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Ascent of Algonquin Peak on 2016-01-09

Climber: Michael Stonek

Date:Saturday, January 9, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Algonquin Peak
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:5115 ft / 1559 m

Ascent Trip Report

We started the hike at about 7:30 AM from the ADK Loj. Temps were mild for this time of the year (about 30 F) and the trails were easy to walk on with some snow but not too bad. We started on the blue trail for about a mile to the intersection with yellow, which we took. From there it was another 2 miles to the spur for Wright. It was a little icy on the rocks there, but what blew us away was the wind! Over 50 mph for the most part (my guess was 60 mph near the top). Some people decided not to go all the way, since the visibility was bad as well. I decided to follow them and leave this peak for another time. I ended up regretting that since we were so close, more than half way on the spur, which is short to begin with (0.4 miles). We stopped at elevation 4,559 and the peak was at 4,587! Well, the wind was really bad, but actually some of our guys continued and I was kicking myself for not doing the same. Now, I will have to try again to reach the top (hopefully, on a less breezy day).

Back down we continued towards Algonquin. Some hikers we encountered at the bottom of the spur told us that Algonquin, even though much more exposed, usually was less windy than Wright. It took as half a mile to reach the top of Algonquin which indeed was less windy. But there was much more snow on the ground and the wind was blowing it on our faces! Very uncomfortable. I had put on my goggles during the climb to Wright and now the snow and ice was obstructing my view but I needed them to protect me from the blowing snow. We snapped a couple of pictures at the top and took as a while to find the trail to continue towards Iroquois. We found it and we continued towards Boundary Peak, a pair of small humps, on our way to Iroquois.

The yellow trail continued left, but the (unmarked) trail to Iroquois was straight ahead, which we took for 0.7 miles to the top. Very windy also, but not as bad as Wright. On our return we had to decide how to come back: retrace our steps all the way to the cars, or continue on the yellow trail and do a nice loop through Avalanche Pass. The loop was 3.5 miles longer, but would've avoided going through Algonquin. Some people on our group that were ahead of us took the route through Algonquin, but me and 3 others decided on doing the loop.
This ended up being a good decision since the descent from here was fairly easy. It was steep in sections, but with all the snow, we were butt sliding all the way down! Avalanche Pass was no big deal, again because of all the snow.

After 1.7 miles we turned left on blue with Mnt Colden to our right for 0.4 miles. Then it was back to yellow through Avalanche Pass with Avalanche Mountain on our left and the frozen Avalanche Lake to our right. After this, the yellow trail continued for another 0.8 to the Marcy Dam. We took the blue trail here for an easy 2.1 miles to the cars. The guys who had not done the loop were already gone, as expected.

The final tally was: 13.6 miles, 4,880 ft of elevation gain in a little over 9 hours. Very enjoyable winter day at the Daks!
Summary Total Data
Ascent Part of Trip: McEntyre

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDate
1(Attempt) Wright Peak2016-01-09
2Algonquin Peak2016-01-09
3Boundary Peak2016-01-09
4Iroquois Peak2016-01-09
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Michael Stonek
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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