Peak #2 – Algonquin Peak 5/25/12

Peak #2 – Algonquin Peak

algonquin peak

 

After heading back down to the trail head where Wright Peak and Algonquin Peak diverge, we picked up our packs and headed up to tackle Algonquin.  I was a little weary of climbing Algonquin because of the intense wind at the top of Wright.  I was hoping my pack would help weigh me down!  The summit of Algonquin was only 0.9 mile away.  In running, it’s really easy and fast to cover that distance.  In hiking…not so much!

peak post

Algonquin is the second highest peak in the Adirondacks, with an elevation of 5,115 feet.   This is a maintained trail (meaning people ‘groom’ the trail).  Before this hiking trip I didn’t know some trails wouldn’t be groomed.  There were some longer steep sections on this trail compared to Wright Peak.   Basically we were climbing up a streambed.

trail

The summit seemed large and relatively flat.  Supposedly there are great views from the top.  Unfortunately, it was really windy and cloudy the day we went.  We could barely see two feet in front of us.  Below is a picture of what we were SUPPOSED to be able to see.

algonquin summit

Here is a quick video of our summit!

Algonquin summit

 

After finding the peak marker we headed off to climb peak #3- Iroquis!

Peak # 1- Wright Peak 5/25/12

Trail Marker

After arriving in Lake Placid and having a delicious pre-hike sandwich at 46 Sandwiches (See Video), Dave and I headed to the ADK Lodge.  This is where we parked the car, signed in on the trail log and began our hiking journey.  The first mile or so was on trails that I was used to (dirt/woodchip wide trails with barely anything I had to climb over like at Mendon Ponds).  At this point I was wondering if the whole trip would be like this.  The shoes I had chosen to wear- New Balance 101 Trail Running Shoe- were perfect on this type of trail.

Our Pre-Hike Meal


Unfortunately, this was short-lived!  Definitely need different shoes next time we go hiking!  This ‘easy’ trail soon changed into something a little more challenging.new balance shoe Before I knew it, I was climbing up huge boulders.  My heart rate began to soar. Man, this was getting tough!  I guess I should have been doing some leg weights to prepare for this!  About 90 minutes into the hike, I had to take a break.  Although I had been sipping water the whole time, I was thirsty and hungry!  Using an altimeter, we had a good idea of where we were and how many feet in altitude we had to climb.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures hiking this trail.  I was having a hard enough time hiking, let alone looking for a good place to take a picture!  Looking back on the trail, it was really quite pretty.  We got to a trail head where we had to veer off to the left to get to Wright Peak.

The trail got a little narrow at points and a little more wet at this point.  The trees started to get shorter and shorter untiltrail marker for wright peak there were none at all.  There were a few false summits, but it was so windy and foggy that I couldn’t really see them.  Dave tried to trick me a couple times by saying we were at the top when we really weren’t.   This is where I first encountered what I like to call “rock castles,” otherwise known as cairns (more on this topic later!).  There were basically 50-70 mile-per-hour winds at the top so we didn’t stay long.  We did get s quick video of Dave and I at the top of my first peak.

Mary on Top of Wright Peak

What do you mean I can’t pack 5……..?!?!

Alright, I’ll admit to it! I am the QUEEN of overpacking.  It doesn’t matter how long I’m going for (a day, a weekend, a week) I like to be prepared!  That means I usually pack everything that I could ever need while away from home.  For vacations that don’t require you to carry all of you luggage for hours at a time, its acceptable to over pack- although you may pay a pretty penny for a couple suitcases on airplanes these days.

woman overpacking

Hiking, come to find out, has its own rules for packing.  No hair straightener or beauty products on this trip!

EVERYTHING you pack,  you also must carry.  Someone should have told this guy….

            overpacked hiking pack

 

Those packs get H-E-A-V-Y when you’re climbing up those mountains!  Below I’ve created a list of the items I wanted to pack for our 2.5 day hike.  When I brought these items over to Dave’s so we could pack together, I thought I did a good job of narrowing down the things I wanted to pack in my backpack…Dave did not agree with me on this one.  So there is also my revised list of the clothing items I was allowed to bring.

CLOTHING I WANTED TO PACK:                          CLOTHING I ACTUALLY PACKED

1 pair hiking shoes                                                             1 pair hiking shoes

1 pair flip-flops                                                                     1 pair flip-flops

4 pairs of socks                                                                    2 pairs of socks

4 pairs of underwear                                                         2 pairs of underwear

2 sports bras                                                                        2 sports bras

2 pairs of convertible pants                                             1 pair of convertible pants

3 short sleeve shirts                                                           1 short sleeve shirt

2 long-sleeve shirts                                                            1 long-sleeve shirts

2 pairs of compression tights                                         1 pair of compression tights

1 fleece jacket                                                                       1 fleece jacket

1 rain jacket and pants                                                      1 rain jacket and pants

1 hat and 1 pair of gloves                                                  1 hat and 1 pair of gloves

  TOTAL # of items:  25                                             TOTAL # of items: 14

Basically, I had to reduce the number of items by almost 1/3!  And surprisingly, I didn’t even use every single item.  There was one pair of socks I did not wear and I didn’t need the gloves.  I would have kicked my self in the butt if I had packed to original 25 items!  I guess you don’t always need to pack your whole dresser to go on a trip!  Dave helped me pack the perfect amount!!

            pack

That’s all for now but I’ll have another packing post on the actual gear we took and used!

Hello ADK Mountains!

Before starting this adventure, I honestly didn’t consider hiking to be hard. You are just walking, right?!?  Living where I do,  I’ve had the opportunity to experience the outdoors…my family lives near Mendon Ponds Park which has several nice, hilly (or so I thought) trails.  We even ventured out to Letchworth State Park to go camping and hiking a few times.  Little did I know that those are just speed bumps compared to hiking in the ADK Mountains…..

     VS       

(Mendon Ponds Trail)                                                         (Mount Marcy)

 

As you can see, I had quite a different viewpoint of “hiking” before my first trip.  Let’s just say a lot has changed.  Hiking is HARD, tiring, draining, wet, muddy, dirty, stinky….WHY am I doing this again???