Phelps Mt. – Prouty Mountaineeering Prep Hike #4

Phelps Mountain
The Prouty Mountaineering Program – Kilimanjaro Preparation
(the first Prouty Challenge Event benefitting Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center)
Prep Hike #3
8 miles, 4,160 feet
November 13, 2011
Wes Chapman
Phelps Mountain – named for a legend
Phelps Mountain is the closest 4,000 foot mountain to Adirondack Loj, and was named for the legendary Orson Schofield “Old Mountain” Phelps (1817–1905) who cut the first trail up Marcy, and many of the trails in the Adirondack Park. Its proximity and size make it a favorite for weekend hikers, and I had left it for either a nice day in the late season or a ski trip in the winter.
Mt. Marcy from the summit of Phelps
My companion for the day was Rick Morse, an old friend and cancer survivor, who drew the short straw and had to pick up the slack when Pete Volanakis went AWOL after our Mt. Colden expedition. Rick is a Vermont native, and had spent 8 years looking across the Lake at these Hills from Burlington where he went to College and Medical School. But he had never come over to climb – that was until today.
Dr.Richard Morse (AKA Rick Morse) enjoying a chance to come climbing
A steep and icy path to the top
A new slide on the back of Mt. Wright – a product of Hurricane Irene
Sunrise over Lake Champlain – highlighting our targets for the day
The day was warm and breezy, and really quite windy on top – blowing over 40 mph. The trail up was steep, icy and quite eroded. These trails were cut many years ago – right up the fall-line of the mountain. They are terribly eroded today, and could really use a major re-routing through a switchback layout. In any event, the going was slow, but the views from the top were well worth the effort.
Mt. Colden from the summit of Phelps
Dining al fresco near the summit
This is probably the last warm hike of the season, and I hope that soon we’ll have some snow for some skiing soon. Kilimanjaro training will switch to AT gear soon. If you want to do a little training for the Prouty Kilimanjaro trip give me a call – I’m sure that we’ll be heading out into the Hills.
Wes Chapman
Written by Wes Chapman

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