiful.

On the way back, we think about doing Phelps as well, given how early it still is, but since I've already done it, we decide to go with Esther instead (another fairly easy climb that both Markus and I have not yet done). Unfortunately, on the way from Marcy Dam to the ADK Loj, one of my snowshoe's binding parts fails completely, rendering the snowshoe useless. I am forced to bare-boot it back to the parking lot, and that's the end of our hiking for the day.

Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
 Image Gallery: March 2003 Tabletop Mountain hike
 Image Gallery: January 2003 Tabletop Mountain hike (failed attempt)

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