I am not the most patient person in the world and the goal of becoming a 46er is not for people who require instant gratification. So, the Adirondack High Peaks are schooling me in the art of long term goals. That said, I had 3 peaks under my belt in 2 weeks and decided it was entirely possible to fit one more in before winter. On October 21, 2007 we set out to climb phelps. This was the day we were introduced to Marcy Dam. We turned down the road to the Adirondack Loj where the view that is ahead gets you psyched for the days hike. We felt like old hats as we left the trailhead with many other seasoned hikers. (I remember hoping no one noticed my camoflauge "hunting" backpack- speaking of patience- there were several gear purchases I made immediately and others that I felt could be spread out over the winter. My Kelty daypack was the first priority. Regardless, the camo pack worked to bring what I needed up the mountain.) Being at Marcy Dam is a cool feeling. You get a super close look at Colden and are teased by the partial view of Avalanche Pass. After pouring over guidebooks and maps of the area it is striking to actually stand on the ground that is conveyed as nothing short of sacred by the writers. After checking out the camping sites at the dam, we quickly decide we would not want to camp here with the masses. Leaving the dam, we find the phelps trail. I enjoyed hiking much of the way next to phelps brook. It was a beautiful summer-like day. We shared the trail with many friendly hikers and a few dogs, as everyone was capitalizing on what was probably the last gorgeous day of the season. At the windy summit, we marveled at Mt. Marcy in front of us and the Pass to the right of us. My father was thankful to have a view this time. Oh, how I want to see Avalanche Pass and the lake. I saw a tagline on a post from the adirondack forum that said "It's not a map it's a to do list". Well, I have a huge to do list in front of me, because I am now not only interested in climbing the 46 peaks but also being sure to take the time to discover all there is to offer within the park below 4,000 ft.
I had a definite sense of gratitude for being able to be on top of a high peak two sundays in a row. We begin to refer to our sunday climbs as being at "church".