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Question: Climbing Colden...

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  • Question: Climbing Colden...

    My wife and I plan to climb Colden during the third week of Feb. It will be our 31st winter peak, although it has been 22-years since we last climbed in the Adirondacks. We are wondering if cramp-ons might be needed on Colden.

    Any estimate on the round-trip time from the Loj via the Lake Arnold route?

    Thanks in advance...!
    Dan & Donna

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum and welcome back to the Adirondacks!

    Here's the latest DEC backcountry info....

    Deep snow on trails but spots where crampons are advisable. Hopefully somebody with current trail conditions will chime in. But... conditions could change several times before you head out. Check back on the DEC page to get latest updates.


    • moosebeware
      moosebeware commented
      Editing a comment
      Yep. Snow last week, raining today. Conditions change too much to give any estimates of how long things will take, regardless of all other factors. You could end up breaking trail the whole way, or find it all packed out. Right now there is still a lot of ice, but again, that could change. And conditions in one part of the High Peaks is not the same as another. I always say that you never regret the gear you bring, only the gear you don't bring.

    • Makwa
      Makwa commented
      Editing a comment
      We're probably not telling you anything you don't already know about winter hiking. From your post you have way more experience than I do in the winter but the amount of on-line resources and information has exploded since your last (close to pre-Internet) visit to the Adirondacks. DEC updates, trip reports on this forum detailing current trail conditions, people posting pictures and trail conditions on social media, summit forecasts and other weather information available at the click of a button, and other web sites will certainly make your planning a bit easier than it was the mid-90's. Good luck and have fun.

  • #3
    Thank you Makwa! That site was helpful indeed...!


    • #4
      We hesitate to give times. 22 years is a long time. The old adage, "What have you done for me lately?" is appropriate here.

      The AMC has a rough formula: 2 mph, plus 30 minutes for every 1,000' of elevation. Apply that to your previous hikes, and you can get an idea of how long it will take.

      The previous formula is a fair weather, summer-time guide. Another saying comes to mind, this from my wife. "Conditions are EVERYTHING!" It refers to the mountains, but In this case, don't take offense, but we also need to know your personal conditions.
      Tom Rankin - 5444W "In the depths of Summer, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible Winter"

      Proud Member #0003 of ADKHP Foundation
      Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
      Past President Catskill 3500 Club
      CEO Views And Brews!

      Trail maintainer for the Dry Brook Ridge trail from Mill Brook Road to just past the Lean-to


      • #5
        Thanks for all the good advice (and well-wishes) folks! In '96, we decided to suspend our winter-46 treks to the mountains, as the driving - not the climbing - became too difficult and dangerous for us to justify, especially since we were both working at the time, and had to confine our treks to weekends only. We had more than a few 'white-knuckle' drives back and forth to the High Peaks during that period, as we live in Western NY - an 8-hour drive when the roads are clear. Well, the years flew by, and although we were quite content with our climbing and winter camping experiences, we were both disappointed that we had not managed to ascend Colden. We chose to forego it back then because we wanted to save it for our 46th peak. It just so happens that the last four digits of our phone number at the time was 4714 - Colden's height! It was to be the culmination of our winter tripping - our celebration at having climbed all 46. Well, missing that mountain bothered us enough to prompt us to give it a try now, before the clock runs out. (I just turned 69 in November, and Donna hit 66 in Sept.) We're watching the weather carefully, and we're prepared to alter our plans if conditions warrant, but it sure would be nice to have some good views from the top, as the beauty of the Adirondacks in winter was the main reason we kept going back in the first place. We'll keep you posted...

        P.S. - Yesterday, we dug out and re-read all of Grace's letters from the 90's. It was so wonderful to learn that East Dix is now Grace's! She was truly incredible, and it was such a delight to correspond with her.