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 Iroquois, Boundary, Algonquin and Wright: Daks Overnight 
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 Iroquois, Boundary, Algonquin and Wright: Daks Overnight
So I had the week off and decided it was the perfect time to drive a bit. 5 and a half hours to The ADK Loj. The intent was to spend the night at Marcy dam and grab a few 4ks out there while trying out the whole backpacking thing. I've had this large pack and bear can for a bit now but never got a chance to use it. With a full moon and clear skies on tap I gathered everything and set off.

Google took me a different way than the last. When Derek and I wen't up in June. He took a lowland road that followed a river then over RT125 which goes over a nice mountain pass towards Middlebury.. Google sent me up another Pass that I think may even be higher. Camp Brook Road in Bethel. A fun twisty road that brings you up a pass at 2100 feet. Taking this route while Google says it saves a few minutes you may want to make sure your brakes are in good condition and know how to use engine braking. There are some fun corners to cut coming down the West side of the Range. Then in a few miles the route goes up an over another pass where the LT crosses near The Middlebury College Snow bowl. These roads were quite a bit more fun in the Eclipse than the Prius to say the least. Pro Tip: Just outside of Middlebury there is a McDonalds that is open 24h. (unless Derek is with you) This is practically the only reliable coffee stop for the drive out this way. The gorgeous VT farmlands eventually give way to the shores of Lake Champlain and the teaser view Of the highest peaks. This is also the home stretch.

NY welcomes you.
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An hour or half later you arrive at the Loj. Take note: not all trails start from here. There are a few that are a half hour closer. Take Cascade and Porter that Greg and Brian hiked a few weeks ago for example.
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After finalizing my gear setup it was off to the races for the easy undulating and ground down trail towards Marcy Dam. Marcy Dam has 6 or so lean tos and a zillion places to put a tent. One thing that i took notice of but couldn't do anything about was at some point my phone had service and the weather app had put up some alert that I couldn't now read since I had no service. I figured it had to be a frost warning since the weather reports I had read earlier had no indication of bad weather. With no cloud coverage, that can happen readily. My 30 degree bag would be put to the test. I ended up chatting it up with another couple of guys, a Man and his son. since it was all of 7:30 PM I ended up hanging with them with some drinks passing some time by with colorful conversation. Pretty cool people really. They had been all over the place so stories were swapped over a small campfire.

Provisions in the bear can for the next day.
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All packed up It probably weighed in at about 45lbs give or take. I filled up the bottles at home once back and had to put it on a foot scale.
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Sunset over the high peaks range. Mt. Colden and i believe Avalanche peak. The water level was down to a trickle compared to our last trip in June.

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From June
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My home for the night
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Enjoying the fullish moon rising from the Daks.
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sleeping under the stars
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The night was pretty damned cold. I ended throwing on some music from my phone to relax. Threw on my hoodie, and winter hat and hit the sack. It was an odd sensation being cold and warm at the same time. This was the limit of my bag. The lows i think got somewhere around the 35 degree mark. The Styrofoam pad made quite the difference. Every now and then I'd wake up and I could feel where I was on the floor of the lean to after rolling around a bit. There is something to be said about waking up and having the panorama of the orifice from the lean to with the light gradually illuminating the forest around you. The woods here was quiet in the morning. Im used to camping out in the summer and having the birds and other woodland creatures making all kinds of noises at the stroke of dawn. I'm kinda glad they gave me another hour of sleep!

Up and on my way after some pop tarts. The trails up here are pretty fricken rough. Making good time on them is an exercise in futility. large rocks and small boulders are just part and parcel for what id be hiking today.
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Some parts have bog bridges and nice ladders to go over anything that SHOULD normally be wet.
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Avalanche pass is aptly named. This must be a particularly dangerous area in the winter. There doesn't appear to be much topsoil on top of these massive granite domes. Mt. Colden (which you will see more of later) has so many slides on them where the layer of dirt and trees just slides right off the face of the mountain.

