heart lake to Algonquin via marcy dam/avalanche pass


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  1. #1

    heart lake to Algonquin via marcy dam/avalanche pass

    Anybody take the loop up the backside of algonquin recently? I've never gone up the backside before and really want to combine a trip through avalanche pass with a climb of algonquin. I'm just curious how steep the backside climb is and how technical it is?

  2. #2
    I'm guessing what you mean by the backside is the trail going up from Lake Colden in between Iroquois and Algonquin, since you're talking about going through Avalanche pass?
    And then coming down Algonquin on the North, passing Wright?

    If so, that's a nice and rocky and continually steep ascent from Lake Colden.

    I don't know what you mean by "technical" but it's a hike and I don't remember having to scramble. I've gone down it in the summer and gone up in the winter. It's just a long and steep trail...

    Avalanche pass is nice - well worth the trip.
    Sign, sign everywhere a sign... pointing out the trails, can\'t make up my mind.

  3. #3
    Yes. I am talking about going through avalanche pass, to lake colden, up the path from lake colden to the saddle between Iroquois and Algonquin then back down from algonquin passing wright on the way back to heart lake.

    What i mean by technical is exactly what you thought- is it like climbing the trap dyke then taking the slides up colden? More of an open scramble?
    From the ADK guide book description it looks fun and hard.

    What do you think - 10 hours total?
    (note- fit hiker/runner/skier..)

  4. #4
    Nah, non-technical. No scrambling, no 3rd classing friction climbing (slides). It's a trail with plenty of rocks and steps and it's just a long ascent up a tall mountain with some great views East to Mt Colden. I don't remember the mileage, but I would think 10 hours would be enough. It's a tough day, but not a ridiculous day.
    Real gorgeous area. If you're in the mood, take the side trip to Iroquois on the herdpath. Make sure to take the side trip to Wright - it's considered one of the windiest places in the ADKs.
    Great loop - this winter I did it in two days. First day going into Avy Pass, setting up camp at Avy lake and doing Colden - second day completing the loop by going up Algonquin from the South and down the North.

    Make sure to take some pics of Trap Dike and the avalanche aftermarth.
    Have fun
    Sign, sign everywhere a sign... pointing out the trails, can\'t make up my mind.

  5. #5
    Have you been through Avalanche Pass before?

    If not, I'd suggest doing your loop in reverse. The "backside" descent of Algonquin has plenty of open views you can enjoy descending the steep pitch, and, since you'll be at the end of the day, rather than the beginning, you can spend your time in Avalanche Pass enjoying the scenery and not worrying about an upcoming (rather daunting, but non-technical) ascent and descent.

    The other poster's advice to check out Wright and Iroquois is good advice, but you're looking at a real long day if you do that.

  6. #6
    I have been through the pass before but my girlfriend has not. I've done avalanche pass through to the flowed lands and then out to the upper works a while back.

    I hear what you're saying about doing it in reverse... I'm thinking this might be a good idea as we can hit the summit early before any crowd builds.

    by the way- I totally agree- COME BACK MUD PUDDLES! Their nickel night was the best underage drinking experience I ever had.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ajl50 View Post
    by the way- I totally agree- COME BACK MUD PUDDLES! Their nickel night was the best underage drinking experience I ever had.

    Finally, someone who understands me.

  8. #8
    was it thursday night or wed. night that was nickel night?

  9. #9
    I did this very loop about a month ago. The trail up Algonquin from Lake Colden is quite nice. It is consistent in its pitch but nowhere near technical. Although, if you wanted to make it technical you could by detouring onto the Bear Claw slide.

    I chose to travel through the pass first before ascending Algonquin. Sometimes long flat sections after a tiring ascent/descent can feel like a slog. Getting most of the mileage out of the way before doing any "real" climbing has its advantages. Although, getting to the summit before the crowds do is nice as well.

  10. #10
    so what I'm hearing is - just have fun. It's the ADK's - it's going to be nice no matter what you do.

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