Off to the Adirondacks we went! The forecast was due to be clear by mid-morning with 20 mph winds on both summits and temps on the summits in the mid-high 30s. The group met at the Shaw’s on the Shelburne Road at 6:30 am, piled into 2 cars, headed across the Crown Point bridge, quick stop at the Stewart’s in Port Henry, then made our way to the ADK Lodge. By 8:45 am when we arrived at the booth to pay our parking fee, we needed to park in Lot #3. Change of layers and footwear (all wore spikes to start, carried shoes) and getting packs organized and we’re off at 9:15 am. Packed trail into Marcy Dam, and mostly the same to Phelps and Table Top junction, where we leap frogged a second time with a group of 15 or so Canadians who were out for the day to ascend Phelps; they were having a great time! We made the decision to hit Table Top first and made our way to what we thought was the summit of this trail-less peak. We were mistaken; luckily, a couple from New Jersey, Dan and Sabrina, had a trail app and got us on the right path (I’d say we lost only 15-20 minutes with our error). We did now end up putting our snowshoes on. Dan mentioned he’d hiked the LT this fall and experienced 16 of 21 days in the rain but loved the experience, even having snow on Camel’s Hump one morning. He and Sabrina were in the area to hike her first two Adk. peaks (along with Phelps) and celebrate her birthday on Sunday.

Finally made it to the summit where we were greeted by clear skies and majestic peaks! A snack for some, lunch for some, then back to the junction and now ascending Phelps. Luckily not at any point during the day did we experience balling of snow on our footwear which is something I was fully expecting. The only significant ice we encountered was on Phelps, maybe 3/4 of the way up, the steepest portion of the trail. Again, clear skies and more fantastic peaks. Ran into Dan and Sabrina on this peak and they shot the group photo. Spent a few minutes soaking up the sun and views and then onto our second and final descent of the day. Made it back to the Lodge at 5:10. Another change in reverse of clothing, footwear, etc. before we made our way to the Baxter Mtn. Lodge for burgers and libations, arrived back in South Burlington around 9:15 pm.

A super day in the mountains but when is it not a super day in the mountains with friends, laughs, conversation, fresh air and memories!

Participants: Mark McLane, Tom Smith, Jim Watkins, Dean Weiderin, Sylwia Salkic, Robynn Albert (leader). Photos: Dean and Robynn.