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Left Wing Slide Wright Peak, 3/25/17

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  • Left Wing Slide Wright Peak, 3/25/17

    Climbing partner Claudia and I went up the Left Wing Slide to Wright Peak today. Maybe our last winter like opportunity till next year.

    We abandoned the walk up the brook even though there was a ski track. We tried, the track was nice, but I stepped through two ice bridges early on and was lucky not to get wet. So it was a climb mostly beside the brook. The crust not weak but not strong enough. It was step, short delay, break through crust, step, repeat. Claudia mostly was breaking the crust but was often just denting the crust. That's a huge advantage she has. But it was long, tiring, and slow for me.

    I had taken my GPS with a waypoint where I figured the drainage from the Left Wing would be but it wasn't necessary. The drainage was obvious and wide. And we recognized a parallel rubbly slide reached just before the turn off.

    The slide was much better the crust supportive. In spite of the steep climb the slide was much less strenuous than the approach.

    Our climb was mostly on the climbers left often not far from the trees. If we'd got further to climbers right there was more exposure and the snow looked to be more patchy and the climb steeper.

    We had crampons but chose to climb in our snowshoes. I had my Lightnin Ascents and Claudia her Tubbs Mountaineers. Traction was outstanding. The crust not too thick and took easily to the axes. Where we climbed the snow depth ranged 4 to 20 inches. The whole climb I never bottomed out the handle of my ax. And we stayed away from exposed rock. I was faster and several times stopped broke the crust and stomped down the snow to make a level area to wait.

    There were two most difficult places. One a third of the way where we went up a short chute that was among the steepest sections with the least snow on exiting. The second near the finish and we were following the huge overlap and came to a short section with exposed icy rock and only 2 to 3 ft not so flat band of a snow drift at the base of the wall we used to get around.

    As we got to the huge overlap we started to get clearing skies and great views. The weather was to turn out much better than we expected. It was raining when we left Albany.

    We had climbed the slide before with Trek4DM and Ebbinghaus. That time Claudia had gone on top of huge overlap and the rest stayed below. On top of the overlap is a much better exit but Saturday most of the snow had blown off leaving only a narrow band so we decided to stay off it fearing ice. Finishing up it was not as difficult at the previous trip to scale the wall but snow wasn't all that supportive either so it took some brute force and tedious effort to get out and up to the ridge.

    We arrived at Wright Peak summit about noon making it a 5-1/2 trip to the summit. The rest of our day was spent climbing over Algonquin to Iroquois and back. We crossed paths with four other hikers and four skiers. We were the only ones to Iroquois yesterday. I think two skiers ended up climbing Wright and going back the ski trail because crust on the trail looked broken up as we passed by on our return. They had also climbed to just below treeline but didn't ski down from there. The other two we crossed paths as they were re-climbing Algonquin from the Iroquois side. From their ski tracks it was snow going for them back to the Wright junction.

    Near to Whales Tail we took the alternate route to get back to HPIC that goes past Heart Lake outlet. It was our first time that way.

    Don

    Some pictures https://flic.kr/s/aHskRPNPWJ
    Last edited by Hear the Footsteps; 03-29-2017, 06:28 PM.

  • #2
    Nice as always. Gorgeous shots! You had perfect timing with the weather. The photos explain why we were climbing GNF in a cloud the entire day.
    May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

    www.adirondackmountaineering.com

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    • #3
      Sounds like an awesome day.

      Why are all the pics so small? Did flickr change their interface again? (Most hated picture hosting place ever!)
      ADK 46/46, 46/46W, Grid 212/552
      Photos & Stuff

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      • #4
        Originally posted by autochromatica View Post
        Sounds like an awesome day.

        Why are all the pics so small? Did flickr change their interface again? (Most hated picture hosting place ever!)
        I'm not exactly sure what you are seeing. When I slideshow the pics are full screen. Yeah Flickr isn't the best or most intuitive.

        Don

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mudrat View Post
          Nice as always. Gorgeous shots! You had perfect timing with the weather. The photos explain why we were climbing GNF in a cloud the entire day.
          When we finished the slide we could see clearly all the way to the base. So we were just a little early. Then later in the day the slide was fully covered. Cloud cover in the valley ebbed in and out all day.

          I'm looking forward to seeing the GNF pictures. I had to think about GNF for a minute or two before it clicked. We have climbed an easy version of it in summer. And maybe we'll build up to doing it some day in the winter too -- in the right conditions.

          Don

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          • #6
            Great pics! I've only been through there once, and in summer, but I recognize the spots you photographed. Wow! Lots of snow in there!

            That slide sure looks more intimidating when blanketed in snow. Pretty sure I'd change my mind about the utility of ice axes for that stretch!

            PS
            ​FWIW, each photo's original size is only about 640x360 pixels (or 640x480). In the default album mode, Flickr overzooms these pics (you can easily see the artifacts of this magnification). However, in slideshow mode, the photos are not over-magnified and presented in their original size (640x360) ... so they appear small on HD screens (capable of 1920x1080).

            If you want to confirm this for yourself, click a photo's download button and check the dimensions of the "Original size". Compare that to this example where the photo's "Original size" is 4000x3000.
            https://www.flickr.com/photos/948111...7653461273184/
            Looking for Views!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Trail Boss View Post
              Great pics! I've only been through there once, and in summer, but I recognize the spots you photographed. Wow! Lots of snow in there!

              That slide sure looks more intimidating when blanketed in snow. Pretty sure I'd change my mind about the utility of ice axes for that stretch!
              Yes TB it is a good place to have an ax for security. Conditions were just right Saturday.

              On the pics. I never upload full resolution pics and because I'm in the process of migrating to my Windows 10 PC I've not got all the photo software installed. I've fixed than now and replace the album pictures with higher resolution. Should look better.

              Don

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