On October 5th, 2004, my hiking partner and I arrived at the trailhead for the Johns Brook Trail, located at “The Garden” in Keene Valley, New York at approximately 3:15 pm. After a quick equipment check, we dawned our gear and set off for the summit of Mt. Marcy.
After a brisk 3 mile walk, we stopped for the evening at the Howard lean-to. After preparing our meals along Johns Brook, we hoisted our packs into a tree to prevent unwanted animals (bears) from plundering our trips food source. Asleep when the sun went down, we awoke to a chilly morning. After a relaxing breakfast, we quickly glanced at our “Trails of the Adirondack High Peaks Region” map; we set off towards Mt. Marcy.
After passing the Johns Brook Lodge, we stopped to rest near Bushnell Falls. After a quick carb reload and some water, we left the “yellow” foot trail markers and diverted onto the “red” trail markers. After reaching Slant Rock, we again switched trail markers. We now continued our trek while following the “blue” foot trail markers. After Slant Rock, the terrain changes drastically. Mild slopes and occasional rocks on the trail turns into a steep incline with rocks (and at time boulders) as your footpath.
Continuing on, we finally made it to a clearing near the top of Mt. Marcy. After reading the sign post which indicated .6 miles left, we refueled on water and carbs and started our final ascent. As we were walking over a long wooden slat type footbridge constructed to protect the fragile grasses, we could now see the summit of Mt. Marcy. It was a lot bigger than I anticipated. I could see several people on top dresses in long pants, parkas, and winter hats. I knew that my Columbia Camp Pants and long sleeve shirt was not going to be enough.
After climbing several large boulders, we made it to the summit of Marcy. It was VERY cold and VERY windy. Now dressed in my parka and winter hat, I could enjoy the view and take several pictures. After 30 minutes we made our way down and back towards Slant Rock where we spent the night before hiking back out.