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Feb 6, 2005 (Sun)
Elevations: 5114 feet, 4840 feet; Order of Height: 2, 8
Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Jennifer Innes, Pu Chen, Brian Connell
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The first hike after coming back from climbing Kilimanjaro. It was an extremely warm Febuary day. Clear, almost hazy, and warm. The plan was to do the classic and beautiful loop hike from Adirondak Loj, through Avalanche Pass and Lake, up the backside of Algonquin, and bag both Iroquois and Algonquin. Along for the hike were Jenn, myself, Caroline, and Brian.

The trail from Adirondak Loj was quite hard-packed, so we bare-booted it all the way to Marcy Dam. It was a bit crisp starting off, but by the time we made it to the dam, it was quite warm. The sky was crystal clear and suprisingly, there were few to no people around. (I remembered later that this was Superbowl Sunday!). Avalanche Pass and Lake were beautiful, as usual. Avalanche Lake had beautiful stretches of clear, dark ice, in which many fascinating and interesting patterns could be seen.

The way up the backside of Algonquin steep and extremely warm. I couldn't believe how spring-like it felt. It was definitely well above zero. The snow was firm enough, though, that crampons were all that we wore. We did not posthole at all. After a long and tiring and very steep 2000-foot ascent, we gained the main ridgeline.

Although cooler up here near 5000 feet, it was still very warm for an early Feburary day. Caroline decided to skip Boundary/Iroquois, and headed up to Algonquin to await us. Crampons were very useful on the hard, crusty and icy bits going up and down over Boundary and Iroquois. Iroquois' summit was magnificent, with superb views everywhere.

We reached the top of Algonquin late afternoon. Things started to get breezier and cooler on the summit. We therefore did not stay too long on top. It was much icier heading down the northwest side of Algonquin - crampons were very useful here. We then slipped and slid our way down the steep snowy trail, taking only a short 90 minutes to reach the main trail to Adirondack Loj. It was deep dusk by the time we made it back to the ADK parking lot. What a magnificent and warm winter hike! Two more for the winter 46er list!

Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
 Image Gallery: February 2005 Algonquin - Iroquois Hike


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