Climbing Log: Wright, Algonquin, Iroquois

Mountains Climbed: Wright Peak, Algonquin Peak, and Iroquois Peak
Date of Hike: Friday, 23 October 2009
Hikers: Seth C. Burgess, James Zeger, Tanner W. Burgess

Trail Conditions: Icy wet, muddy

Comments: We left the parking area at the High Peaks Information Center (HPIC) on Adirondack Loj Rd. ($3 ADK member parking fee) shortly after 0800. The trail was mostly dry and soft walking up to the Whales Tail ski trail. From there, the trail became increasingly frosty and eventually icy. We barebooted nearly all the way to the split for Wright Peak's summit trail before strapping on our Stabilicers.

Frosty Trail

The ice on the rocky trail was the type that had frozen the night before and was melting underneath--so that a good strong step with Stabilicers might break free a chunk of ice which would then slip on the watery rock surface beneath. Tricky situation.

The final stretch up Wright brought us to our first great views, and we were able to admire the low blanket of clouds we were standing above, mountains summit poking through the whiteness in all directions. Conditions were awesome atop Wright Peak--very low winds compared to what can often being a very windy summit--with no snow and very little ice on the bald rock summit itself. We arrived atop Wright a bit after 1000, and enjoyed the views there for a shade under 1 hour. This included a bit of exploration below the summit to location the plaque and remaining wreckage of the B-47 airplane that crashed on Wright Peak in 1962.

Above the Clouds

Seth, James, Tanner on Wright's summit

B-47 plane debris on Wright Peak

After leaving Wright, we continued on to Algonquin Peak to again find beautiful views, especially of Mt. Colden and Mt. Marcy and including a considerable number of identifiable High Peaks from the amazing 360-degree view atop the Adirondack's 2nd highest mountain. It was a bit of a slower climb up Algonquin's summit's northside, with much extra effort to assist my Golden Retriever (Mountain Dog) up the sheer and icy boulder obstacles that decorate Algonquin Peak. We arrived on top of Algonquin around 1240 and moved on toward Iroquois Peak by 1300, snapping many photos and enjoying the ADK Landscape en route.

Mt. Marcy and Mt. Colden

James and Tanner on Algonquin's bald summit

 Looking south from Algonquin Peak

An hour later (1400), after first passing over Boundary Peak, we stood atop Iroquois Peak--our 3rd High Peak of the MacIntyre Range of the day. We shot photos and stayed atop Iroquois Peak very briefly, wanting to play our time comfortably in regards to the remaining sunlight. That and we didn't feel too guilty about not hanging around at the summit, since the views all along the MacIntyre ridge are some of the best in the ADKs. The trail in between Algonquin and Iroquois is quite swampy, and in our case there existed looming pools of freezing cold water beneath a thin layer of ice. It did not appear that others had been over to Iroquois Peak ahead of us as none of this ice was broken when we encountered it and the trail is very tight and brushy--there would have been sign of some kind.

On the summit of Iroquois Peak

Prior to the descent from the MacIntyres, we had only seen a handful of other hikers on our beautiful Friday. After going up and over the southside of Alqonguin's summit (which seemed much steeper than our earlier climb on the northside) and down the other side, we met a large group of French-Canadians. There must have been about 10 high school / college agers and 1 older adult. They quickly befriended Mountain Dog and we rested with their group for a bit before continuing on down around 1530.

Aside from the occasional caution on ice etc., we made good time on the way down...incl. a few good falls on slippery rocks and slick roots. We returned to the Avalanche at 1730, still with a good half hour of sunlight to spare. At that time, quite a few more cars had appeared in the HPIC parking area and a good number were hiking in toward Marcy Dam with full packs to set up camp for the night.

Total trip time was about 9 hrs. 30 min. and mileage was approx. 9 miles.

Special Equipment Required: Stabilicers



DDJ said...

Seth, thanks for sharing these photos and your description. A few weeks ago (late August 2010)Wright Peak kicked my butt --- too late a start, very rainy, wet, muddy and slippery and a very tired schnauzer --- forced us to turn around just below the turnoff for Wright Peak. Your descriptions and shots have inspired me to try again in November. Regards, Davis

Seth C. Burgess said...

Excellent Davis, and may we recall all of our hiking experiences fondly!

My 1st attempt at Wright Peak was also on a much trickier occasion.

There is also some video footage from each of the Wright trips, check them out if you have the time:

- Windy Wright Peak
- Adirondack MacIntyre Range

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