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Friday, March 5, 2010

Skiing Mount Marcy: Phelps Brook section

Alan Wechsler ascends into the clouds on Marcy. Photo by Phil Brown.

Alan Wechsler ascends into the clouds on Marcy. Photo by Phil Brown.

Yesterday I skied Mount Marcy with Alan Wechsler, one of the contributors to the Explorer. I had skied Marcy just a few weeks ago, but I never tire of this trip.

We had great weather until we emerged above tree line. The summit was a complete whiteout, and the wind was fierce, with wind chills below zero. Descending the summit bowl, we couldn’t see the bumps in the terrain or any landmarks to gauge our position. “It’s like skiing blind,” Alan remarked.

It took us a while in this ghostly atmosphere to reconnect with the hiking trail. Once we got below the clouds, we could see again, and the skiing was terrific.

One of my favorite stretches of the Marcy trail is along Phelps Brook. By the time skiers arrive at the brook, they have descended all the steep, difficult sections. Now they can relax while cruising the 1.2 miles between the two brook crossings.

I took a video of Alan skiing this part of the trail. I was right behind him until he took a small spill toward the end. The camera was strapped to my chest.

Phil Brown

Contributor Phil Brown was editor of the Adirondack Explorer from 1999-2018. When he isn't at his desk, he's usually out hiking, paddling, skiing, or doing something else important.

One Response

  1. Rich Heiden says:

    Great ! During warm weather ascents I have wondered what the skiing experience would be like going down the Mt. Marcy trail. You take us right there, and it was fascinating to watch. Thanks.

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