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Old 09-10-2004, 08:49 PM   #21
etutt
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I appreciate all the replies! You guys are great! It is so nice to have a forum like this devoted to an area I love right in my home state. I never dreamed there would be such an active online community. Thanks again!

I learned through my previous internet searching and by talking to other hikers not to take the Adirondacks for granted. After going on a hike unprepared in Shenandoah a couple years back with not enough water on a 95 degree day, I know how exhausting and even dangerous back country hiking and camping can be. I hope to keep learning and I hope you guys put up with my stupid questions until one day I have something to contribute back I have already bought some new clothes and equipment based on your advice.

I want this hike to go well because I've been planning it for some time. As I said, I broke my ankle badly 1 1/2 years ago and am still recovering from it. A year or go, I was told that my Talus bone was necrotic (dying bone) and would eventually collapse my ankle and completely cripple me. Before that, I was actually misdiagnosed and went painfully walking around on the broken ankle for 5 months until they discoverred it on my 5th or 6th x-ray (I had also broken my tibia which was the only fracture they picked up on the x-ray originally). During my recovery, I did not know if I would ever walk again, but my goal was to conquer either Marcy or Algonquin if I did recover. Things are looking up for me now and my ankle will likely not collapse at this point. I am able to jog, play basketball, and even hiked 8 miles or so already this summer in Shenandoah. Making it up to the peak will be really significant and symbolic for me in a few ways. No better way to appreciate good health and a working ankle than to conquer a mile-high mountain! When I was still on crutches last fall, I actually made it up to Whiteface's summit in a car and then up the elevator

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Old 09-11-2004, 09:30 AM   #22
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You may want to consider getting hiking poles in the future. They help out alot on un-even terrain, they especially reduce articular pressure when going down, and provide extra support. Wouldn't be a bad idea considering your ankle.

Considering it's a sport that just involves walking up and down, there is a hell of alot of equipment expenses$$$$. It never stops... and then you want to buy a kayak, a canoe, a mountain bike,... and bigger garage to put these in.
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Old 09-11-2004, 10:08 PM   #23
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Algonquin is no small mountain. My husband and I climbed it Sept 4th along with Iroquois and Wright (as long as we were there already). I didn't just get up off the couch and decide to climb a mountain. I walk about 4 miles every day including hills and stairs along the way. This made 17 high Peaks for me in 2 years. Yet I was in the Drs office on Tuesday with a severe case of tendinitis. I had gain 6# in 2 days with the swelling in my legs and I could hardly walk. My legs are back and I'm ready to go again but my point is... it is not an easy hike. With your history with your ankle you might want to try St Regis, Arab, Azure or if you want a High Peak try Cascade and see how the ankle does.
( I know Hawk. I should have come to the cook-off, but I may still have gained the 6# and it wouldn't have been from swollen legs but rather from a full belly. Sorry I missed it)
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Old 09-12-2004, 02:48 PM   #24
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Hakuna, can you tell me how busy was the trail and the camping area when you went? How many others were on the summit with you?

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Originally Posted by Hakuna Matada
Algonquin is no small mountain. My husband and I climbed it Sept 4th along with Iroquois and Wright (as long as we were there already). I didn't just get up off the couch and decide to climb a mountain. I walk about 4 miles every day including hills and stairs along the way. This made 17 high Peaks for me in 2 years. Yet I was in the Drs office on Tuesday with a severe case of tendinitis. I had gain 6# in 2 days with the swelling in my legs and I could hardly walk. My legs are back and I'm ready to go again but my point is... it is not an easy hike. With your history with your ankle you might want to try St Regis, Arab, Azure or if you want a High Peak try Cascade and see how the ankle does.
( I know Hawk. I should have come to the cook-off, but I may still have gained the 6# and it wouldn't have been from swollen legs but rather from a full belly. Sorry I missed it)
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Old 09-12-2004, 08:20 PM   #25
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When we first got to the summit of Algonquin (about 12noon) there was about 12 to 15 people. We stayed there for awhile eating lunch and listening to everyone chat on their cell phones. Then we went over to Iroquios and shared that summit with 3 other people. When we got back on Algonquin at about 2:30 there were about 25 people including a girl scout group. On our way up we were passed by 4 young boys that were heading over Algonquin and down to Lake Colden. On the way down we just kept meeting people going up with full overnight packs. I would guess they also would be heading to Lake Colden. Maybe 8 - 10 more with packs. I even made the comment that it would be crowded at Lake Colden that night.
By the way , if you go to Wright go over to the north side off the trail just before the summit and check out the plane crash. I was surprised at how much of it was still there and had not been lugged off yet.
Enjoy the hike
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Old 09-16-2004, 05:25 PM   #26
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I think all the advice here is good. I definately think I would consider some poles if I were in your shoes. You can invest $30 at EMS, and all of a sudden you are much more stable on the descents, and have a way of balancing yourself in many more sticky situations. They are also great for stream crossings.

