Obviously, Dave you didn't know any better, but to those of you who might be inspired to do the same, please note that the DEC, the ADK, & the Adirondack 46ers *strongly* discourage people from bushwhacking from Gray to Marcy in an effort to protect a very fragile area. As you noted, no obvious herd path/paths have been formed and the afore mentioned groups have would like that it stay that way.
If that wasn't enough of a reason, the bushwhack is shorter as-the-crow-flies, it takes most people longer than if they were to descend back to Lake Tear-of-the-Clouds and ascend Marcy from Four Corners, and the trail and views up the South side of Marcy's summit cone are excellent.
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P.s. I've heard from fellow 46ers that many of McMartin's route descriptions, particularly of paths & bushwhacks are becoming or have become obsolete.
On Sun, Aug 21, 2011 at 10:58 PM, David Guertin <[log in to unmask]>
We had decided to up the interest in this trip by taking the herd path along the ridge between Gray and Marcy instead of descending back into the valley and climbing Marcy on the trail. As herd paths go, this is the least obvious, most obscure, difficult-to-follow and untravelled path I've followed to the simmit of a peak. In other words, it was great fun. The path was pretty much totally obscured beneath the dense krumholz, but by looking down between the branches we could mostly see where it went, and the three or four times we lost the path, it eventually became obvious and was pretty easy to set ourselves right. Following this path along the ridge and emerging on the obscure west side of Marcy's summit cone was definitely the high point of this trip, and indeed one of the high points of any of our trips.
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