On Saturday, I decided to start my quest to become a 46er. The 46er challenge is a challenge to climb the traditional 46 high peaks in the Adirondack Park that reach 4,000 Ft. or above. I say traditional, because new surveys showed that 4 high peaks turned out to be below 4,000 Ft. McNaughton Mountain, not on the list, was found to reach 4,000 Ft. The high peaks are all pretty much around the Lake Placid and Keene Valley Area.
I decided to start with the McIntyre Range. It contains four high peaks, Wright, Algonquin, Iroqouis, and Marshall. Algonquin is the secound highest in the state at 5114 Ft. in Elevation. The hike from Hart Lake to Algonquin is around 4 miles and an elevation gain of 2936 Ft. Hart Lake is located down Adirondack Loj Rd., which branches off of route 73, 2 miles east of Lake Placid.
Starting from Hart Lake, I used the Van Hoevenberg trail to get to the junction with the yellow marked trail for the McIntyre Range. The yellow marked trail leading up the range starts out as rolling hills. The beginning of the range is called the Whales Tale. Once the trail passes the Whales Tale it begins to climb steadily. It climbs Parallel to McIntyre Brook passing two waterfalls. At a certain point I saw a tiny peak on the right with rock outcroppings. Here is where the trail turns slightly left and really begins to climb. Soon, it reaches the junction for Wright peak. The path is on the left. Climbing Wright peak isn,t bad. It's only .4 tenths of a mile to the summit. Continuing straight leads to Algonquin. This is very steep.
While I was up there, I encountered summit stewards. They are very protective over the vegetation in the alpine zones. Apparantley, some of it is endangered, so hikers should stay on the rocks. The Alpine Zones are at the summits were there are no trees. Your supposed to follow the designated trail, marked by yellow blazes and cairns (rock piles). There are signs up there that specifically ask to not tread on fragile alpine vegetation. The plan is to revegetate the alpine zone. I also asked one of the personnel about seeing traingular purple boxes hanging from trees along road sides. I found out that they were traps for the emerald ash borer beattle. They are an invasive species killing our ash trees.
I started with Wright Peak. At the top I could look back on Hart Lake and see what was Accomplished. It's amazing to see how far up you are. In the first picture I show the view over Avalanche Pass to Colden and Mount Marcy. Then I looked at Algonquin. The thing is huge.
Next, I climbed up Algonquin. I passed someone who described it as heaven. There was this grass like vegetation that was wissping in the wind. I'm not sure, but I believe it's called Deers Hair Sedge. There were also White Throated Sparrows hanging around. It was nice up there. At the top was an incredible view and I had good weather. I could see all the surrounding high peaks and many distant mountains. I wasn't the only one enjoying the view. A raven was soaring for awhile over the peak. Instead of taking a typical picture of Colden, I took a picture west over Indian Pass and the McNaughton Range. I could see the Sewards and The Sawtooth Mountains
My final stop was Iroquois. I could see it about a mile further down the range from Algonquin. The herd path to it traverses over a smaller peak called Boundry Peak. It's like a different world now that I was walking ontop of the Range. The trees were very short and there was a lot of exposed rock. The Cols between peaks were very swampy. I found that Boundry peak had two parts two it. There I crossed into the town of Newcomb. Iroquois wasn't a bad climb. Once on top I looked over to view Mount Marshall. There was this gigantic drop off before getting to Mount Marshall. It's amazing to see. I took the third picture looking back at Algonquin.