As for your trip plans. I say go for it. Look at the map, set a goal, and just do it. If you hike more then one high peak, you will learn which ones are busy and which ones are not. The only way to get good at trip planning, and backpacking in general is to get out there.

As for conditioning. It is good that you are doing some. 1.8 miles is going to seem like a walk in the park after Algonquin. I train year round now for my 6+ trips to the mountains. I suffer durring training in order to enjoy the climbing, and last longer. 8 miles in 1 day with a pack is not a big deal.

Last piece of advice. lay out all your gear. Find at least 1 thing, and dont bring it. Just 1. If you do this everytime you go, you will learn what you really need, and really dont. (make sure its not a map or a compass).

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Old 09-17-2004, 12:51 AM   #27
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Good advice.. thank you. My 1.8 mile daily walk has a pretty darn big elevation gain, but I realize it is probably nothing compared to Algonquin. I do feel as though I am in good enough shape to get up the mountain.. it just might be pretty slow going The trip is a go for this Sat.. I will be sure to let you all know how it turns out.
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Old 09-22-2004, 02:13 PM   #28
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We made it! It took staying at the camping area by the waterfall overnight twice and a couple of scary reminders of what supplies we should have brought, but we made it to the peak. Today, I am now sick from the crazy temperature changes and my entire body hurts. It took us 3 hours to get from the LOJ to the camping area and then another 3 hours to get from the camping area to the peak. I think it took another 3 to get back to the camping area from the peak and then another 2 to get back to the car (almost limping and completely beat up by then). Some of those scrambles and slides were pretty crazy! It made us feel pretty out of shape when a middle-aged couple came up to the peak when we were there and told us how they got up there from the parking lot in 2 hours and expected to get back in 1.5.
Due to your recommendations, I found that the trekking poles were VERY valueable and we each bought one non-cotton "hiking" outfit at an outdoors store. You were very right about how horrible cotten clothes are. We should have had more than just one "hiking" outfit. I made sure not to sweat or get the cotten clothes wet in any way, because I knew they would not be wearable later in the night when the temperature dropped to 30 - 40 degrees.
It got pretty dark and started raining on the way down from the summit despite the forecast for no rain.. that was pretty scarey. Luckily we took what we needed, but mostly we just got lucky.. more rain and I think we would have been calling for a rescue if we could get a cellphone signal!
Thank you again for all of your help guys! I am taking a nice day off to stay home and rest up after what I can call one of the most physically demanding experiences of my life.
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Old 09-22-2004, 02:26 PM   #29
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Age doesn't mean squat on the trail. A 67 year old 46er named Fred got to the top of Skylight and back to the loj 15 minutes ahead of me this past January.

[BTW -- I'm 29 and after 37 peaks so far this year I'm in the best shape of my life I'll give Fred a run for his money this winter ]

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Old 09-22-2004, 02:42 PM   #30
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You must be right. I saw a few older hikers blazing right by us.. just makes me feel even more out of shape for being 22!
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Old 09-22-2004, 03:03 PM   #31
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Glad you went for it! Now you know where you stand with the Adks, and you will have an easier time estimating for your future trips. A trip like that also lets you know where you stand, and what you have to do for conditioning to keep up with the older folks. Ha!

