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Old 01-13-2019, 03:22 PM   #1
frbelina
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Question Phelps and Tabletop Winter

What do these look like in the winter? Would a solo trip be inadvisable? I've done them both in Summer.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:50 PM   #2
gebbyfish
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Those are often recommended as first winter peaks. They're often combined and done together by stronger hikers. Always a good idea to start your winter peaks with one you've done it good weather before, since you should know the way.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:36 PM   #3
DSettahr
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Yeah, either of these peaks are not unreasonable for a first time winter ascent of a High Peak, especially given that you've already climbed both in the Summer and therefore have previous familiarity with the terrain. They're both well traveled, so the trails are usually well packed out and easy to follow, unless you're the first one in following a recent storm. On any Saturday with whether that is, at the very least, not horrendous, you'd not be the only person attempting either peak. (Be sure in any case to let someone know your plans as well as set a time for them to contact the DEC if you haven't checked in by then.)

Doing both in one day may or may not be a bit much for a first time winter ascent. Like Gebby says, it depends on your level of fitness. With an early start, it's perhaps not unreasonable to set the goal of doing both- but I'd be sure to keep track of the time along the way and definitely evaluate your pace and how you feel after the first peak before making the "go/no go" determination about whether to attempt the second. Personally, I'd probably do Tabletop first so that Phelps is second- which puts you that much closer to the trailhead if you decide halfway up the second peak that you're really not feeling it and are better off bailing.

If you're not already familiar with the concept, make sure you read up on proper layering of clothing in Winter for maximum effectiveness at keeping you warm and dry. Remember also that snowshoes are required by regulation- if necessary, these can be rented at the High Peaks Information Center at the Loj trailhead. There's a ton of good additional information on climbing High Peaks in the Winter in this thread from a few weeks ago.
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