On top of Mount Marcy - Being the highest person in New York State
Mount Marcy - Adirondacks - NY Travel Blog› entry 1027 of 1090 › view all entries
Today I realized one of the hikes that I had wanted to do for years. I hiked and climbed the highest mountain in New York State. The 1629-meter (5343-feet) high Mount Marcy.
I had tried to hike the mountain once (see here) but was stopped by bad weather. In the meantime I had visited some high points in other regions, or states. Like Slide Mountain (1277 m / 4180 ft), the highest point in the Catskills (see here), High Point State Park, the highest point in New Jersey (550 m / 1803 ft), (see here), Mount Greylock (1063 m / 3489 ft), the highest point in Massachusetts (see here), Bear Mountain (708 m / 2323 ft), the highest summit in Connecticut (see here), as well as the shoulder of Mount Frissel (at 725 m / 2380 ft), the highest point in Connecticut (see here).
Mount Marcy was originally called Tahawus, an Indian word for "Cloud Splitter". Later it was (re)named after Governor William L. Marcy who authorized an expedition to investigate the high peaks area of the Adirondacks in 1837. At that time there were no trails of course. Nowadays hikers have choice between several approaches to the roof of New York State. I took the most commonly hiked Van Hoevenberg Trail, starting at the Adirondack Loj.
From the trailhead it is only about 989 meters (3245 ft) up. That is actually 100 meters less that the hike to the 5th highest peak (1484 meters / 4867 ft) of Whiteface Mountain. The challenge of Marcy is the distance to get to the summit, 13 kilometers (8 miles) one-way through wilderness area, with no roads nearby.
I spent the night in Lake George and got up a 5am. I still had to drive about 83 miles to the trailhead. During the ride the temperatures went down close to freezing.
It took me about 4.5 hours to get to the summit. Of course, with many stops for enjoying he vast views, the pastoral, lakes and splashing waterfalls I was feasted on. The last section of the climb went above the tree line, giving even more view. And then the moment came that I could call myself officially the highest person in New York State. Those that were on top of Slide Mountain were still 352 meters (1155 ft) below me. The workers on top of the One World Trade Center Tower in New York City were even more than a kilometer (0.67 mile) below me. And I even beat my fellow hikers on Whiteface Mountain, which I could clearly see in the distance, by 145 meter (475 ft).
Deep below me I could spot Lake Tear of the Clouds, the highest lake in the state and one of the origins of the great Hudson River.
I could leave in a more relaxed pace and took an alternate route midway. Despite walking in a steady pace I arrived only just before dark at the parking, after a 10-hour and 40-minute hike.
A very rewarding day! Thank you colleague Maurice van B. for convincing me to realize this before I returned back to the Netherlands!
More pictures below.