Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ha-Ma-Ta 2014-05-06

Haystack, Marcy, and Tabletop
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

On Tuesday, Neil and I spent ten hours roaming around the High Peaks. I visited Haystack, Marcy and Tabletop whereas Neil tagged Marcy and explored Panther Gorge.

Spring is evident in the valleys (< 3000') which are now free of snow and ice. The trail to Marcy Dam is wet and muddy but not unduly so. The Van Hoevenberg trail becomes icy upon crossing Phelps Brook (2800') and snowy around Indian Falls (3500'). The trails were hard-packed and spikes were adequate for Haystack, Marcy, and Tabletop.

In the Haystack-Marcy col, I stashed my snowshoes and headed to Haystack. Neil wore snowshoes for the bushwhack into the Gorge. The initial steep section of trail up Horse Hill still has good snow coverage but a few yawning holes, and the sound of rushing water, indicate its days are numbered.

Marcy has impressive snow coverage and it is mostly hard-packed. I was able to descend its north-east side (next to the huge "snow-bowl") in microspikes. 

Tabletop provided the trickiest bit of trail owing to a high and narrow snow-spine. Combined with late-afternoon softening of the snow, it was challenging to remain atop the narrow spine.

See all photos.

Van Hoevenberg-Phelp trail junction.

The Haystacks.

Marcy's snowy northern face.

Snow-spine on Tabletop: 1 foot wide and 3 feet high.

Haystack, Marcy, and Tabletop from Adk Loj: 18.7 miles and ~6700 feet.

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