Algonquin and Iroquois
Trailhead: Adirondack Loj
Date of climb: July 15, 2012
#2: Algonquin, 5114 ft.
#8: Iroquois, 4840 ft.
It might have been me, as it’s been a particularly trying week for many reasons that have nothing to do with hiking, but I found today to be tough. The trail up to Algonquin from the Loj is very rocky and just beyond the split to Wright it gets pretty steadily steep, with lots of open rock faces and scrambles. Having very little energy and functioning on only a few hours sleep probably didn’t help.
The views from these two mountains (and from Boundary, a 4000 footer peak/offshoot of Iroquois between the two) were gorgeous. It was hot and hazy when we reached the Algonquin summit, but was starting to sprinkle. The forecast called for thunderstorms that evening and I was a little nervous I was going to have a repeat performance of Big Slide, but this would have been worse because so much this hike was above treeline and on solid rock. But there was no sign of thunder or lightening, so my friend and I decided to head for Iroquois while the rest of the meetup/ADK group opted to go back. We climbed Boundary easily enough, but as we started to approach Iroquois we could see a storm cloud sitting over the mountain. Still, no signs of a T-storm, so we hurriedly headed up the peak.
There was a spot just before the Iroquois summit that almost made me turn around – it was a sheer rock face that I couldn’t figure out a way to get up and over. I was about to give up when S. discovered an “escape route” around the side. The rain held off until we were headed back down – we had to climb Algonquin twice in order to go back the way we came (the alternative would have been a much longer and steeper descent toward Colden and Avalanche pass). By that point we did hear some thunder rumbling in the distance and had a few stressful moments trying to decide what to do, but we booked it back over Algonquin (which by then was buried in clouds) and started back down the steep rocks, which were then slippery with rain. It took us quite awhile to descend but we made it, and when we emerged at the Loj from the Marcy Dam trail the sun came out to greet us.
Despite the occasionally difficult moments, all that’s ever remembered is the good stuff – the amazing sights, overcoming of challenges, great conversation and another fun day in the mountains.