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Recommendations welcomed! Day hike High Peaks

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  • Recommendations welcomed! Day hike High Peaks

    I apologize in advance for being a noob and so ignorant. No offense meant at all here. Anyhow, I'm 47 and an ADK member and thus far have climbed Cascade and Porter (quite easily) and the other day did Wright, Algonquin, Boundary, and Iroquois (much tougher for me and about my limit for one day I'd say). Loved them all and am looking to bag my next pair or group of High Peaks, so I'm looking for day hike recommendations. Will likely be flying solo and am staying away from Sat/Sunday hikes to avoid the crowds.

    Anyhow, I'd like to knock off at least two of the 46 peaks in a day trip if possible without absolutely killing myself. I'd say the Wright, Algonquin, Iroquois hike is about the limit of what I'd like to attempt in a day, so I'm looking for recs that are similar or easier in terms of mileage/elevation gain. Would greatly appreciate any details in terms of routes/trails, markers I should look for, direction of travel, and so on.

    I'm such a noob, I haven't even been to the Garden yet, but hey, one's gotta start somewhere. There are so many super knowledgeable people here, I'm hoping a few will be kind enough to help a real-life schoolteacher (that's me!) with some helpful recs and info. Greatly appreciated, so thanks in advance to those that help!

  • #2
    Giant/RPR (Rocky Peak Ridge)

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    • #3
      Your options for a two-fer at under 9.5 miles and 4500 feet of ele gain are limited. As noted above Giant/RPR qualifies... a little shorter by about a mile and about equal ele gain. Whiteface & Esther are also in the same neighborhood and meet your criteria. Street & Nye is less mileage and considerably less ele gain. Phelps & Tabletop add a little mileage but the ele gain is within your tolerances.

      I understand the desire to get multiple peaks in a day but you have to get them all eventually so why not consider Big Slide as a single? Or even Colden which is just a few more miles than you want but the ele gain isn't so bad.

      Plenty to start with there. Once you get a few more under your belt you'll feel more comfortable stretching out some.

      Just one tip... don't orphan any. That is... don't skip a logical pairing while you're in the neighborhood if you'll just have to reclimb the mountain you are on to get there. For example, don't do Colvin and skip Blake otherwise you'll have to reclimb Colvin another day to go get Blake. Or don't do just Street and bail on the easy little trip up Nye from the col. There are many other examples. Dope it all out on the map ahead of time. And... buy the map and guide book. Invaluable tools.

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      • FlyFishingandBeer
        FlyFishingandBeer commented
        Editing a comment
        Yep. Made the mistake of orphaning Blake (weather) and Iroquois (ignorance) my first time through. No bueno.

        shoelessdun I'm guessing you're in pretty fair shape, but if you aren't going to be hiking regularly (or even if you are), you may want to consider some training in between hikes. You'll find that your tolerances will go up considerably if you can find a way to carry over the leg and cardio workouts into your daily routine.

      • uberturtle
        uberturtle commented
        Editing a comment
        I wound up picking up Couchsachraga on it's own a couple of years after climbing Santanoni and Panther - good point on not leaving orphans. That having been said, I've stood at the herd path out to Iroquois 3 times and only went out once. Some days you just aren't feeling it. The mountains will always be there.

      • shoelessdun
        shoelessdun commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks! Of course, I hadn't thought much about orphaning, but that's a great tip and one I plan to live by, even if my legs hate me for it, lol!

        I read in Backpacker mag that the best way to get into hiking shape is by hiking...you guys agree?

    • #4
      Thanks so much for all the info so far. Since I'm such a noob, can you folks tell me how doing the Wright, Algonquin, Iroquois peaks all in one day rates in comparison to a lot of other High Peak day hikes? In other words, should I expect similar difficulty in most other climbs and similar fatigue by the of the day? I wasn't dead or anything, but I was definitely feeling it by the end of those three and back at the Loj...I wouldn't have wanted to do a similar climb the next day; needed some rest lol. I am hiking a couple days a week minimum right now so I'm in decent shape (though not college kid shape), but mostly just doing firetower climbs and the stuff around Indian Lake like Snowy, Blue Mountain, Pillsbury, Owl's Head, that kind of thing as I have a summer place there.

      Fortunately I had broken in my Salomon hikers and haven't experienced any blisters at all. I blasted through all 100 oz. of water in my hydration pack on the Algonquin climb, so that surprised me. I'll be prepared to acquire additional water this next time as well (I had a Lifestraw with me).

      And hey, if anyone wants to come along on my next trip (planning for this coming week as long as the weather is right, lemme know...maybe we can meet up and climb together). I'm 47, so I'm no speed demon, but I don't feel like I'm crawling along by any stretch either.

