Mount Colden Camping Trip
This weekend my brother, who is visiting me from Colorado, and I did a two-day camping trip in the Adirondack High Peaks. In all, it was truly one of the best camping trips I have ever had. Far too often, I feel we get wrapped up in searching for the more extreme and difficult journey's and associate it with quality. This was a trip of no significant technical skill, but just beautiful views and decent weather.
Day one of our trip, we hiked from the Adirondack Loj to the south-side of Colden Lake to the Cedar Point Lean-To by way of Marcy Dam and Avalanche Lake. Once we hit Colden Lake, we chose to take the trail that hugs the east side of the lake since we wanted to avoid the Ranger outpost since we may not have been 100% compliant with the New York State snowshoe rule, strictly speaking. (NY requires the use of skis or snowshoes in the park when the snow is 8" or deeper.)
The next day, we ascended Mount Colden from the lake side. It was clearly the road less traveled. There were a few points where we had to search for the trail as it seemingly would just disappear. Upon approaching the summit, it turned quite treacherous with significant ice rivers lining the steep ascent trail. I used microspikes and Aaron used my new MSR snowshoes (which I have still yet to use). Having the traction these devices offered was essential for the climb up. If I had the foresight, I would actually preferred to have crampons and an ice axe.
At the summit, the wind chilled dipped well below zero with its 40-50mph gusts. The summit was well in the cloud base which spoiled any panoramic vistas one would hope to have. Despite this, the immediate snow packed and windblown summit offered its own unique scenes - like a frozen underwater coral.
Although my watch says the total trip was just shy of 20-miles, I figure it was closer to 18 or so. I found my Garmin having difficulty with accuracy in the densely wooded trails and in the valleys of the mountainous terrain (no surprise there). It did an alright job, but I did notice it jumping around a lot in places when I was stopped.
In my opinion, this was a 5-star trip and am looking forward to playing around in this area again. Playing in and around Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden was just as good as the trip up Mount Colden. In fact, my brother, who is use to playing in the Colorado Rockies, admits to having a new found respect for Adirondacks.
I have already begun planning the next couple of trips which will include Mount Marcy and Mount Washington in February. (I will be 100% off the grid for almost all of January)