Elevation: 5114 ft (1559 m)
Peak: N44 08.616 W73 59.214
Parking lot: N44 10.945 W73 57.769
Distance: 15.3 km
With the weekend forecast calling for rain I decided at the last minute to take the day off to enjoy some sunny midweek weather and join my buddy Mike on another hike in the Adirondacks. It was a damn good call.
After some debate on how cold and icy it was going to be above 4000' we finally decided to throw caution to the wind and just go for it - Noonmark out and Algonquin Peak in.
At 5114', Algonquin ranks as the second highest of the 46er peaks, second only to Mount Marcy. I was stoked. Mike has been telling anyone that would listen that this was his favourite 46er peak so far and I couldn't wait to get on the trail and see for myself.
We were on the road by 5am and signing in the logbook by 8:45am. We made relatively good time hiking up the rocky trail stopping only briefly at the falls for a snack and a chat with some of the passing dog walking hikers.
After the falls we soon came to the cut off for Wright, another 46er peak. There was no decision to be made, we were Algonquin bound. After a couple of scrambles up some slabs we began to break through the treeline where the "wow factor" kicked in and the cameras came out. Needless to say our speed was greatly reduced at this point.
Big Slide thru the trees
Once we cleared the treeline entirely I just couldn't seem to stop pumping the button on my camera. There was so much to take in. The other peaks, Lake Placid, Vermont in the distance, the shadows, the clouds, the cairns, and the colours. The lichen had started to turn orange and yellow and all I wanted to do was roll in it but alas the signs and markers clearly indicated that this was frowned upon.
Some time later we finally reached the top and the 360 degree view was something that just can't be captured on film. We stopped to enjoy a quick lunch and then once again picked up the camera to wander around (stepping only on the rock of course) and explore the large summit. At some point we both agreed to pass on nearby Iroquois and Wright peaks in order to allow ourselves more time to soak it all in. Sweet.
This was by far the most rewarding hike I've ever been on. The weather was perfect (I like it a little cool so I don't sweat my gonads off) and the views were absolutely breathtaking. I'm still on a high and find myself changing my computer's wallpaper every hour or so.
Algonquin is definitely going on my repeat list... well, technically it's already on there if I ever want to be a 46er as it lies between me and Iroquois.