Sunday, 20 June 2010

Perfect timing on Skylight

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Saturday started out as a great day. Mark and I had been looking forward to hiking to Skylight and Gray for a week or so. Ken had agreed to meet us but he would be hiking via Mt Marcy. The weather forecast had gone back and forth but had settled on hot, sunny with a chance of late afternoon t-storms. We hit the trailhead a little later than planned, signed in and each grabbed a rock from the pile to take to the Skylight summit. I also had a some rocks I had collected from Mt Bond in NH and from the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

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Things started to go wrong when we got to Marcy Dam and saw that Ken had signed in at about the same time as we left the LOJ. Mark and I headed for the Lake Arnold trail. We decided to go at our own speeds up this steep stetch and then meet up at the top of the hill. I got as far as the Indian Falls cutoff and then waited. I was sitting there for about 10 minutes before Mark showed up. He said things were not "right", he had no energy and was going to turn back. We debated for a while about us both turning around but eventually he set sail back to the LOJ while I took off to meet up with Ken.

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I figured I was going to be pretty late and that Ken would be some kind of pissed when I eventually showed but then I remembered that he would be sitting on Skylight on a nice sunny day. I actually made in to Four Corners in about 4 hours which seemed pretty good after all the stops along the way. The Feldspar trail was steep but well constructed. I asked each group I passed if they had seen Ken on Skylight but it seemed no one had. I made my way up the steep wet trail. The view once you break treeline is pretty sweet. I was just soaking a little of that in when who should emerge from the trees but Ken.

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We spent the next hour eating, taking photos and waiting for the sun to shine just right on Haystack. I suppose because it is more remote there are not the same crowds that you encounter on Mt Marcy. We were surprised when a group of about 6 people arrived and spent about 5 minutes then promptly sped off. Why go to the trouble of hiking to this gem if you don't want to enjoy its view?

For a number of reasons we skipped Gray and made the slow, rocky trudge back to our cars. The trail is rough and hard on tired knees, ankles and feet. Skylight is an great peak and a reasonable distance for a dayhike. Hopefully next time Mark will be feeling better.

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