Ascent of Mount Colden on 2014-12-21

Climber: Ryan Wichelns

Others in Party:Gabriel Messercola
Geoffrey Lyman
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, December 21, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Colden
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4715 ft / 1437 m

Ascent Trip Report

My friend Gabe and I took another friend, Geoff, to Colden's West Ramp, yesterday, to give him a little training and experience in some mountaineering technique before we all head to Denali National Park in June.

The train in to Avy Pass was packed and easy walking. We made good time getting there but the bushwack to the base of the slide slowed us down some. We finally got crampons on and started climbing around noon. The slide was in great shape: solid snow of varying depths and small patches of ice. After some time warming up and going over basic crampon/ice axe technique, Geoff was gaining confidence and making good time with us up the slide. By the top we were cruising.

On the way in we could see the clouds hanging low over Avy Pass and Colden and as we were climbing, we didn't think the prospects were very good of getting much of a view but in the last quarter of the slide, we noticed we could see the top of the cloud layer (with Algonuin's summit just poking over) and by the time we made the brutal bushwack off the top of the slide and climbed up to the summit ridge, we are above it all and staring down at a beautifully thick undercast. We we're on the summit by 4PM to watch the sunset and heading back down to Lake Arnold then out in the dark.

Overall a long but fantastic day.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb, Ice Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Snowshoes

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