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what goes up
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must come down
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Avalanche lake
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Avalanche lake is a darn cold place. The sun barely gets in here due to the near vertical cliffs stretching out of it. The trail took some creativity to get around. You can also take a row boat if that's your thing. Large boulders to bounce about mixed with ladders and walkways. Nothing difficult, just a fun stretch of trail that land speed records wont be set on.

fog burning off the relatively warm water and cold air.
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Alternate mode of transportation
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Now I'm not sure if these trails have any names as my map just labels them with numbers. Those numbers correspond to the ADK mountain guide which undoubtedly gives more details. The signage though out here is really good however. It's hard not to know where you are. The signs even tell you how many feet it is to get to a summit. The trail that comes out of Avalanche Lake towards the Ridge with Algonquin and the others is one steep son of a gun. It mostly follows a brook that was nameless on my map. In some cases it follows the bed of the watercourse. In high water this trail may prove difficult. Today though was zero problem. It still took me a few hours to go the 2.1m up. Im sure the pack had something to do with this.


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Rough footing continues
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Mt. Colden and it's slides rise up out of the trees.
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Right as you exit the trees you come to a largish cairn. You can head left here and extend your alpine zone time by going up and over Boundary peak (between Iroquois and Algonquin tribes land) and hitting up Iroquois peak. This is the highest quality "unmaintained" trail I have ever seen. I dropped my pack here and took a nalgeen and camera to the whatever mileage it was to get there.

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a pleasant undulating trail towards Iroquois that you get a few scrambles to puzzle about on.
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looking back at Algonquin
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At the end of this ridge you gaze across endless ridges of namless to me peaks. This area really is beautiful.
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Back at the Junction I begrudgingly grabbed my pack up and made my way up the steep point whatever to the second highest peak in NY.
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more rugged looking peaks that I have no idea what they are called. looks like a great area to explore though.
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New to me alpine zone is always awesome. I'll take it any way I can. Soak up the sun as far away from a beach as i can! This stuff never gets old.
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I see more stuff I want to hike! There is tons of good stuff here. The Daks have moved higher up on the priority list. I may have to purchase some stock in Exxon Mobil.
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I hung out for a half hour or so soaking it all up and chatting with others. There were a lot of people up this way but it is expected for a 4k. Everyone was super nice. (how could you not be on such a day!) I headed down knowing I still had one more peak left. I wasn't looking forward to the 700 foot climb in .4 ahead of me especially later in the day. The trip down is pretty much the same as any other 5k. Big boulders, then slick slabs, followed by crumbled rock. There is no easy way down. Its slow going in spots, tricky even. The crab walk was used on many occasions.

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the greens Visible in the Distance. (and the one cloud that ruined it all! :lol: ) Mansfield and Camels hump stand out easily. They are just a big looming wall on the horizon. Sunset up in the Daks is going to happen sooner rather than later. The moon would surely rise right up behind the Greens.
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I dropped my pack once more to make the final ascent to Wright. After carrying 40lbs all day you feel like superman when you take off. 700 feet in .4 is usualyl steep but now it was a quick jaunt. Back up to the alpine zone we go! I met an older couple celebrating an anniversary up the top. I ended up taking their picture with a disposable camera! I'm really curious as to how it came out. The views looking back up towards what i hiked all day were pretty sweet and worth the effort to get here.

Steep as heck, but it's alpine zone so hard to complain
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back towards Algonquin
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while the rocks up here look very similar to Presi rocks. some had this weird golfball Dimpling. I don't know what process causes this
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I wonder how many more years before Colden is just one big rock dome!
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I put it on cruise control out of there. 4 miles of rocky slabby bouldery trail back to the car with a Big Slide IPA waiting for me. The ADKs are fantastic and worth every minute of the drive. Every time I come up I can see the next hike ahead of me. Too many options to chose from being so few into the 46. Looking back at doing the 48. The 46 looks to have a much higher quality level than the aforementioned. Some rough trails here, but they reward you immensely. Time to upgrade my winter gear to get more opportunities to overnight out here.

