Mt. Colden Trap Dike Hike August 14 2004

Pictures by Markus Wandel, Daryl Boyd and Chris Lawson

Getting ready at South Meadow and hiking in on the smooth trail to Marcy Dam.

At Marcy Dam. The mountain on the left, with the open slides, is Mt. Colden, which is where we are going.

Hiking up to Avalanche Pass

In Avalanche Pass. The mess here is from a landslide in September 1999, caused by rain from Hurricane Floyd. The original hiking trail is buried far beneath it.

At the northeast end of Avalanche Lake. The cliffs on the left side are part of Mt. Colden.

Hiking along the northwest side of Avalanche Lake.

The first of the wooden catwalks called "Hitch Up Matildas".

We stop for lunch at a spot with a good view of the Trap Dike, across the lake. Kevin, Markus and Dave go swimming in the lake. It is refreshing but cold.

Continuing around the lake to the bottom of the Trap Dike

Climbing the Trap Dike

The toughest spot is quite steep, and a bit scary to climb without rope protection. Markus did not remember it as being this tough. It turns out that it would be more easily climbed in the part where the water is gushing, but today there is too much of that.

Finished climbing the steep part. Kevin filters drinking water. Our compatriots Chris, Eduardo and Juan Carlos have gone ahead. We can only hope that they took the right route. I did say that we exit from the Trap Dike within 200m or so...

Ascending the mountain on the open slab rock after exiting from the Trap Dike. Kevin reaches the summit surprisingly quickly. It turns out he's an ironman triathlete...

Various summit views: Colden sub-summit (first picture), Algonquin and Wright (second picture), Trap Dike (third picture), our route up the mountain (4th picture).

But what, oh what has become of our compadres? They are nowhere to be seen. We scan the mountain with binoculars, shout, to no avail. We must assume that they are lost but heading uphill, so we wait on the summit.

They are having themselves a merry old bushwhack, going up the mountain in parallel with, and never more than 150m from, the open rock that is the proper route...

They arrive about 45 minutes after we do. Here is Chris, odyssey complete, with Lake Placid in the background.

Mure summit photos. Marcy (first picture), Allen and Iroquois (second picture), Lake Placid and (hazy) Whiteface (third picture).

On the sub-summit, looking up at the main summit and at the slope that our bushwhack heroes had to climb in the tangled woods!

The hike out.

Signing out at the trail register, 10.5 hours and 22km after we started.

Finding that the Casa del Sol is packed and has a lineup, we cannot get our Mexican friends to evaulate the authenticity of the place, and must instead refuel with genuine American cuisine at the gas station around the corner...

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