We had already completed two hikes which to us were special – our one-way traverse of Gothics & Sawteeth and our first “unmaintained” hike up Street & Nye. After making them both easily, our new 46er mentors gave us a new challenge, for a secret passage up the back of Phelps Mountain.
We passed the cutoff to 4,161-foot Phelps Mountain on our hike up to Mount Marcy, along the ‘usual’ route from the Adirondack Loj. At the time, we decided to get Phelps on another day in conjunction with Table Top Mountain, also on the trail to Marcy.
Instead, we were encouraged to try an unused trail (which I can’t disclose) all on our own. We loved it. We saw not one soul until the top, the trail was mostly in covered forest (rather than rock), and we successfully found our way to the peak.
We walked right over the summit (someone stole the marker at the top) and Ben ran into a couple hiking up the normal route. Not realizing that we passed the summit already, and asking the couple if they had passed it, they replied back “not yet – where exactly are you coming from?”
The winds at the top of Phelps were whipping – probably 30 miles per hour or more. We had no idea – on our secluded route up the ‘back’ side of the mountain, we were completely insulated from the weather. It was chilly too – and we were sweaty from our hike – so we quickly started back down the mountain after a photo or two. We smartly marked the point where we re-entered our trail and made it down with no incident. There was some rain on the way back, which by that time we welcomed as refreshing. The rain stopped as we crossed over to the South Meadows, which is where I took the infrared shot below.
It was our last day in the Adirondacks, and we were back at the rental cottage from our second 8-mile hike in as many days for lunch & showers. All told, we hiked over 70 miles in 10 days, and we climbed 10 high peaks. We were sad to go.
Taken with my Pentax *ist D & *ist DS (IR) cameras and 24mm f/2 lens.
2012 trip: 10 high peaks. As of 8/5/12: 14 (out of 46) high peaks completed.
Our 2012 high peaks: Big Slide; the Wolfjaws & Armstrong; Marcy; Gothics & Sawteeth; Street & Nye; Phelps; Rocky Peak Ridge & Giant; Skylight & Gray; Wright, Algonquin, & Iroquois; Dial & Nippletop; Dix, Hough, S. Dix, E. Dix & Macomb
Edit: See: Our Path to 46.