Monday, December  10, 2018
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Rock and Ice
Windblown
The top
I completed the back-ascent of Algonquin in solitude - just me and rock and ice and wind. Felt very elemental. Above, the predicted overcast was starting to roll in - not as discrete clouds but as rather as an overall reduction in the opacity of the sky. Everything was becoming more grey as the day wore on.
Much less icy Wright
Icy descent
The busy side
The strong wind made things a bit uncomfortable on the summit, so I stayed for only a minute or two. Based on the wind's direction, I knew that the northern side of the peak would be in the lee, and sure enough, as soon as I descended just a short way in that direction, things became much calmer.

I also started to encounter the hordes - er, I mean, lots of other hikers. As in, the ones that start late and come up via the shortest path. They were just now approaching the summit, and there were a lot of them - of all ages and levels of experience. Some were climbing just in snowshoes and/or microspikes which was a bit.... marginal for these icy conditions up here.
The busy side
Back in trees
Flatlands
The north approach to Algonquin's summit is steep, and soon I was plunged back into the trees - on a very wide, very packed path. I kept my crampons on for a while, then switched back to microspikes. Snowshoes not really needed at any time.

I definitely felt the extra-long trudge back to the car. It was a bit mindless, really. Not stopping at the ADK High Peaks Visitor Center parking lot, i instead walking right on through and on down the access road for another mile, finally reaching the South Meadows road and my car shortly after three. I was feeling a bit achy on the way back - probably a result of my relative lack of recent hiking. That'll have to be rectified.
Not stopping at parking lot
Walking out of ADK Loj area
Down and up
Interactive trackmap with photo points - Algonquin Loop from South Meadows - click map to view

Algonquin Loop from S. Meadows - Hike Data
Start Time:
7:41AM
Start Elevation:
2124ft (647m) *
End Time:
3:08PM
Max Elevation:
5229ft (1594m) *
Duration:
7h27m
Min Elevation:
1998ft (609m) *
Distance:
21.93 km (13.63 mi)
End Elevation:
2048ft (624m) *
Average Speed:
2.9 km/hr (1.8 mph)
* : +/- 75 feet
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