|Mar. 19, 2005 (Sat.)
|Elevation: 4161 feet; Order of Height: 32
|Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Jennifer Innes, Pu Chen
I wanted to get in one more winter adk 46er climb before the winter season was officially over. March 18 looked excellent, weather-wise, so we headed down to the Adirondacks to do 'something'. We agreed that we wanted to do something in the 15km-ish range, so I suggested Phelps. Pu and Jenn had never been up Phelps, in any case, so this would be nice for them, too! The weather was indeed fabulous as we started off on a clear, crisp but not too cold morning, from the South Meadows trailhead.
The trail conditions were perfect. Good snow, hard packed. In fact, we bare booted all the way up to not far from Phelps' summit, where we then experimented with snowshoes and crampons, finding that crampons worked best in the hard-packed snow. As we got to the lookouts on Phelps, we were treated to spectacular winter views of the Adirondacks. There is something especially panoramic about Phelps' views.
We had a long hour-long lunch stop at the top, enjoying the still air and warm winter sun. Pu set a brisk pace, and we arrived at the summit in no time, only a little more than 2 and a half hours from the trailhead!
On the way down, I got to try out the next iteration of my "ground-skiing" device - a crazy carpet with attachment points to allow it be fastened behind. I got many interesting looks from uphill hikers, but I did manage to cover quite a bit of distance with it! Tricky to steer, though, and I will have to come up with a simple but effective directional control. We were down at Marcy Dam in no time - we spent a long time there, lazing about on a log next to Marcy Dam, soaking in the very warm late winter sun. Lots of little critters were out, presumably because spring was near!
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
Image Gallery: March 2005 Phelps Climb