|Colden and the Macs from Cliff|
This is a trip where I felt like lots of planning and research made all the difference. I’d say that for the average high peaks trip thus far, I’d be about 85% prepared. I would always forget something or have a flaw in the plan somewhere. This time I thoroughly read the McMartin and ADK guides, obsessively followed trip reports and made meticulous calculations with many bail-outs and contingencies.
|Misty hike in|
|some inversion off to the south. heading up Cliff.|
|cliff summit. Happy and alive|
|Left to right: Marcy, Redfield and Skylight. Redfield is the little wooded bump.|
The summit was simply stunning. We had it to ourselves and it felt so still and so epic. I felt like I was in a holy place. We ate and rested, sitting down for the first time since Herbert Brook lean to. After our snack I sort of hunched over, with my face in my arms, completely drained. I looked over and Jeanette was in the same position. We both let our weariness and stress pour out of us and were greatly relieved and cleansed. After some pictures and final revelry in the increasingly golden light, we began our descent.
|Gray, Marcy and Skylight from Redfield|
Blessedly easy on our legs, we felt like we rolled down and out, taking some pictures and pumping water along the way. Leaving the summit at about 4:15, we reached our lean-to around 6:30. We cooked dinner, got into our cozy clothes and laid down for the sunset.
|The Macs from Uphill Brook|
It was beautiful, as were the stars soon after. Jeanette fell right asleep and I tossed for a bit, as I had forgotten how to sleep on wood in a mummy bag. After curling down a bit so I could see the stars, my body remembered and I got more comfortable. We both woke up around 3 Am pretty damn cold. If we had it to do over, we both would have brought a bit warmer clothes. We fell back asleep until sunrise. We chatted and cuddled until around 7.
|Sunset over Flowed Lands|
After cooking breakfast, we got our ish together and began the hike out. Pretty immediately we were tired (mentally and physically) and the 5.7 out was pretty tough on both of us (I think more mentally, we were both “over it”). Like all hikes, it did eventually end. The car was welcome site. We both made utterances of pure ecstasy as the boots were removed.
|The next morning|