BTW foliage is coming
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the rest of the pics are here https://flic.kr/s/aHskJM9CEG


Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:21 pm
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 Re: Iroquois, Boundary, Algonquin and Wright: Daks Overnight
thegibba wrote:
Pro Tip: Just outside of Middlebury there is a McDonalds that is open 24h. (unless Derek is with you) This is practically the only reliable coffee stop for the drive out this way


IIRC they were open, just sitting on the curbs while they either cleaned up the floors or had some sort of a hazmat situation going on inside. :D

That is how to do the Daks right! :beer: Pretty awesome trip and trip report. The Adirondack bug seems to have bitten you hard too and the backpacking bug will get you too! Amazing how low the water is at Marcy Dam and how dry the trails were. I didn't realize they were in a drought too, assuming they are. I did this in August and it was considerably wetter all around. And this was my second hike in the Daks also, and is still in my top 3 I've done there, but I have yet to have a disappointing hike there. Loved every step of the way on this one, well, except going back to camp to round up gear when we found out the shortcut trail we were planning to use is an overgrown mess in summer. If you continue to follow my lead so to speak Big Slide is up next for you in NY! :wink: http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?t=7256 Yo're about 10% of the way to being a 46er. No turning back now! :twisted:


Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:30 pm
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 Re: Iroquois, Boundary, Algonquin and Wright: Daks Overnight
Mmmmmmmm, Avalanch Lake looks oh so tasty! :D

Looks like some great trails you took. You are getting me all warm and fuzzy for another daytrip over there. So, did Capn' Crunch and Captain Morgan combine for the ultimate breakfast wake-me-up :lol:

Brian


Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:58 pm
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 Re: Iroquois, Boundary, Algonquin and Wright: Daks Overnight
New Hampshire wrote:
Mmmmmmmm, Avalanch Lake looks oh so tasty! :D

Looks like some great trails you took. You are getting me all warm and fuzzy for another daytrip over there. So, did Capn' Crunch and Captain Morgan combine for the ultimate breakfast wake-me-up :lol:

Brian


Captain Morgan was a nice night "cap" the Capn' was a good sugar rush for the morn. The drive really isn't thaaaat bad. It's just the return times that need a little work.


Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:00 pm
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 Re: Iroquois, Boundary, Algonquin and Wright: Daks Overnight
Yup! That is one great looking hike. Love the boardwalk along side the lake. There's no way I'll do a day drip there but I think I may finally plan a trip there over the winter for next year.

Great report and pix.

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Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:19 am
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 Re: Iroquois, Boundary, Algonquin and Wright: Daks Overnight
Gorgeous pics! I cannot wait to go there someday, it just looks so different from NH! So, could u have brought a 2nd backpack,stashed all the stuff u didnt need somewhere in the woods and grabbed it on the way out?

Looks rough and steep, i couldnt get excited about hauling a 45lb pack up that :twisted:

I wonder what u meant by colorful conversation....

Great weather and views!

So, let me guess, a little hair of the dog for "milk" with that captn crunch?

Sounds like an absolutely fantastic trip. I guess u got some catchin up to do with GG!


Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:02 am
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 Re: Iroquois, Boundary, Algonquin and Wright: Daks Overnight
hiking lady wrote:
Gorgeous pics! I cannot wait to go there someday, it just looks so different from NH! So, could u have brought a 2nd backpack,stashed all the stuff u didnt need somewhere in the woods and grabbed it on the way out?

Looks rough and steep, i couldnt get excited about hauling a 45lb pack up that :twisted:

I wonder what u meant by colorful conversation....

Great weather and views!

So, let me guess, a little hair of the dog for "milk" with that captn crunch?

Sounds like an absolutely fantastic trip. I guess u got some catchin up to do with GG!


1: this was an option. But would have added a repetitive 2 miles to either the beginning of the day or the end. No thanks!

2: it's just winter weight training :twisted:

3: they smoked 3 joints and were drinking boxed wine. It got colorful. :lol:

4:yes! Some of the best weather I've had. Perfect temperature. And as you could see. Views for days. And yes you need to get out this way also. I understand the distance on this tough. 10 hours of driving in a day is a bit rough for a day hike. For sure bring an alternate driver. I try to mix it up however. This way I'm not always looking at the same stuff. Nothing worse than hiking something and then something else the next week or so and seeing the same views. A little. NY, a little VT, a little NH. A little ME. Variety is the spice of life and we are lucky to have it in spades here in the Northeast with our little mountains. 4 distinct seasons and a bunch of distinct states to enjoy hiking in.

