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Adirondack Explorer

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Friday, May 4, 2018

An inspired winter hike

Thank you for the piece about your editor’s annual March ski up Mount Marcy (“A skier’s rite of winter”). It provided the inspiration I needed. While I have climbed almost all of the forty-six, I was never keen on bagging Mount Marcy, due primarily to the crowds (kind of defeats the purpose of a true Adirondack experience in my mind). However, I had been thinking of summiting Marcy in the late winter, when I knew I would experience fewer climbers. I also hoped to enjoy the High Peaks blanketed in a lovely crust of snow. So, on St. Patty’s Day, with the thermometer at the Adirondak Loj reading in negative territory, and a good thirteen inches of fresh snow on the ground, I took my skis, my snowshoes, and my crampons and set out to summit Marcy.

Editor Phil Brown’s ritual ski inspires others.

While I was well prepared physically and provisionally, I didn’t make it to the top. First, when I got to tree line, the wind was vicious and visibility was very poor. I didn’t think it prudent to continue. I decided to follow my survival instincts and head back and leave Marcy for another day’s march.

The next day I was up at the crack of dawn, with the temperature reading minus-twenty degrees at the Loj. I decided to hike up Cascade Mountain on the way home. After an absolutely enchanting climb, traveling through a magical tunnel of snow-encrusted balsams, I got my summit and winter view of the High Peaks! This is a long-winded way of saying thanks for your article as it inspired my winter visit. I come to the Adirondacks every summer with family, and I really enjoy reading your magazine year-round, and I will definitely be visiting the High Peaks next March to have another go at Marcy!

         Garrett W. Thelander, New Rochelle

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