We originally wanted to get Marcy, Skylight, and Gray, but ran out of daylight and time for Gray. We started later than we would have liked, but 7:20am wasn't so bad. We had the whole day to ourselves to enjoy. This would be the first time hiking these two peaks, and it may not be the last as they are two very nice hikes.
We took the Van Hoevenberg Trail to Marcy (the most popular route), also known as the VanHo Express. This was the first time since they re-routed the herd path to Tabletop so it was good to see where that went in. The trail was in pretty good shape and not much for ice. We hadn't had any significant snowfall for the year yet so the trail was still bare with some icy areas. From Indian falls turn off to the junction with the Phelps trail is some pretty neat trail, and the views of Marcy get better and better. As we went up we really had no issue until we got to a small section of flow ice that was made more comfortable when we put on our crampons. The summit of Marcy was a constant 20-30 mph wind from the west, to be expected I guess.
We didn't stay long on the summit of Marcy before we headed down the back side of Marcy to Four Corners. We took a few minutes at the junction to fuel up and switch back over to microspikes for our quick jaunt up Skylight. In some regards it was just as windy on Skiylights open summit as well. So we quickly took our obligatory pictures, added our rocks to the pile, then headed back down to Four Corners. We quickly headed towards Gray Peak as we wanted to make a trio out of todays hike, but we could not discern the herd path to Gray, so we continued on down to Feldspar leanto.
After a quick bite to eat, and drink we continued our trek up to Lake Arnold and made our way back out to the Loj.
We reached the Loj at 7:50pm.
On our hike we seen only 5 other people the whole day. We logged 14.6 miles round trip, 4,919 feet of elevation gain.
I now have 10 remaining peaks, and Derek has 11. A great way to spend a Saturday. Derek said I did pretty good for being near 50.