Snowshoeing Mount Marcy (NY, USA) - 5,343 ft (1,629 m)

Mount Marcy is the highest peak in New York state and rises to an elevation of 5,343 ft (1,629 m). It is part of the 46-ers of the Adirondacks. On March 29th 2015, we decided to wake up at 3:30am in Montreal and head as a group of four to Mount Marcy. After 2.5hrs of driving, a quick stop at the border and a delicious McDonalds breakfast, we arrived at the Adirondack Loj. The parking fee is 10$ per day for non-members. There are toilets you can use before starting the trail. This is the second time we hiked Mount Marcy, but our first winter ascent. We pushed back this trip two times before because of bad weather, but this time the forecast was on our site. Check out this site for a good Mt. Marcy weather forecast. 

We decided on starting at the Adirondack Loj and taking the van Hoevenberg Trail directly to Mt. Marcy and heading the same way back. Last summer, we hiked Mt. Marcy starting from Keene Valley on the Hopkins trail. This trail is a bit longer than the other one. 


As it was still Winter (technically already Spring), we tied up our snowshoes and dressed in warm layers. It was -18°C (-0.8F) when we started at 7:45am. The first 3.7km (2.3miles) are quite flat and the snowshoe walking quickly warmed us. After the flat stretch, we reached the Marcy dam which was frozen and covered in snow so that we were able to take the short-cut over the lake. From then on, the trail goes constantly upwards. There is a nice outlook at Indian Falls just 3.1km (1.9miles) past Marcy Dam. From there you have a nice view of other high peaks like Algonquin and Wright peak. The last ascent was above the tree line and the wind was blowing quite strongly. There was enough snow on the top so that our MSR snowshoes were giving us a perfect support. We took crampons with us but ended up not using them. At 12:15pm, after another 5.1km (3.2miles), we reached the top of Mount Marcy. We found a cozy spot behind a bolder protecting us from the wind and enjoyed some good salami, chocolate and bananas. The view was amazing and the sky was ridiculously clear.

At 1pm, we were heading back down. There were some hikers that walked up with their skies and skied past us on the way down. The way back took us less than expected, so that we ended up back at the car at 4:30pm. The last part of the trail was already getting slushy as the sun was shining on it for the full day. In total, we hiked 24km (15miles) for the loop and it took us 8hr 45min (including breaks). After the hike we drove back to Montreal and fell happily asleep at 9pm :)

Here some impressions from the hike:

Just breathtaking 
Mount Marcy Dam.
Hiking through the snow-covered trees
The last stretch to the top with an amazing view. 
The top of Mt. Marcy! 
On the way back down. The sun warmed us up.


All pictures were taken by Andreas Spielhofer. Thanks!
The maps are from National Geographic.

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