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Old 10-28-2004, 12:17 PM   #1
kingof14ers
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Question What peaks to do in January???

Hello everyone! This is my first thread on this forum.

I've never hiked in the Adirondacks. I am looking to do several 3/4000'ers in January when I come out to visit family for my dad's retirement party.

So how can I string together 2/3 peaks in one day?
My family lives in Rockland county so Catskill ideas are welcome as well.
Does your recommendation have avalanche prone terrain? Is that ever a concern in NY?
Any cool sites with maps illustrating where all the peaks are?
Route descriptions, mileage, elevation gain?
Does your recommendation require crampons and/or ice axe?

Obviously elevation is a non issue being the shortest winter peak I've done is 7997' and the highest 14265 with alot in between. I've looked at a map using topozone and I've been eyeballing Phelps and Marcy from the dam. I'm OK with 15 miles, but I want to adjust to the heavy snow associated with the great lakes climate. I can come equipped for very hostile winter conditions. Is there anything considered overkill? Should I assume that bivvying is a possibility?

Thanks everyone for your advice.
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Old 10-28-2004, 12:53 PM   #2
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How about Wright-Algonquin-Iroquois? Excellent bang to buck ratio. Start before dawn.
Wait for a flurry (ha ha) of posts.
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Old 10-28-2004, 12:56 PM   #3
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How about Wright-Algonquin-Iroquois? Excellent bang to buck ratio. Start before dawn.
Wait for a flurry (ha ha) of posts.
Thanks! I got the headlamp covered. I saw your pic in the Candian Rockies near that well defined trail. NICE!!! I wasn't fully registered and wanted to respond to that pic yesterday. I knew you were out west, but the flavor of the background peaks were a little different than my backyard.
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Old 10-28-2004, 01:17 PM   #4
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Is Boundary not considered a 46er? Why/why not?
At a first glance it looks like the trek up Wright is about 4 miles one way. Looks very doable.
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Old 10-28-2004, 01:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingof14ers
Is Boundary not considered a 46er? Why/why not?
Boundary is too close to Iroquois to be considered a separate peak. The criteria for the 46ers is 0.3 miles away from the nearest peak.
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Old 10-28-2004, 01:41 PM   #6
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We have several sets of criteria. A hard ranked peak must be at least a half mile away & a 300' difference between the low point of a connecting saddle and the summit of the lower of 2 neighboring peaks. A soft rank of course is less distance and elevation change. Then there's unnamed versus named peaks, ranked and unranked.

So would Boundary be labeled by your standards as a unranked named 46er? It passes the initial criteria of supassing the 4K' elevation, but falls outside the ranked requirements.

If I had the time I'd camp out at several points. Looking at a topo, there seems to be a very high concentration of 46ers in that area. I see at least a dozen. Alas time won't allow winter camping this visit and I can only dream.
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Old 10-28-2004, 01:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingof14ers
So how can I string together 2/3 peaks in one day?
My family lives in Rockland county so Catskill ideas are welcome as well.
Does your recommendation have avalanche prone terrain? Is that ever a concern in NY?
Any cool sites with maps illustrating where all the peaks are?
Route descriptions, mileage, elevation gain?
Does your recommendation require crampons and/or ice axe?
Another good one might be to hike over Dial and Nippletop from the Ausable Club (South of Keene Valley along Route 73). Both offer nice views of the Great Range.

Avalanches aren't very common, but do happen from time to time when conditions are right. They generally happen on the slides.

You probably won't need an ice axe, but it would be a good idea to bring crampons.

Please note that you are required to wear snowshoes or skis if there is over 8" of snow on the ground in the Adirondacks.

For other trail ideas check out the Adirondack Journey site. The information on it is pretty useful.
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by lumberzac
You probably won't need an ice axe, but it would be a good idea to bring crampons.

Please note that you are required to wear snowshoes or skis if there is over 8" of snow on the ground in the Adirondacks.

