Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Alpine Prep in the Adirondacks

Danielle and Serge are headed to Aconcagua next month with Field Touring. In anticipation of their trip we headed to the Adirondacks for some alpine preparations. Our two-day trip had us climbing Kilburne Slide in Wilmington Notch on day one and hiking Mt. Algonquin on day two.

Kilburne Slide, a mellow low-angle slide in Wilmington Notch, is a great place to learn how to use crampons and an ice axe. Here climbers can wander all over the slide learning how to use the crampons on slightly steeper snow and low angle ice. Because the slide is low angle, there's really no need for a rope, and ever the steeper ice bulges are short with nearly flat landings at the base. It's a good spot to take some risks and learn how well crampons will hold in icy and snowy conditions. We did just that, and, due to the warm weather, also managed to trudge through quite a bit of wet snow along the way.

During our descent the clouds lifted to give us perfect, warm weather

An early start on day two allowed us to climb Mt. Algonquin, the second highest peak in the Adirondacks and NY state. The 8-mile round trip hike gains 3,000 ft as it ascends from Adirondack Loj at 2000' to the summit at 5100'. This gain is similar to the largest gain found between camps on Aconcagua and was intended to give Serge and Danielle a feel for the effort involved in getting from one camp to the next during their trip.

Thanks Danielle and Serge for a great two days. Best of luck with Aconcagua!

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