Adriondack 46ers & More - NY,  Hikes

ADK46 – Phelps

Before this trip a co-worker of my had recommended hiking in the Adirondacks, a beautiful area in upstate New York!

Zack and I looked it up, and saw something called the Adirondack 46-ers, these are the 46 peaks in the Adirondacks with elevations over 4,000′. We decided this would make for a fun goal and set out and completing the Adirondack 46-ers!
We set out for 4th of July weekend 2016 to do a 3-day backpacking trip, and to mark off a chunk of the 46-ers. We even had grand plans of getting all of the 46-ers done before our wedding in Fall of 2017! We thought this was totally possible and had already proven to ourselves that we could hike 10 miles a day with full backs and no issues, so this was the plan…
Map we sent my mom, our original plan – HA!

Original Plan: Complete cross off 9 of the 46-ers

Day 1: Phelps, Table Top, Mt. Marcy, Gray, Skylight… Camp at Feldspar

Day 2: Mt. Colden, Algonquin, Iroquois, Wright…. Camp at Beaver Point

Day 3: Hike out to car and head home!

*SPOILER ALERT – We accomplished no where near this!!! Which was super soul crushing for me!*

Zack and I dropped Nova off at my moms and headed up to the ADK Loj parking lot Friday night. The drive up I was not feeling 100%, and we stopped for some Pepto (never a good sign) before heading into the ADK Loj Parking Area, the Van Hoevenberg Trailhead.

We planned on sleeping in the parking lot, which is NOT allowed (but we did anyway because it was very late and we couldn’t figure out another solution at the time). We both slept terribly and we woke up to a cold, overcast drizzle. I woke up with continuing stomach issues, a slightly runny nose and a chill. I am SUPER stubborn, and did not communicate exactly how I was feeling and decided to press on with our plan.
Our first view of the beautiful Adirondacks!

We hiked in with our full 3-day packs and headed towards Phelps, our first peak of the day.
View in the Marcy Dam area on the way towards Phelps.

I was NOT feeling great, and was constantly beating myself up about how slowly I was going, how many stops I needed and anything else I could think of.
Wet and sick me, attempting to keep it together!

We made our way to the bottom of Phelps and I felt COMPLETELY defeated. I was drained. We pressed, tucking our packs behind a tree towards the bottom of the off-shoot for Phelps.
View going up Phelps!

On and up Phelps we went, again, moving slowly. Around 11AM we made it up there, and for the 15 minutes we were up, there I was freezing. I had a jacket, rain jacket, Zack’s jacket and winter hat on just trying to stay warm.

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In addition to how just awful I felt, this was our view that day..
Still a beautiful view, but did not make me feel better about the torture I put myself through, or the shivering.

As we headed back down I felt totally crushed. I wanted to utilize this 3-day weekend and really take advantage of the time in the mountains and check a bunch of them off. I knew that if I kept going I could wind up putting us both in a very bad situation. We made the decision that I was in absolutely no shape to continue, and turn back for the car.

We stopped at a Stewarts on the drive out and I got some icecream! We headed back and I slept for the next 2 days. We made the right decision, even if it was awful to make.

TRIP RATING: 3/10 – 1 day ~ 8.4 miles and 2,000 ft of elevation gain

Based on this experience, I would recommend trusting your body, and being okay with changing your plans last minute. Pushing yourself can lead to putting not only yourself, but your group into a more uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation. Accept that sometimes you get sick or hurt at an inconvenient time, and work with it instead of fighting it!

TECHNICAL: Attempted 7/2/2016

  • 6 AM – Van Hoevenberg Trailhead
  • Head towards Mt. Marcy & Phelps
  • ~9:45AM – Summit Mt. Phelps
  • Head back to car & Enjoy icecream and a nap on the drive home!


  • Always Pack Warm Clothes/Gear!
  • Trust your body and LISTEN to it!
  • Change and adapt your plan to your/the groups needs!
  • Hiking the high peaks with a full pack is challenging! (We had to test this theory a few times before we took the hint…)

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