For other trail ideas check out the Adirondack Journey site. The information on it is pretty useful.
Thanks for the tips! I am very environmentally conscience so of course I want to abide by the local practices. Here we generally put on snowshoes only after postholing above the knee. 8" is certainly reasonable.
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:22 PM   #9
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http://www.adirondackjourney.com/MacIntyre_Range.htm
Looking at picture 20 2003, it was hard to pick out Boundary from Algonquin. I see why it's not on "The List". Does anyone know what the RT mileage and elevation gain is on this trek? Would I be allowed to tie trail marking tape below treeline onto branches to be removed on my trip back down? Seems like most of this is below treeline.
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingof14ers
http://www.adirondackjourney.com/MacIntyre_Range.htm
Looking at picture 20 2003, it was hard to pick out Boundary from Algonquin. I see why it's not on "The List". Does anyone know what the RT mileage and elevation gain is on this trek? Would I be allowed to tie trail marking tape below treeline onto branches to be removed on my trip back down? Seems like most of this is below treeline.

You shouldn't need to tie up marking tape as the trail up both Wright and Algonquin are well marked and the trail over to Iroquois is quite obvious. I can take a look and see what the mileage and elevation gain/loss is when I get home.
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:45 PM   #11
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You shouldn't need to tie up marking tape as the trail up both Wright and Algonquin are well marked and the trail over to Iroquois is quite obvious. I can take a look and see what the mileage and elevation gain/loss is when I get home.

Thanks lumberzac for all your help! I was only considering the marking tape if the trail is heavily snow covered. If the trees are well marked, then I should be good. So how far of a drive is it from say the Tappan Zee bridge between Rockland and Westchester Ctys and Heart Lake? I'm guessing about 3.5 hours?
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:51 PM   #12
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Seems like most of this is below treeline.
If the visibility is low (which it very well could be) then that may not be a bad idea, but about 1/3 of the trek from Algonquin to Iroquios is over bare rock with HUGE cairns to mark the way. Once into the trees it's pretty obvious as Zac says. If you have a hard time following the trail over to Iroquios when in the trees you may need to turn around and head out! (danger!)

Also, bailing down to Lake Colden from between Boundary and Algonquin is an option depending on which way the bad weather is approaching (if it's from the south or east then that would be into the bad weather = NOT a good idea). It's a steep descent though, and from what I've been told it's one of the steeper trails in the entire Adirondacks.

Generally expect a lot of wind up there. You're already mentally prepared if you hike the Rockies in the winter. Even though the Adirondacks are smaller in elevation, they share all the same characteristics of unpredictablity and difficulty of other mountain ranges. When it looks bad turn around! Many people get close to the summit of Algonquin in the winter and have to turn back. There's a huge difference and added danger once you get above treeline. Like night/day.
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:52 PM   #13
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So how far of a drive is it from say the Tappan Zee bridge between Rockland and Westchester Ctys and Heart Lake? I'm guessing about 3.5 hours?
Maybe a little more, it's 2 hours from the Bronx to Albany, another 2 hours to Heart Lake. So say 4. Don't forget the potential for a snow storm. We get 'em fast and furious out here (called "Nor'easters"/coastal storms). Anywhere from 6 inches to feet in the valleys and 3+ feet in the mountains is not uncommon.
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Old 10-28-2004, 03:02 PM   #14
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Generally expect a lot of wind up there. You're already mentally prepared if you hike the Rockies in the winter. Even though the Adirondacks are smaller in elevation, they share all the same characteristics of unpredictablity and difficulty of other mountain ranges. When it looks bad turn around! Many people get close to the summit of Algonquin in the winter and have to turn back. There's a huge difference and added danger once you get above treeline. Like night/day.
My perspective on mountaineering dictates that mountains are mountains regardless of elevation. All mountains even if they appear to be gentle and rolling command my utmost respect. I've seen some wild cornices, postholed in chest deep snow, been blinded by whiteout in sub zero temperatures, and have even heard and felt the collapsing "WHOOMP!!" on an unstable slab of what I thought was well anchored.

The only thing consistent out here is that all weather patterns come from either the west and sometimes from the north. Sounds as if your weather can come from any direction. This is foreign to me, but I've turned around countless times due to fatigue and weather. In some cases it requires going back to the mountain and driving for 6 hours to revisit it. The mountains will always be there. I can retreat and go back another day.
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Old 10-28-2004, 08:50 PM   #15
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From the Adirondack Loj up Wright, Algonquin, and Iroquois and back the trail you came up on is about 10 miles with about 4450' of elevation gain and loss.
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