Three of us met at 3:45 AM at the Richmond Park and Ride for a very early start to ensure we could get to the Adirondack Loj in time to secure parking on an expected busy weekend. We arrived at the Loj at 5:45 AM and secured one of the few remaining spots before cars were turned away to the (very) distant overflow parking. After readying ourselves, we set out in the dark at 6:00 AM.
Our first stop was Marcy Dam – about 2.5 miles in where we got our first early morning views of Mt. Colden. After some clothing changes we started to make our way to Avalanche Lake a couple miles distant. Arriving at the top of Avalanche Lake, wedged in between Mt. Colden and Avalanche Mountain, we begin the challenging scrambles across the north side of the lake over many boulders, ladders and platforms. Along the way we had excellent views into the Trap Dike. We also could see in the distance the other members of our outing whom we’d yet to catch up with (as they had overnighted at Marcy Dam and started before us).
We all met up at the beginning of the major ascent up Colden where we would gain almost 2000 feet in under 1.5 miles. As expected, the path up was steep and wet with slippery, smooth rock scrambles dominating. We made it to the tree line with no major incidents and began the exposed scramble to the summit which afforded excellent, expansive views.
After an early lunch (and some cake from some other generous hikers on the summit) we began the long descent to Marcy Dam where we deposited some of our group to break down their camp. The rest of us headed back to the Loj where we completed our outing just before 3:00 PM.
Participants: Diane Sherman, Vikki Monroe, Lisa Morris, Kala Luczynski, Coco (canine hiker) and Chris Luczynski (leader).