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Old 10-15-2018, 11:41 AM   #1
Eddie Fournier
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Montreal
Posts: 54
Marcy 10/14

Last week, my spouse and I went to Poke-O-Moonshine (observer’s trail) for a great Fall outing.

This week, I was back to my solo hiking program and looking to stretch my legs. So many incredible hikes to choose from… Up to the last minute, I had 4 different hikes in mind by finally decided to go with Marcy. This would turn out as a day of many firsts for me.

Started from the Loj parking at 6:40 with my frontal flashlight (1st time I’ve used it for its true purpose) and my new boots (my soles were separating from my old pair). And new sticks.

Temperature a few degrees above freezing, but perfect when moving at a brisk pace. Signed off as “Marcy and Table-top” in the register. I was feeling in shape and motivated!

Two hours of walking got me to Indian Falls. I had been here before and knew this is not a detour to be missed and boy was it true this day. I got a fantastic view of Algonquin & friends.

Hmmm… is that snow on the top of those peaks or just frost? Guess I’ll find out.

I got the answer less than a mile further. Snow covered the trees, but not the trail which at this point was very mud and wet. I came here to witness Fall, but a glimpse of Winter is what I got.

Still a mile further, water turned to ice and mud turned to, well, slightly sturdier mud. But I’m not complaining – I came here for a challenge. Although I am an experienced hiker, I’ve grown much more cautious with age (plus the fact that I’m solo hiking), so from this point I was basically processing a risk analysis of every step. I think I was more exhausted mentally than physically. And maybe that explains why I did not put on my crampons going up. Or maybe the lack of oxygen was inducing me to bad decision-making (just joking it’s not THAT high). The thing is I had never used crampons and thought it would impact my balance and make it more difficult to travel on rock surfaces. Here’s a nice view of Marcy that you get about 0.6 miles from the summit – it’s closer than it appears.

Anyway, got on top at 11:00. There was only another group of about 8 people travelling together, plus the steward. It was cold, but the wind was not as brutal as it had been on Wright two weeks ago. Great views all around (I don’t mind being called a fair-weather hiker – you won’t find me on trails when the forecast calls for cloudy summits). View to the South-East:

I was a bit anxious to deal with the last steep and slippery bit and so I did not linger on top. Fortunately, a couple coming up had their crampons on and that whipped me into action. On went the Hillsounds and boy, what a difference they make. I was foolish not to wear them coming up. From that point, I think the next 20 people I crossed also had crampons. The sun was out in full and weather was warming up, melting the ice, so the trail probably got easier later in the day. Which is fortunate since some people seemed quite ill-equipped.

Stopped again at Indian Falls, had them to myself. And now I had to decide on whether to climb Table-top. At this point, there was only less than 900’ of elevation left and I felt had enough remaining energy. On the other hand, my phone was dead and my backup battery refused to spring into action; also, my left knee was nagging at me. I stopped at the trailhead and pondered but finally decided against and went on down at a brisk pace (for me). After Marcy dam I was passing people half my age, so yes, I think I did have some energy left despite the 15 miles hike – but my knee would ache like hell if I had gone further up or down. Got to the car at 3:50 pm. So roughly a 9 hours round-trip – more than I had planned, but I hadn’t planned for ice. I’m starting to find my hiking times are pretty on par with the “2 mps + .5hrs/1000’ elevation” rule.

Last edited by Eddie Fournier; 11-10-2018 at 09:25 AM..
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:13 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 06333 & Pittsburg, Berlin GR, Edmonton
Posts: 456
Nice report.
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