|Jul. 3, 1994 (Sun.)
|Elevation: 4714 feet; Order of Height: 11
|Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Andree Plouffe, Gord Walls, Brian Connell, Ewart Tempest, Nathalie ?, Kai Mao, Paul Osmond
The second hike ever after the infamous starter 'Eclipse Hike'. We managed to round up quite a bunch for this one, 11 people in total, which is one of the highest number of folks I've ever brought on a hike. We camped the night before at the ADK Loj campground - I recall Gord and Nathalie had what seemed to be a 10 person tent just for the two of them, whereas Andree and I had a little-bitty 2 person job. Also recall Ewart choosing to sleep out in the open on a picnic table (this was an early exposure to Ewart's bush-man behaviour).
We started out fairly early (I think around 7am, but do not quote me on that). This was my first time ever visiting Marcy Dam, and was of course impressed with the nice view from there. Then it was on and through beautiful Avalanche Pass (another first for me), where I simply loved the craggy, dark, shady area in the notch of the pass where the trail follows the base of the cliffs of Avalanche Mountain. Then on to the grandeur of Avalanche Lake and the rough boulders and ladders of the trail through there. At that time I thought that section was really fun, but now having been through there a bunch of times I find that section of trail a little rough. Loved the hitch-up Matildas, of course.
I remember stopping at the junction with the trail up to Mount Colden from Lake Colden and reading the trail description from 'the bible' to everyone (the green adirondack high peaks guidebook). The trail up was described as 'unrelentingly steep' (or something like that), which elicited a few groans from some of us (most people on the hike were newbie hikers, especially so for Kai Mao's young nephews, who had brought along only donuts as food, I recall). The trail up Colden was indeed very steep, with lots of sections of trail worn down to the slab rock of the mountain, and very steep. Andree loved the physical challenge of this section of trail and just powered up it, leaving everyone behind. She was in her element. Near the summit are some really sections with little cliffs and huge boulders that the trail winds around. Past these, we arrived at the summit and took in the excellent views (it was a very hot summer day).
We stopped by the big boulder that is perched near the edge of the summit ridge and had our lunch break. Ewart was not big on bug juice and had a lot of bloody bites on his legs. The view down to Avalanche Lake, complete with the hitch-up Matildas visible, was fantastic.
We took the Lake Arnold way down, and by this time our newbie hiking crowd was feeling pretty ragged. We'd not brought enough water, and in fact Nathalie so much so that we though she might be starting to suffer from some heat illness. At one point, Paul O. decided to take matters into his own hands and dunked here into a little side brook somewhere between the Avalanche Lean-tos and Marcy Dam! Kai's nephews were done for, totally wrung out. Still, we all made it back in one piece and yet another bit of hiking experience was gained (I was on the steep part of the learning curve at this point).
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
Image Gallery: July 1994 Mt Colden Hike