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Adirondack Explorer

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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