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Old 09-22-2004, 10:47 PM   #41
Kevin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin
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.
Very true, although I did some preparation last year by doing night hikes here and there, Blue Mountain, etc... all part of getting me physically and MENTALLY prepared to hike more often, and specifically mountains. I've been defeated on many hikes halfway through, but found myself standing on the summit smiling with plenty more energy left for the hike out. It's sometimes as mental as it is physical.

As Dick explained, you have to take into account the overall trail when assigning difficulty. Giant is a moderate to steep hike from the beginning, and spreads those 3,000+ feet of ascent well over the 3 miles. Algonquin starts you off gradually and then turns up the juice for the last mile. I rank Algonquin as moderately difficult because of the total climb. Giant would also be moderately difficult because it's a similar grade climb but spread out better. Take Basin for example, a steep climb but not too awefully tough, but it takes you a while just to get there. Saddleback ends up being the same thing, because once you're on Basin it doesn't seem that far or hard to do, then you go over and face (literally) one of the steeper and more technically challenging of all the 46.

I had the exact same questions and fears as I started hiking. In time I discovered more about me and what fears I could overcome. F alse E vidence A ppearing R eal. There isn't a mountain in the Adirondacks you can't climb if you can climb Algonquin, you just need to believe it .

Percious -- I hiked with a guy in March and he called his wife from on top of Marcy, then sent a live picture-phone shot to her... talk about technologically addicted
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Old 09-23-2004, 08:00 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin
I rank Algonquin as moderately difficult because of the total climb. Giant would also be moderately difficult because it's a similar grade climb but spread out better. Take Basin for example, a steep climb but not too awefully tough, but it takes you a while just to get there. Saddleback ends up being the same thing, because once you're on Basin it doesn't seem that far or hard to do, then you go over and face (literally) one of the steeper and more technically challenging of all the 46.
This is a perfect example of "why you should talk to lots of people" and get different views. People have widely different scales/benchmarks and what mountains are hard and easy.

For example, for my money, Basin and Saddleback do not even compare with Algonquin, I think they are MUCH more difficult, owning mostly to the fact that it 7.5 miles at least to get there. Plus the trail is MUCH more rugged. So right there, me and Kevin might not agree, one or two more people might chime in a throw other wrinkles into the mix.

If I may, might I suggest posing these questions a different way. Instead of asking "Is mountain X hard.", you might want to ask, "What can I expect on this route up mountain X". That way you can take that info and compare it to what YOU think makes a mountain hard.

For example, If you post a How hard is Giant, you'll get, HARD, VERY HARD, NOT BAD, STEEP, EASY, etc (depending on who you ask). But if you ask the what can I expect, you pretty much get (from most) a "Get out of your car, and start walking steeply uphill and it won't let up til you reach the summit 3 miles later. If your the type that likes a little flat walking to warm-up before walking uphill, you'll know for YOU, this one might be tough.

Once I started doing it this way, I started being able to better judge if I needed to allot more, or less time to a particular hike. This is just a suggestion, someone once told me about this and I found it helpful.
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Old 09-23-2004, 08:55 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Mavs00
For example, for my money, Basin and Saddleback do not even compare with Algonquin, I think they are MUCH more difficult, owning mostly to the fact that it 7.5 miles at least to get there. Plus the trail is MUCH more rugged. So right there, me and Kevin might not agree, one or two more people might chime in a throw other wrinkles into the mix.
I guess my post wasn't clear, we're in more agreement than I indicated. Basin/Saddleback is one of the tougher climbs of the 46, maybe the toughest pair. Add in Haystack to the hike (as I did) and you may have the second toughest dayhike of the High Peaks.

[FYI -- doing the Seward range in a day was a bit tougher because of overall mileage and total ascent]

Last edited by Kevin; 09-23-2004 at 09:11 AM..
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Old 09-23-2004, 10:54 AM   #44
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Congrats on setting a difficult goal for yourself and accomplishing it, etutt!

