Actually, I can't remember if it was October or November, but what a frickin trip. I was living down in Jersey at the time and was under the impression the mild weather would hold true for the Adirondacks too. So no Goretex, no tent. Heck, not even a map... I picked that up at a hikers shop near the entrance. I wasn't too thrilled at the snow I was seeing but I guess I was lucky to have brought the ice axe. In true gumby fashion, I plodded up the standard trail and started slipping all over the damned place because I didn't have crampons and that damned trail follows an old creek up. Lots of windblown trees all over the trail. Laid out the sleeping bag and tried to get some shut-eye in the howling wind which seemed to penetrate the sleeping bag way too easily. Soon it became the shiverfest in the bag. 1am hit and I was about ready to bail like hell and run down to get warm. Then I remembered something about drinking water helps to warm you up so there I was in that damn small bag trying to drink water without getting the bag too wet. What a nightmare. But I did get warmer.
Waking up meant literally ten minutes of jumping jacks to get myself warm enough to have enough patience to light the stove. Now I'm heading up and getting screwed the whole way without crampons as this dang ice is everywhere. Matter of fact, there's a couple of boot prints left by the unfortunate soul who had tried in vain to make it up this glazed "hill" near the top. Well I wasn't any die-hard mountaineer but common sense seemed to dictate chopping steps if I was to continue. This is where I was extremely glad to have brought the ice axe when I initially saw all the dang snow upon driving in. So I dutifully chopped steps and then sprawled all over the place moving from one rock outcropping to the next so I could make it to the summit. Pretty darned windy. Then it was slipping, sliding, and falling all the way down. Got passed twice going down. Once by guys going on a daytrip with 12pt crampons and the other by a guy who spent the night as well but approached from the other side wearing instep crampons. Well I came back to Marcy in December with 12pt's but I tell you those insteps are the best thing since sliced bread.