Wednesday, May 13, 2009
strive for five!
this crew [with the snazzy shirts] has a goal to conquer 5 High Peaks before winter.
this is us hiking at midnight under a full moon.
we arrived at south meadow around 11.30pm and hiked the 2.8 miles to marcy dam. it was quite warm for an adirondack night in may, a perfect night for a hike. my pack was starting to feel pretty heavy [i may have whined a little] and i was really hoping we'd find an open lean-to.
we crossed the dam, the moonlight glittering on the water and outlining the mountains. it was magical. we came to a lean-to and jer crept up to see if it was available. score! we snuggled into our sleeping bags and lay our heads on our new camping pillows [luxury!] at 1.22am. i didn't sleep so well. i'm a side sleeper and my hips were killing me.
the next morning we discovered the coffee press was not in with the camp stove. not a promising start. good night of mosie - how is one to survive a day without coffee, let alone hike 2 mountains?! it was drizzling as we started down the trail about 9.45am. we crossed phelps brook and the trail was fairly easy as we hiked along the brook. we came to a junction where the trail turned right away from the brook with a marked ski trail to the left and another trail straight ahead. we figured this must be where we cut off for the tabletop summit and went straight. we started to see snow on the ground at this point and the rain was coming down pretty good. turns out we were on another ski trail, but we came back out on the trail right where the sign for the tabletop summit was. we passed one guy coming down, other than that we had the trail to ourselves. there was quite a bit of snow on the ground near the summit.
like my fanny pack?
when we reached the peak the sun actually came out. we happily enjoyed our lunch of pepperoni and/or tuna wraps in the sunshine. the strive for fivers also enjoyed take 5 candy bars.
as we started back down the trail we were met by another downpour and a thunderstorm. we found the junction for phelps mountain and started heading up. as in straight up. there were lots of rocks and roots and lots of climbing. we passed quite a few groups coming down on this trail. the lightening and thunder were quite close so we tucked under the trees a couple times to wait it out. 3 men passed us and let us know lightening struck about 200 feet from them so they decided to turn around. we were about 3/4 of the way up at this point. we talked about turning around. the rain was blowing sideways and we were totally soaked and very cold. after a few minutes i announced we could keep going but if there was 1 more lightening we were turning around. the water was pouring down the rocks now making little waterfalls. my legs did not want to climb anymore but we needed to hurry. after lots of steep climbing and tromping in puddles and waterfalls we finally made it. we took a few quick photos.
right after this shot lightening cracked way too close to us. you have never seen 4 people run so fast down a mountain! yikes. when we crossed phelps brook on the way down we had to use the high water bridge. the rocks we had used just hours earlier were now covered with rushing white water. it was a relief to know we had a lean-to to come back to because our tents would've been sitting in puddles. we arrived to our home base about 5.45pm. we snacked and snacked some more. our second night was much colder than our first. i also slept much better after a sleeping tip from v, which i will pass along to you. put a sweatshirt on your sleeping pad under your hips. sweet relief! we went to bed about 9.30pm and slept 11 hours!
in the morning it was snowing as we hiked back out to our car. we dreamed about big cups of hot coffee [and chocolate milk and orange pop] and fluffy piles of pancakes as we hiked. we drove to the loj to clean up and then drove to the downtown diner in lake placid for a celebration breakfast.
i had 3 cups of coffee. glorious.
more pictures right here!