Colden via SE Slide 7/22/11

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zach zach
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Colden via SE Slide 7/22/11



For years I have been thinking about approaching the summit of Colden from the slide on the SE side of the mountain. With some time on my hands I decided to make a go of it with Ruby my 3 year old Brittany. Ruby is always game for any adventure so we jumped in the car and drove to the ADK Loj trailhead. We hit the trail at 8:40 a.m. It was rather hot with the temperature in the parking area already around 80. We made very quick time up the superhighway like trail to Marcy Dam.



The view of Colden from Marcy Dam was stunning.



Ruby stopped for a cool dip in Lake Arnold. Then we headed down the blue blazed trail in the valley between Mt. Marcy and Colden. While it is somewhat discouraging to lose several hundred feet of elevation to reach the base of the slide from the col at Lake Arnold, this area has a very special wild feel. You get the sense you are in true wilderness in part because you are now out of range of most day hikers.



We reached a small heard path over to the base of the slide at 11:00 a.m. It is only a hundred yards or so to the slide.



The slide looks remarkably fresh given that it is over 20 years old. The lower section is characterized by small ledges and piles of boulders and gravel interspersed with small trees, grasses, moss and large numbers of carnivorous round leaf sundews.




The slide then narrows considerably and becomes more of a stream course before opening into steeper slabs of anorthosite. Ruby took every opportunity for a swim as the temperature rose close to 90.




The slide becomes much steeper toward the summit requiring some nervous friction climbing. Ruby and I spent some time fantasizing over several potential winter descents!



The slide terminates into a heard path to the summit. After a few minutes fighting through dense summit growth you pop out on the yellow trail originating from Lake Arnold. After making a left you hit the summit in 2 or 3 minutes.



We arrived at the summit a few minutes after 12:00, soaked in the view of Algonquin and Wright and considered a descent down the trap dike. However, given our level of fatigue and the risk to Ruby we decided to continue down the red blazed trail to Lake Colden and then headed back to ADK Loj thru Avalanche Pass.




The view down Avalanche Lake was as beautiful as ever. After negotiating the treacherous shoreline and stumbling our way back to Marcy Dam and ADK Loj, we completed the 13-14 mile round trip at 3:45 p.m.
Harvey Harvey
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Re: Colden via SE Slide 7/22/11

Great storytelling Zach.   Wondering why the long running fascination with Colden over all the other choices?

Even up there, I can imagine Friday's heat was over the top. Sound's like Ruby made some good decisions.

"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
Adk Jeff Adk Jeff
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Re: Colden via SE Slide 7/22/11

In reply to this post by zach
Great hike Zach.  I love slide climbs.  If you haven't climbed the Trap Dike route up Colden, definitely put it on your list.  I will go out on a limb and declare it the BEST hike in the High Peaks.

zach wrote
The slide becomes much steeper toward the summit requiring some nervous friction climbing. Ruby and I spent some time fantasizing over several potential winter descents!
Yup, it's a good one.  Skied it a bunch of years ago on (relatively) skinny skis and leather boots.  We went up the Yellow trail via Lk Arnold and down the slide, then skied back up to Lake Arnold and out.  There's a photo and a paragraph or two from the ski descent here.  You're right about the sense of remoteness in there - it's a great area summer or winter.  

Harvey44 wrote
Wondering why the long running fascination with Colden over all the other choices?
It's no wonder:  with expansive slides on multiple faces, the Trap Dike, and its dramatic position directly above Avalanche Lake and Colden Lake, Colden may be the most recognizable of the High Peaks.  It's a fantastic destination for hiking, slide climbing, technical rock and ice climbing or ski mountaineering.

ml242 ml242
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Re: Colden via SE Slide 7/22/11

Hey,

Thanks for posting that. Dacks ascents are the best, it's just really cool to see what this stuff looks like in summer. This was my second lap on the TR and it was worth it both times, I'll see you for number three pretty soon I'm sure!
tBatt tBatt
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Re: Colden via SE Slide 7/22/11

Nice TR for sure. Colden was my favorite of the 3 peaks I did on my trip last summer. Sleeping up top was quite the experience, and made for a hell of a sunset.




ml242 wrote
Thanks for posting that. Dacks ascents are the best, it's just really cool to see what this stuff looks like in summer. This was my second lap on the TR and it was worth it both times, I'll see you for number three pretty soon I'm sure!
Are you still planning on doing some touring up there this winter?

And here may be better than TGR for some beta on your bike trip. Much more people from the North-of-Albany area.
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