Phelps Mountain
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Phelps Mountain, January 2004

click here for a panorama from Marcy Dam

click here for a flash photo album - link under construction

What a way to start the hiking year, this would be my first high peak in winter as well. On this hike I was accompanied by Brian and his daughter Erin. This was Erin's first snowshoe hike ever and she did a high peak! You can check out Brian's report of this hike on his site.
We came in from the Adirondack Loj, the most popular route to the mountain named after "Old Mountain Phelps" who was the first to ascend Tahawus (Mt Marcy) and was a famous guide in the Adirondack Mountains. The weather report called for snow the first half of the day and partial clearing later. We were hoping for some views from the top. The trail was in great condition and we really didn't need the snowshoes until we got into the higher elevations.
After cruising through the lean-to neighborhood at Marcy Dam,  we crossed Phelps brook via the high water bypass and continued to the Phelps trail turn off where the real climbing began. We encountered a few tricky spots with snow covered ice on boulders but none of us had any problems. The wind picked up a bit but was very moderate compared to the usual wind velocity in that area of the high peaks.
The summit has some bare spots and a few lookouts but it is mostly wooded. The clouds didn't break so there were no views but I can't complain, I've been blessed with great weather on most of my hikes thus far. We actually ate our lunch(s)  prior to and after peaking so we only spent enough time on the summit for a few photos and some hot chocolate.
Summit Photo
After we got down to level ground we decided to pack the shoes, our last half hour or so was in the dark but we were prepared for that.
Sure is dark out here
As I said, it was a great way to start the hiking year and add another peak to my quest, Mountain Goat will need this peak so I will be back another season.

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