Ascent of Algonquin Peak on 2017-09-30

Climber: Marvin Warren

Date:Saturday, September 30, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Algonquin Peak
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:5115 ft / 1559 m

Ascent Trip Report

Second full day had us waking at Opalescent lean-to after a night of rain. Forded the river (one casualty) then headed around Colden Lake, rounding Marcy Dam probably at eleven - underestimated the time because people were still eating breakfast. Glad to leave the crowds behind by taking Whale's Tail Pass (well-hidden!) and then continued up the slope, filling water at two stream crossings before hitting the turnoff for Wright.

We stashed our packs and I sprinted up, with Kendra behind me, getting many funny looks from everyone else dutifully trudging along. The upper 300' or so was entirely closed in, but the views just below the clouds we're spectacular. I got down and made us some lunch, and we were warned to expect to need headlamps by a fellow who'd just gotten down from Algonquin and claimed there was six inches of snow on the ground and he'd needed micro-spikes. Also, no views.

I was energized by Wright, so I set a miserable pace up Algonquin, and we were rewarded with views almost all the way up. Rocks were mostly bare, but the snow in the spruces and ripe mountain ash berries were very festive. Waited a bit to see if we'd get a fully clear summit and never did quite, but met hikers on the way down the southwest slope who gave us tips for Boundary and Iroquois - mostly 'don't miss the turnoff,' and 'do it!' - thanks y'all!

We had 360-degree views on both peaks, and the light show was unparalleled, the kind you only get that high up when the clouds finally break late in the day. Views for miles, with golden rays illuminating Indian Pass and lakes to the north. We took in the views as long as we could before backtracking to Boundary Peak trail and descending Al of that elevation at once, with a pause to fill water from the brook and watch Mount Colden turn blood red in the sunset. Kendra has work in the morning, so we did need headlamps to get back to Upper Works, about 10:30 pm (I got to do the last mile and a half by moonlight, which turned a do-or-die mission into a pleasant walk through sparse second-growth forest, and that gave me all I needed to drive home).
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Exposed Scramble
Ascent Part of Trip: No bears, Autumn snow (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Cliff Mountain2017-09-29 
3Wright Peak2017-09-30 
4Algonquin Peak2017-09-30 
5Boundary Peak2017-09-30 
6Iroquois Peak2017-09-30 

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