Ascent of Algonquin Peak on 2017-07-12

Climber: Douglas Fortman

Others in Party:Jim Haynor -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Malcolm Kogut
Date:Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Algonquin Peak
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:5115 ft / 1559 m

Ascent Trip Report

Algonquin is New York State's second highest peak and it is one that is very popular, as the hike is just over 4 miles to the summit from the ADK LOJ. The trail is pretty nice - well maintained and dry for the most part, with a lot of steep slab climbing after the trail junction with Wright Peak. These slabs make for great butt-sliding in the winter time! But in the summer, you can just walk right up them when its dry. Algonquin can be disappointing though, as it will get socked in when no other nearby peaks are. When it's clear though, the views are amazing.

I've climbed this peak more than most. This was probably my sixth ascent. The goal today though, wasn't Algonquin, and it wasn't Wright Peak - it was Iroquois, which has eluded me for one reason or another. This time, I was not going to be denied!

Note- the recorded statistics for this hike (distance, elevation, time) are for the Algonquin ascent and descent only.

Having done the Allen Mountain Marathon two days prior, my buddies Jim, Malcolm and I were still recovering a bit (some recovered more than others). What a contrast this hike was compared to Allen. We struck out at 6:30am from the ADK Loj. Even though it was mid-week, we saw many people on the trail, many of whom we would see several times throughout the day as we leap-frogged each other along the trail. The trail is much more heavily traveled (than Allen), partly due to the fact that the hike is much shorter. However, because you're climbing over Algonquin, the second tallest peak in NY State, in order to reach the summit of Iroquois, you're climbing about 3780 feet (my total ascent with this out-and-back hike from the LOJ to Iroquois). Allen was a total of 3260 feet of elevation gain.

When we reached the summit we enjoyed the views while consuming our lunches. To the north of us, the clouds hung menacingly. I was a little concerned they would press southward over us and take away our views, but they held north the entire day. Many times I've been up here I've seen the summit socked in. Today though, we were rewarded, and this was an encouraging sign. We could see the summits of Boundary and Iroquois clearly and I wanted to move on quickly to take advantage of this beautiful day. Malcolm and I felt great and we were ready to move. But Jim, decided he would hang out on the summit of Algonquin and rest. He was still recovering from Allen, and had already done Iroquois years ago.

So Malcolm and I headed down the cairn and paint blazed trail to the junction at the col between Algonquin and Boundary where there was a sign indicating the marked trail continued with a left turn. Here is where the herd path to Boundary and Iroquois begins. We squeezed our way through the narrow path through the dense growth of trees until we reached the base of the rock face of Boundary where we scrambled up and over, continuing to follow paint blazes and cairns. Then it was back into the trees until we came to the base of the rocky summit of Iroquois, where again, the final approach is above the treeline. No benchmark on top of Iroquois, but, it's pretty obvious where the summit is.

#44!! YEAH!! We took a few summit selfies and got an awkward video of ourselves doing a celebratory jump in the air, including another hiker we had been leap-frogging with during our hike. We referred to him as "Science Guy" - an 8th grade science teacher, with a good sense of humor, as he went along with our silliness. After admiring Wallface and Shepherd's Tooth we decided to head back and pick up Jim and begin the descent to the ADK LOJ.

The cloud layer maintained its northward stance, obscuring Whiteface Mountain as we descended from Algonquin. We didn't break any land speed records today, but we made it back in one piece. Two to go!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2903 ft / 884 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.2 mi / 14.8 km
    Route:Algonquin Trail
    Trailhead:2212 ft / 674 m
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:5 Hours 
Ascent Part of Trip: Iroquois via Algonquin (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Algonquin Peak2017-07-122903 ft / 885 m
2Boundary Peak2017-07-12 
3Iroquois Peak2017-07-123780 ft / 1152 m
Total Trip Gain: 6683 ft / 2037 m    Total Trip Loss: 6683 ft / 2037 m

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