Good luck in your future endeavors, and please feel free to ask away for more advice here or on VFTT. I'm sure everyone across these two boards will be happy to tell you their opinions.

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Old 09-22-2004, 03:39 PM   #32
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Glad you made it up and out safely! I'm sure you learned quite a bit over the course of your adventure, especially the need for proper preparation (physically, mentally, and equipment-wise). But I wouldn't worry too much about comparing yourself with others hiking around you ... as it's said on the AT journal website, "hike you own hike" ... some of those folks who go zipping by you may be missing a bit of the experience (just my opinion). When my wife and I were hiking Mt Adams a guy went flying by us (near the summit), spent maybe 10 minutes at the top, and then took off ... seemed kinda strange to us 'cause it was beautiful at the summit, and we were reluctant to leave!
My first high peak was 6 yrs ago, hiking Mt Colden with my oldest son (he was 20 at the time) ... and he was about 1/2 way through his 46 at the time ... so he was in pretty good shape ... plus he has a stride that's close to double mine ... it was fun, tough, and I slept like a log that night (he lived in LP at the time). We also did Seward, etc, later that summer (that was an overnight trip) and I was dragging at the end of that endeavor! I climbed Algonquin on Sept 11th, it was pretty wet and took me about 2 3/4 hours to summit. I lounged on the summit for a while, went over to Iroquois and had lunch over there ... then back to Algonquin, soaked up the scenery a bit more, then down the mtn, which took longer than climbing up (due to the slippery rocks).
For your next adventure(s), you may want to climb Noonmark, Round Mtn, or Roostercomb, all in Keene Valley, all have great views. Or try Mt Adams (from Upper Works), 2.5 miles, a good workout, and awesome views from the partially restored fire tower.
If you'd like to try something that doesn't involve climbing a mountain, but you'd still like a great experience, try and hike a portion or two of the Northville-Lake Placid trail.
No matter what you do, be safe and have fun.
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Old 09-22-2004, 03:54 PM   #33
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Glad you went for it! Now you know where you stand with the Adks, and you will have an easier time estimating for your future trips. A trip like that also lets you know where you stand, and what you have to do for conditioning to keep up with the older folks. Ha!

Good luck in your future endeavors, and please feel free to ask away for more advice here or on VFTT. I'm sure everyone across these two boards will be happy to tell you their opinions.


