Mt. Marcy is the highest peak, towering above the tree line, in the Adirondack Mountains, upstate New York. Add winter's theatrics and you're a make-believe Himalayan mountain climber. Approaching the summit 70 km/hr gusts blast your ski goggles, your partner 20 feet ahead fades in and out of blowing snow. Brace yourself at the top long enough for Facebook bragging rights.
Mid February this is the best real-world mountaineering within a nine hour drive from Kitchener-Waterloo.
Leave Friday, Feb. 14, as soon as possible. Drive towards Lake Placid, NY, stopping for the night around 10 pm at some shared motel room(s).
Meet the group en route or at some point Saturday morning in Lake Placid.
Continue Saturday morning, Feb. 15, to the Adirondak Loj parking lot, Eastern High Peaks, Lake Placid. Start hiking mid morning and establish base camp mid afternoon, most likely at a lean-to around the Avalanche Trail cutoff.
Summit Mt Marcy Sunday morning and return to base camp for the night.
Holiday Monday, 'family day' in Ontario, hike back to parking, enjoy brunch in Lake Placid, head for home, an 8 to 9 hour drive to Kitchener-Waterloo.
Shared gas + shared motel room(s) Friday night + parking at Adirondack Lodge.
$60 (gas) + $40 (motel) + $5 (parking) = $105 plus incidentals
This probably shouldn't be your first winter camping experience, however, if it is, outfitters in Lake Placid can ensure it isn't your last. No genuine mountaineering experience required, no ropes involved. Physically demanding, start an aerobic exercise routine now if not already.
Snowshoes, -30 C sleeping bag, tent, stove for melting snow, footware traction devices such as microspikes and/or crampons. Ski goggles and hiking poles optional but good idea. Passport for border crossings an excellent idea. Note: In 2013 the only those with mountaineering crampons managed the final 300 meters to the summit. You can rent these at Eastern Mountain Sports in Lake Placid, NY.
Photos from identical trip winter of 2013 http://www.meetup.com/KW-Backcountry/photos/13258012/
Photos from identical trip winter of 2012 http://www.meetup.com/KW-Backcountry/photos/6167222/
Photos from similar trip fall 2013 http://www.meetup.com/KW-Backcountry/photos/11401172/
Intriguing YouTube of this hike http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqHR6ZKYBlc (skip 0:35 to 3:40 to avoid author's first born, SUV in the ditch, and the snow cave :-).
Cascade Inn, Lake Placid 5023 Cascade Rd. [masked]
Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS), Lake Placid
Adirondack Hiking forum
Map of Mt Marcy
Travel times may vary due to road conditions.