I have to agree with the consensus that Algonquin is not too difficult as far as "the 46" go. Personally I find long distances to be much more daunting than nearly any degree of steepness (I'm not particularly looking forward to hiking Allen next year, for example). Algonquin can certainly be rough in bad weather though...I had to abort a planned hike to Iroquois once due to zero visibility at the summit and 60 MPH winds coming (most inconveniently) right out of the SW. Lichens are pretty, but they don't really provide the best of possible shelters.
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Old 09-23-2004, 11:28 AM   #45
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How about Sawteeth via the scenic trail and Colden from L. Colden for lactic acid lovers. Gothics via Pyramid's another. (I can't believe we hauled full packs from this route over Gothics to Saddle and Basin and then camped at Slant Rock on day 1 of a three day hike).
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Old 09-23-2004, 11:56 AM   #46
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Don't get me started on tough dayhikes.... :-P I am psyched up for our saturday trip to Cliff Redfield AND Skylight. I hope we make it. Anyway, the question was raised about the Presies. Washington is a pretty tough mountain to climb. Its a long way from base camp, but a rewarding hike. Personally, I enjoyed the summits of Jefferson, and Moosilauke better, just because there are so many damn people on Washington. It was cool getting ice cream at the top with the canadian money we found along the trail :-). Washington is harder than algonquin, without a doubt. But if you keep conditioning, you will have no problem getting up there.

Your pictures are great. You took some really nice shots on the way up, which reminded me about my previous visits to Algonquin. Usually I am so damn determined to get to the top of the mountain, I forget to take pictures along the way. I'm going to remember that for my next trip...

One thing I did notice about your pictures. One of you guys had your sleeping bag strapped to the back of your pack... That must be most uncomfortable! Carefull packing can lead to less fatigue and faster hiking times. I highly recommend this book:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books
I basically give it to everyone who goes with me for the first time. It covers all the basics, including LNT and how to pack your gear.

Its great that you are already setting goals for next year! I recommend planning an easier hike early in the season, since you probably will not be hiking during the winter. Give those bones a chance to get used to the pack. cheers.

-percious
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Old 09-23-2004, 12:09 PM   #47
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Neil, you listed my # 3, 4, and 5 hikes
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Old 09-25-2004, 02:34 PM   #48
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Hey this is an ADK forum - What are you asking about Mt Washington for? - Just kidding.

Congrats on the Algonquin hike! In May I started out from the Loj to do Wright, Algonquin and Iroquois, but turned back after Wright, due to some severe weather and slick conditions. Just a tip, always be aware of the conditions and your "true" ability to handle the situations. A rule of thumb I follow is to over-estimate the amount of time and under-estimate my ability, so I don't plan too much and don't be afraid to turn back (the mtns will be there next week or the week after).

I did Mt Washington and Monroe a few weeks ago. Not necessarily a hard hike, but you've always go to be prepared for rapid and extreme changes in the weather, like an trip to the mountains. If you head out that way, make sure you camp-out at the Mt Washington Hotel.

PM me if you want to see some pics from my trips.

Keep hiking!
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Old 09-27-2004, 10:02 AM   #49
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congrats etutt!!!!! Souns like you had a great time.

Mavs gave some great advice about approaching your questioning for a hike. a person's perception of the difficulty of a hike is based on overall conditioning as well as their personal preferences. Some may like short hikes despite the steepness, etc. The first time I climbed up Algonquin I was in terrible shape. I took a full pack up with me and camped out in that same site. My wife(at the time) and I didn't make it to the summit on that trip. The next time I climbed it was with a friend of mine after I had lost 90lbs and had worked myself up to running 6 minute miles. There were times that I had hiked on ahead and was having a cigarrette, waiting for my friend to catch up. we also hiked it in mid May with a decent snow pack left on the summit, making the hiking up those slabs much easier. When I took my current wife up it a few years ago, my physicial conditioning had since wained quite a bit and the hike was again somewhat grueling. It's all relative.

Glad the poles helped and glad you got up there and can still say you enjoyed yourself even after your description of how you felt afterward! That usually means you've been bitten by the A-Dacks bug!

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