Percious makes good points. You've learned something about your food needs, what clothing to wear and not to wear, your hiking style, the value of poles, how dark it is in the woods, and that you can't depend upon a cell phone. Probably lots more, too, and you will adjust and modify these things to suit your needs and desires as you gain experience. Don't get too hung up on the age thing, or who gets to the summit first, unless you're into competition (which is fine). And yes, ask questions, and read. It's how we learn.
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Old 09-22-2004, 04:23 PM   #34
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For you 46ers: what would you rank the difficulty of the round-trip trail from the LOJ to Algonquin compared to the other 46 peaks? I am wondering if this is generally considered one of the easiest or one of the toughest peaks. The distance seems a lot shorter than many hikes, but if there are steeper trails than what we experienced, I may be too much of a wuss to ever do all 46
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Old 09-22-2004, 04:38 PM   #35
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The steep climbs are the best part of the hike.
From what I've done(28), that trail ranks in the middle(maybe a bit higher) of the peaks when it comes to steepness. But going out on the trails is what's going to put you in better hiking shape. Early this summer, I climb three weekends in one month, although already in good shape, my climb were getting easier and easier as the summer went on. Take Kevin for example, I sure he wasn't in the same climbing shape when he started, compared to now. He has climbed whole lot.
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Old 09-22-2004, 05:25 PM   #36
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Etutt, you will find no universal agreement on hardest/easiest. Yes, probably there is a consensus that says Algonquin is not among the harder of the 46. There was a discussion about this (on this board?) a short time ago, and Cascade and Phelps were discussed as being among the contenders for easiest. I think most people usually respond by saying Cascade is easier, but that's not true for everyone. How much elevation gain there is over the length of the hike is one indicator of difficulty. Giant's ascent (from Rt. 73) is 3375 ft. and does that in 3 miles. Algonquin's is 2936 ft. (from the Loj) and does that in 4.3 miles. But this doesn't tell the whole story. You also have to take the terrain into account --muddy, rocky, ledges, blowdown, windy, wet, etc. Cliff Mt.'s current herdpath is only a little over a mile, but no one who has done it will tell you that makes it easy! You'll find that if you camp, you can do several in a trip, thus "shortening" the hike. It's been quite some time since I first climbed Marcy and I do remember it being hard (as you no doubt felt about Algonquin). Having climbed it several times since then, it is, for me, one of my "easier" ones. As Martin said, you will get better as you do more and regular hiking.
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Old 09-22-2004, 05:26 PM   #37
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I think Algonquin is one of the easier peaks. Its very accessable, not too too steep, and the trail is pretty we travelled. Thats not to say you can't handle all 46. You work up to it. You learn your limits as you go. Just remember, the mountains are going to be there later, so if you have to turn back, no big deal. Oh, and about cell phones. Please for all of us refrain from a summit call. It is bad taste. We go into the wilderness to get away from all that technology stuff... Some of us do anyway.

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Old 09-22-2004, 06:24 PM   #38
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Algonqin alone..... Yeah, I'd say pretty easy. All trails are different of course, but stacked against the rest, I'd say Algonquin is pretty vanilla. Some steep slabs up high, but it's pretty short.

If I can be honest (and I mean no offense), but I think your major issue would be time more than difficulty. Outsde of about 10-12 other peaks, your talking significantly longer distances. Based on the times you gave, you'll have to plan on quite a few overnights to complete them.

That's not a problem, just acount for it. Get a good handle on your hiking speed and style so that you can be properly prepared for those longer hikes. As others have said, "hike you own hike", just understand and what that is.

Glad you had fun
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Old 09-22-2004, 09:54 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavs00
Algonqin alone..... Yeah, I'd say pretty easy. All trails are different of course, but stacked against the rest, I'd say Algonquin is pretty vanilla. Some steep slabs up high, but it's pretty short.

If I can be honest (and I mean no offense), but I think your major issue would be time more than difficulty. Outsde of about 10-12 other peaks, your talking significantly longer distances. Based on the times you gave, you'll have to plan on quite a few overnights to complete them.

That's not a problem, just acount for it. Get a good handle on your hiking speed and style so that you can be properly prepared for those longer hikes. As others have said, "hike you own hike", just understand and what that is.

Glad you had fun
Yes, I am hoping that as I get more in shape, I will be able to hike further. In fact, I doubt I could have done Algonquin at all in the shape I was before breaking my ankle. My buddy and I were joking that we were probably the most out of shape climbers to ever summit Algonquin. We were certainly the "biggest" hikers on the trail Not that we are big fat guys either.. just average couch potatos with little beer guts. Most other hikers we saw had some muscular legs and not much fat on em.

One another note, I had seen much of the 'dacks by car before this hike and always love looking at people's pictures on the net so I was suprised at how I had a very hard time picking out which peaks were which. On the ride to the Loj and around 73, I had no idea which peak was Algonquin. It's easy to say the 2nd highest one, but the region is large and it is even sometimes hard to tell which is the largest in a range. The topographical map we had helped us identify some, but it might be nice to tag along with another group of slow hikers who are familiar with the area next time. It would have been great to know wtf we were looking at!

Anybody on here have experience in the presidential range? How difficult is the hike up Mt Washington.. maybe something I should plan for next Summer or is that a large step up?
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Old 09-22-2004, 10:42 PM   #40
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One more post: here are the pictures from the trip..

http://www.scrop.org/dacks/
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