Tabletop and Phelps Mountains Adirondack Hike Review
by Kathleen Lisson
We hiked to the summits of Tabletop and Phelps mountains from Adirondak Loj on Memorial Day weekend.
- Hiking pace varies from mountain to mountain.
- A waterproof clothing system is a must during spring hikes.
- Wear waterproof pants even if it is sunny outside!
This hike really drove home the lesson that there is no clear formula for determining hiking pace. Two base to summit hikes with the same mileage and elevation gain can take two VERY different ascent times.
The two miles from Adirondak Loj to Marcy Dam were quick, the next two miles to Tabletop were slower, and the ascent times for both Tabletop and Phelps initially had us staring in disbelief at the distance markers on the signs. Of course, the signs were true. Hiking up an active stream in the forest on Tabletop and over a boulder strewn path on Phelps slowed us down.
For me, gaiters are an item of must-wear hiking gear on muddy trails
I got the chance to put my waterproof clothing system to the test again. Wearing waterproof boots, gaiters and waterproof pants made me much more willing to stay on the trail when it was wet / muddy and more willing to climb up wet rocks as well. After the hike, I could take off my gaiters and waterproof pants and look 'presentable' in my reasonably clean hiking pants for dinner at the Adirondak Loj.