We had been dunked in mud, trod underwater, stopped-and-re-started, rushed off a peak, re-routed, drenched in a passing thunderstorm, and hiked over 18 miles & 5,000+ vertical feet. We wouldn’t have changed a thing.
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.
Having successfully navigated a one-way traverse of Gothics & Sawteeth, and with the encouragement of our new 46er mentors, we decided to hike our first “unmaintained” trail to Street Mountain and Nye Mountain.
Mount Marcy, at 5,344 feet, is the highest mountain in the Adirondacks. It is also the most hiked of the 46 high peaks, which is a little odd to me since it is a 14.6-mile round trip taking the usual way from the Adirondack Loj (pronounced ‘lodge’).
We made it fairly easily up to 4,173-foot Lower Wolfjaw which offered better views on the way than on the top, and then went back down-and-up to get to 4,173-foot Upper Wolfjaw. After lunch on Upper Wolfjaw, we easily had enough in us to make it down-and-up again to 4,400-foot Armstrong.
Despite our unpreparedness in pretty much all aspects, we made it to the summit. It was breathtaking. 4,627-foot Giant dominates the Keene valley to the east of the Great Range, offering spectacular sweeping views.
Cascade Mountain is, along with Mount Marcy, the most popular summit in the Adirondacks. It benefits from a relatively short 3-mile hike which starts from well-traveled Route 73 and spectacular 360 degree panoramic views.