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.

climbing Algonquin

Wright, from Algonquin ascent

from Algonquin summit

Iroquois bracing for a storm

from Iroquois summit

20 thoughts on “Algonquin and Iroquois

  1. Was thinking of you yesterday, Pru, wondering which mountain you were on. I think this triumvirate was the first in my quest of 46 and aside from the length of the trail down to Lake Colden and nearly running back from the Dam in the near dark, I don’t remember so many details. Congrats again & keep me posted! Btw, the photos are great & help me to reclimb each peak -armchair style!

    • Thank you, Karen! I was thinking of you yesterday too, when I was passing by the Loj on my way to the trail. I will send you an email and let you know what I’m planning. Won’t be able to hike much in August and September and doing a few group hikes in July… if not sooner, maybe we can plan to hike something in early October? It’s such a great time of year to be out in the mountains.

  2. Hi Pru,
    Two more under your belt. Like reading about your adventures. Glad you & Sue beat the storm and some of the others. Pictures are awesome. Way to go Pru!!!!!

    • This was a tough one for healthy ankles, so it’s good that you didn’t join. I’m sorry to hear the recovery is slow… I really hope you’re able to get back to it in the fall; nothing worse than waiting for an injury to take its time healing. Thanks, regarding the 1/3… now, I’m going to try to get to 1/2!

      • It’s a funny story. Right now I am a counselor at a kids’ summer camp and while I was playing kickball with them I decided to slide into home on the gym floor. My shoe basically just stuck to the floor and the rest of me kept moving. I’m just going to do everything I can to get through the process and still be able to do everything I was able to do before.

      • That is pretty funny – I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone breaking their ankle playing kickball! You should have been playing outside! I hope you heal up quickly. 😦

  3. Yet another great looking hike. All of those hikes look naturally awesome similar to in NH. Looks like you have about four or five solid months months left before it may be too cold and icy. Keep up the consistent trekking!

    • Thanks! I won’t get to hike much in the second half of August and most of September unfortunately, due to a crazy work schedule… hope to get as many in as possible before then. Going to try hard to get to the halfway point before winter descends.

  4. Such beautiful pictures that you posted…just viewing them reminds me of the wonderful time I had on the hike; and the great people that I hiked with! I wasn’t able to see the pics before, they wouldn’t load properly…but now that I’m home, with my high speed internet…

      • You know what…it was a fun day. But that had so much to do with the people that we were hiking with. I couldn’t ask for better people to share this all with!!! It’s a shame that all group outings can’t be as great as this one was (nudge nudge…)!!!

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