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      • Makwa
        Makwa commented
        Editing a comment
        The 4000-5000 feet of ele gain day is the sweet spot for most of the common pairings of the 46. So WAI is about equivalent to many other hikes even if it's less mileage. FWIW... WAI is more difficult than Marcy which is 5 miles longer. I found that 9-10 miles is indistinguishable from 12-14 miles if the ele gain is equal. Walking an extra hour or two on flat ground is no big deal. It's the extra ele gain that kills you. At least for me. Once you get 15-18+ miles in day it's a whole different animal. Those days are long and tiring no matter what.

        As you're working on the fire towers try knocking off two in a day. They're typically anywhere from 1000-2000 feet of ele gain with many right in that 1400-1600 range. Do one on the morning and one in the afternoon with a drive/ rest/ lunch break in between and you've created a 3000-3500 outing as a training day. I did that on almost every hike as I completed the Fire Tower Challenge. My reasons were to cut down on the number of trips north but it also works for getting miles and elevation that approximate a High Peak.

      • shoelessdun
        shoelessdun commented
        Editing a comment
        Indeed, great info and I'm glad you shared it, so thanks very much! And that's a great idea on the firetower double up...to be honest, kind of getting bored just doing one 2 to 3 hour hike in a day anyhow, so doubling them up should help out for sure. After doing WAI, I'm so hooked into the 46, in some ways the other stuff I've done feels almost lackluster, though still rewarding in their own ways.

        Suggestions on which route to take for doing just Marcy? I do have a packable tent and large pack so I can do some overnighting...wanted to knock out at least one more 2 peak day climb before I tackled an overnight. Suggestions for a great 1 night overnight that could bag me a couple, two, tree more peaks?

        This forum is invaluable...thanks a ton to everyone for helping out with info!

    • #5
      Whiteface and Esther is a good choice. Any thought yet on what you may leave for last? Another good day-hike option is Colden, possibly with Tabletop, taking the Lake Arnold Crossover is nice too. Tabletop is a good choice for your first herd path, it's pretty quick and easy to follow.
      Last edited by Mike P.; 06-20-2018, 01:53 PM. Reason: additional content

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      • shoelessdun
        shoelessdun commented
        Editing a comment
        I was thinking of leaving Whiteface for my last one as I know my friends and family can just meet me for my celebration at the top, assuming I'm fortunate enough to hike all 46.

        I did the super short herd path for Iroquois; no big deal at all. Thanks a lot for the Colden Tabletop with Lake Arnold Crossover. I'll look into that one as well. Colden looked so incredible from Wright, Algonquin, and Iroquois. Can't wait to climb it!

    • #6
      I'm not far ahead of you in my journey (Those were the first two trips I took as well)

      Street and Nye - less total mileage and gain: To me it's not as rewarding of a hike as Wright, Algonquin and Iroquois, but you've got to do them sometime (good backup plan for a cloudy day)
      Giant and RPR - similar gain, less mileage as previously noted.
      Big Slide via the Brothers(alone) - Open views, less mileage

      On an side note. I think a newbie subforum would a great addition to this site. I wonder how many people are "afraid" of asking questions because they don't know what they don't know...

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      • shoelessdun
        shoelessdun commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks a lot for the suggestions! Giant and RPR are scaring me a bit after reading reviews on alltrails.com about the Ridge Trail...folks saying it's pretty darn killer tough...it's got me worried, lol.

        And is it true that Street and Nye aren't much fun to climb this time of year due to mud and bugs or is that just some myth? I read that some suggest you save those for winter because of it...

        I totally agree about a need for a newbie subforum...right now I feel like one of my students that has absolutely no clue about a certain subject and is totally dependent in every way on the teacher for help and support. That said, I sure am thankful for this forum!

      • salt
        salt commented
        Editing a comment
        Go for Giant & RPR. Dont take that alltrails stuff to seriously. It'll be a good hike to see how into the 46 you really are. They are not nearly as scary as you read. While Giant can be considered steep at sections it's not like it's vertical. Just step safely as you would on amy mountain. Lots of people do Cascade, Porter, Giant to start. Great views and parking.

    • #7
      I did Street and Nye last Sunday. It was muddy between the split and Street. I came across a young man on my way down who was finishing his 45th and 46th... not sure I'd want to make that my last (I'm saving Esther and Whiteface like you). I think some people would rather do it in winter because the trail is more defined when someone has snowshoed ahead of you. It's really not a difficult trail to follow as is, because it basically follows a stream uphill once you cross the creek.Bugs were not an issue at all.

      I've found AllTrails to be a good tool, but the reviews are very subjective. I'd rather look at the recordings and see what kind of times other people did and then search their history to see if we've done any similar hikes that I can base their conditioning/speed/experience against mine for comparison.

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