Support 14ers.com
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Marcy, Mt  -  13,490 feet
 Post Date:  12/13/2010
 Date Climbed:   12/10/2010
 Posted By:  piper14er

 Mount Marcy - Gibson Creek Trailhead     

Mount Marcy 13,490 Tri-Centennial Peak ranked 267 highest Colorado peak.
4300 vertical feet plus another 400 feet +/- along the undulating ridge.
11.3 miles roundtrip.
9 hours roundtrip.

Mount Marcy probably doesn't come up much in the conversations for "Which peak do you want to do this weekend?"

I tried to find a road that would take me to the rainbow trail that would shorten the length of the trip to Mount Marcy. I went up by the "historic" Pines Ranch, drove around to the north and west but everything that way was posted as "no forest access" or gated. I ended up back at the Gibson Creek Trailhead which is the same start as I described in my Spread Eagle Peak report.

Rainbow Trail.
Image

This time I followed the trail for a few hundred yards to the intersection with the the Rainbow Trail. You follow the Rainbow Trail north for 0.5 miles to the signed trail (1351) for the Swift Trail. The Lakes of the Clouds trail continues to the north before it switches back west. The Lakes of the Clouds trail will eventually make its way back to close proximity to the Swift Trail at about 10,300 feet.

The ridge from the Swift Trail.
Image

The Swift Trail did not show up on my quad map but the Lakes of the Clouds trail does.

The trail looking back down from near the ridge.
Image

The Swift Trail follows Swift Creek on its south side. I left the Swift Trail at about 9,900 feet and crossed to the north of Swift Creek where I gained the gentle ridge that angles up to Point 12,245. I crossed the Lakes of the Clouds trail at 10,300 feet and continued up the ridge through the many aspen trees.

Aspen covered ridge.
Image

Spread Eagle Peak.
Image

Tree art along the ridge.
Image

The upper ridge at treeline is behind the red tree.
Image

Image

The ridge steepens more and more as you gain elevation from 11,000 feet to near 12,000 feet.

Just below treeline looking up to the ridge.
Image

I knew I was in for wind on the ridge. It is a long rolling ridge that turns to more and more loose and rocky footing. There will be some mild Class 3 spots but most of the harder vagaries can be avoided. Unfortunately on this day the wind could not be avoided for long.

This area appears to be wind blasted a lot. Here are some of the wind smoothed trees. Spread Eagle peak, PT 13,524 and PT 13,513 (Silver Peak).
Image

Image

Image

Points along the ridge.
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

...and more ridge.
Image

This is just before you reach the divide and looking north to Mount Marcy.
Image

PT 13,513 nearly a mile away.
Image

This cairn is at the intersection of the ridge coming up and the divide.
Image

The way looks easy but the winds are blasting at a good 60 mph (my estimate). I was leaning hard into the wind and holding on. Amazing as it was the wind was getting worse the closer I got to Marcy.
Image

Pictures from Mount Marcy. I was sitting down behind the cairn when I took these.
Image

Image

Image

Image

I made my way back to the east ridge and decided to bail on PT 13,513. It had taken a lot longer to get to Marcy with the winds than expected and as it was I ended up hiking out in the dark anyway.

Looking back down the ridge to the east.
Image

The Lakes of the Clouds.
Image

Wolf.
Image

Gibbs Peak.
Image

All and all a good and successful climb. I think this would be a very nice go on a less windy day.



My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (3)
Presto


Wolf ...     2010-12-13 15:56:18
Nice report. Thanks for posting. Happy trails!


cfb

Wolf?     2010-12-15 09:25:55
Great photos and great trip report. Thanks


piper14er


okay wolf-dog     2010-12-18 08:47:25
he was pretending



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.