5:. Nope. The captain helped me on my way to sleep! I still have the other captain hanging around. I had pop tarts for breakfast! 8)

6:. I'm a little bit behind him out here. I'm at 4 and he is at 15 or something I forget. When I go out I try to center it on things that he has done (which is a lot) that way when we go go out together we're not doing a bunch of repeats for him. Even when we do a peak he already has we try to come up with some funky different way to spice it up and make it a true "day" hike. Gotta get your money's worth out of waking up on short sleep and driving forever! Make it an experience worth living for! Plus gas is cheap right now to boot!


Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:23 am
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 Re: Iroquois, Boundary, Algonquin and Wright: Daks Overnight
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The trail that comes out of Avalanche Lake towards the Ridge with Algonquin and the others is one steep son of a gun. It still took me a few hours to go the 2.1m up. Im sure the pack had something to do with this.


From the guidebook (edited): "The trail from Lake Colden to the summit is one of the most continuously steep climbs in the mountains. As a route between Lake Colden and Heart Lake, it will require several additional hours for backpackers. Extensive trail work in recent years has improved the footing on this trail but it is still a serious undertaking for backpackers."

I know these guides tend to oversell things, but still congratulations on a "serious undertaking" :lol: :beer:

PS I just returned from a week up there, it is a beautiful area and the spectacular weather continued most of the week.


Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:45 am
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 Re: Iroquois, Boundary, Algonquin and Wright: Daks Overnight
wp_hiker2 wrote:
Quote:
The trail that comes out of Avalanche Lake towards the Ridge with Algonquin and the others is one steep son of a gun. It still took me a few hours to go the 2.1m up. Im sure the pack had something to do with this.


From the guidebook (edited): "The trail from Lake Colden to the summit is one of the most continuously steep climbs in the mountains. As a route between Lake Colden and Heart Lake, it will require several additional hours for backpackers. Extensive trail work in recent years has improved the footing on this trail but it is still a serious undertaking for backpackers."

I know these guides tend to oversell things, but still congratulations on a "serious undertaking" :lol: :beer:

PS I just returned from a week up there, it is a beautiful area and the spectacular weather continued most of the week.


It was quite a bear of a trail to go up. After I passed the sign that says no more camping above 3500 and it just kept going up. I thought they put that sign rather low. But in reality. It's exactly where it needed to be. I'd say this trail is as steep at the great gulf trail going up the headwall on Washington.


Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:59 am
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 Re: Iroquois, Boundary, Algonquin and Wright: Daks Overnight
thegibba wrote:
wp_hiker2 wrote:
Quote:
The trail that comes out of Avalanche Lake towards the Ridge with Algonquin and the others is one steep son of a gun. It still took me a few hours to go the 2.1m up. Im sure the pack had something to do with this.


From the guidebook (edited): "The trail from Lake Colden to the summit is one of the most continuously steep climbs in the mountains. As a route between Lake Colden and Heart Lake, it will require several additional hours for backpackers. Extensive trail work in recent years has improved the footing on this trail but it is still a serious undertaking for backpackers."

I know these guides tend to oversell things, but still congratulations on a "serious undertaking" :lol: :beer:


It was quite a bear of a trail to go up. After I passed the sign that says no more camping above 3500 and it just kept going up. I thought they put that sign rather low. But in reality. It's exactly where it needed to be. I'd say this trail is as steep at the great gulf trail going up the headwall on Washington.


The trail isn't quite as steep as the GG headwall section. The steepest chunk of this one climbs 1700 feet in a mile. The GG climbs the same 1700 feet in 2/3 of a mile. So it's close, but no cigar. I don't however think the guide book oversells this one. Footing is better than the GG (not as slick or crumbly) but it's an a** kicker for sure. The ranger on top when I hiked it told us it was the steepest trail in the Daks. I don't know if that is factually correct but it's got to be in the top handful if not number one.

Oh, and for the record, I'm at 19 in upstate NY. 8)


Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:29 pm
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