Camped at a pretty little spot in South Meadows. Was awakened 20 minutes before my alarm by ADHD squirrels maddeningly dropping cones and nuts from the canopy.
On truck trail toward Marcy Dam by 5:30am, and it was a fast go of it on that trail. When I made my stop at Indian Point, noticed two hikers saying they were doing Marcy, and they had neither backpack nor backup water bottles – and where just in a t-shirt and shorts. Godspeed to them!
The trail junction for Phelps veers left as you are hiking up along Marcy Brook. It is stony and not hard to keep a steady pace the entire way up. Was greeted at the summit by expansive views of Marcy of course, but I most remember the happy White Crowned Sparrows hopping up and down the summit rocks and into the shrubs that were up top. Walked over the top of the summit for a bit to see signs of a herd path coming up from the Klondike trail, but did not find it.
A scramble down Phelps and off up the trail to Tabletop. The entrance to Tabletop was mucky and wet and rooted – not shocking, but the trail was still easily navigable. As I am writing this many years after hiking (my initial post just had times on it!), I can’t say as I have too many memories of the walk. Will perhaps get more pictures up.
Made my way all the way back to the my campsite by noon. With time on my hands and feeling pretty good, I packed up camp, had a lunch of pretzel bagel and cheddar, chugged a Mio-Energy water, drove over to the HPIC, and was strolling along Heart Lake by 1:30. The beginning of the journey to Street and Nye was notable for me insofar as I picked up my trusty hiking stick just past the entrance gate to the ADK Loj Parking Lot, it has been with me ever since.
The start of the walk is quite pretty, not just along the lake, but it is also the way to walk into the Indian Pass, as well as the approach you would take to do McIntyre. The stream crossing was a little wetter and colder than I had anticipated, but was uneventful. Once past the brook crossing, the walk begins a pretty steady, fairly steep climb. It was not rocky or too rutted for a change, it was more of a moist packed dirt path, but after the run up Phelps and Tabletop, the walk up to these two had me winded and my legs going slower than I hoped. But as with most hikes, the step by step by step rhythm keeps one going, and the scenery and solitude are second to none. Before too long was on the summit ridge, made the left toward the longer walk to Street (still a quick jaunt) and had some great views of the Macs, with the Santas in the background. Over quick to Nye, then back down. Was back in parking lot by 6pm. For a trailless peak, it was super easy to follow. Managed to cover the 8.2 miles in about 4.5 hours. More pics and a fuller description to come, someday!