Iroquois Peak
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Iroquois Peak, September 2006

Iroquois Peak had eluded me even though I've climbed Algonquin twice. Many peak baggers will do them both in a day trip from the ADK Loj. It would prove to be a worthy climb in it's own right, especially from the direction we chose. This would be  the fifth annual overnight for Brendan and I. Since he was 10 years old, we have gone on an overnight sometime during the last week before school starts. We've done Dix Mt, Mt Marshall, Colden, a 3 peak attempt from Panther Gorge, and now Iroquois. We came in from the Upper Works trailhead and stayed at flowed lands. We were excited to see Moose tracks near the trailhead on the way in and the weather was near perfect for a climb.
Flowed Lands   The view of Colden from Flowed Lands
We made great time getting to the lean-to and after dropping our stuff, we headed for the summit of Iroquois. We took a small detour as we set out by going along the water. I had forgotten that there was a trail that by-passes the water and the small hill between Flowed Lands and the Colden Dam area. Well, we came to a dead end around the corner and were boxed in by water and a small cliff. It was either go all the way back around or climb the cliff and bushwhack to the trail. So, being adventurers as we are, we went for the latter. It was a fun little detour an actually proved to be a shortcut. We also enjoyed the tall grass and low bush field that we had to cross to get there.
"I don't think this is the trail, Dad"    Brendan beginning to realize that we are not on the trail
After our adventurous detour, we arrived at Colden Dam and decided to take a break and some pictures. The view of Colden and Avalanche Mountain with the lake in the foreground is one of those "must see" places in the Adirondacks.
Awesome!    The awe inspiring view looking north from Colden Dam.
As you can see, we had a great day for views and were looking forward to getting some altitude. I would soon start to realize that you have to be careful what you wish for because at over 4800 feet, Iroquois would have plenty of altitude (and attitude) to offer. Getting there is the "fun" part.
Crystal clear cascade    Along the Algonquin junction trail, there are plenty of small cascades.
Once we turned off of the trail along the Avalanche-Colden pass, the trail climbs steadily and follows a nice creek for most of the way. It continued to get steeper and steeper as we headed toward the junction with Algonquin. The trail enters the streambed (slide) for a while and crosses it multiple times.
climbing the slide    Here's the Mountain Goat taking the wide path and gaining altitude with every step.
The path continued to get steeper and we could begin to see Colden Mountain's awesome slides and summit come into view. This only reminded us how far we still had to go because we needed to exceed Colden's height to reach our destination. I reminded Brendan that until we could see Marcy and the Great Range beyond, we still had a lot of climbing to do.
Chocolate NRG Goo    Even Mountain Goats need energy supplements from time to time.
Getting there now!    As we get closer and closer to the junction for Algonquin, the view opens up.
It seemed to take forever to reach the junction, but we finally did. I was surprised how long it took and how tough it was. From there, you can't see Iroquois, only the first bump of Boundary Peak. The path between the junction and Iroquois is very narrow as well. When we topped Boundary's first Peak, we saw what was in store and we realized that the work was not over yet. We still had to summit Boundary's main peak and then drop into a small col and then ascend Iroquois. As I stated at the beginning of this trip journal, it was proving to be a worthy climb in it's own right. The surrounding views are awesome however, with Algonquin towering over to the north, Colden and the Great Range to the east and Indian Pass and the cliffs of Wallface loom far below to the west. Along the trail there is plenty of other Adirondack beauty to see as well.
Toadstool    Brendan took this shot along the trail in the col between Boundary and Iroquois.
We finally reached the summit much later than we had expected but in good shape except for the fact that we were out of water. We still had to get back to camp about 4 miles away. I knew that there was plenty of water to be had along the return trip, but I had also forgotten to bring the filter from camp. I wasn't worried really, just thirsty. As it turned out, we would meet a few college kids near the creek on the way back and they had a water filter. Thanks guys, you don't know how good that water tasted!
Boundary and Alogonquin    From Iroquois, the mighty Algonquin Peak. You can see Boundary's peaks in between.
Doesn't get much better   What a day and what a place to be!
As you can see, Iroquois Peak proved to be worth the challenge on this day. We made our way back toward our home away from home for the night. We stopped at the Interior Outpost and talked briefly to the caretaker. He informed us that a large bear had to be dispatched right where we were staying about a month earlier. I believe this is the same bear that we encountered two years ago while we stayed at Flowed Lands lean-to. Link Unfortunately, improper care of food stores has led to many bears becoming more and more dependent on campers food. They eventually become less and less fearful of us and become a problem. There is a mandatory regulation now in the high peaks region for bear proof canisters and as much as I hate regulating the backcountry experience, it is necessary in this case
We enjoyed a great nights sleep while waiting for any wild visitors. I awoke sometime in the middle of the night to loud crashing and the breaking of branches and figured a bear was in the vicinity. All went quiet after a while and I figured that the bear gave up after realizing that both us and our camp mates had our food stored in canisters and our camps were clean. I woke up early and went for a walk down by the water to look for any tracks from our midnight visitor. I was surprised and very pleased to see that we had a visitor alright, but not a bear.
Wakie Wakie    Time to get up, pilgrim!
Bullwinkle!    The Moose is alive and well again in the 'Dacks
When we headed out toward the trailhead, we picked up Bullwinkle's tracks again. He walked within mere feet of our lean-to and then proceeded down the footpath. We saw the tracks for at least a mile and then the moose turned toward a low area with plenty of browse and water. We had a good time tracking him and picturing him in our minds eye walking down the marked trail. Could you imagine walking in at night or very early morning and coming up on a moose headed in the opposite direction?
Henderson monument   The Henderson Monument, another must see when in the Upper Works region.
Our 5th annual trip is in the books. We had a great time as usual and I am already planning where we will be going next year.

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