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Dec. 5, 2015 (Sat.)
Elevation: 5114 feet; Order of Height: 2
Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Jennifer Innes, Pu Chen, Caroline Doucet
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A day of unbelievably beautiful undercast on Algonquin Peak

The day started out inconspicuously enough, with the desire to do a moderately vigorous hike. Although we had the Algonquin loop as a rough starting idea, we weren't entirely sure until we got close to the trailhead, and a number of other ideas were bandied about. A glance at the skies, though, had me thinking that the possibility for an above-the-clouds hike was possible, so we returned to the idea of Algonquin, which had an approach that was short combined with a nice high summit altitude.

Starting out under overcast (hopefully soon to be undercast) skies, we quickly made our way up from ADK Loj towards Algonquin. A dusting of snow at the trailhead grew to about 2 inches at altitude, so there was no need for snowshoes. Traction aid was required, however, and microspikes were worked to the max on a very icy trail as we approached treeline. Our hunch was rewarded - a beautiful view of undercast spread out before us, especially so to the west and south. In fact, the most superb views I have seen in the Adirondacks in quite a long time.

The descent from the summit southward to treeline was supremely beautiful, with only the 46Rs visible in the distance above the nearly 4000-foot undercast. The descent down to Lake Colden was the worst part of the hike, slushy and slippery and wet. The hike back past Avalanche Lake was a nice final scenic flourish - a warm december sun illuminated the canyon-like area.

Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
 Image Gallery: December 2015 Algonquin Peak Loop via Avalanche Pass


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