Several years ago, my sister, Amy, and I started a project to climb most of the high points of each state of the US. So far, she and I have completed 15 high points together. New York’s highest point, Mt. Marcy, has been on our list for a while, so being in the Adirondacks sort of made it a no-brainer to do this high point. At over 15 miles round trip, we knew it would be a challenging hike, but we really wanted to get this one.
Last night we packed up as much of our gear as we could after dinner, so when we got up this morning at 6 am, the only thing we had to do was break down our tents and pack them in the car. We stopped at Soulshine Bagels in Lake Placid for breakfast, before heading out of town to the base of Mt. Marcy. Alan dropped Tim, Amy and me off at the trailhead, and then went to investigate camping options at the Adirondack Loj.
Amy registered our hiking party and we set off for Mt. Marcy. It was a sunny day and lots of hikers were on the trail. The first couple of miles were pretty mellow, but after about 3 miles, the trail became very rocky and much steeper. About 600 feet below the high point, I started to have serious reservations about topping out and getting myself back down the mountain. That’s why doing high points with your sister, who is sure to talk you into finishing, is the way to go. The top of Mt. Marcy is a unique and fragile alpine environment, so the hike becomes a scramble across boulders for the last half mile to follow the yellow blazes to the very top. Finally on top of Mt. Marcy we slapped high fives, snapped a few pictures, and enjoyed the views from 5,343 feet. And then like many steep hikes, the hardest part begins. First, the scramble down off the top of Mt. Marcy and then the punishing descent on the rocky trail. Often, we can descend faster than we climbed, but today it took us just as long to descend as we spent climbing because of the steep, rocky trail.
During the day, Alan texted me that he had secured a campsite at the Adirondack Loj, which is a lodge and campground at the base of Mt. Marcy, run by the Adirondack Mountain Club. We hobbled in to camp about 10 hours after setting out this morning. Over 15 miles later, we were exhausted, but very pleased to have added Mt. Marcy to our high points list. Since Amy, Tim and I were wiped out from hiking, Alan drove us in to Lake Placid for dinner at a restaurant called The Cowboy. We demolished our dinners and desserts before heading back to camp and deep, deep sleep.
More photos from Mt. Marcy: