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Wright and Algonquin - August 12

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  • Wright and Algonquin - August 12

    Took a newbie up Wright and Algonquin to revisit some of my favorite views. Trail was in great shape and it was obvious that some trail work had gone on there since I last climbed from the Loj in 2000. Some of the random boulder scrambles have been refashioned into steps. Trail was very dry and the cascade about 2.4 miles in was barely (and I mean barely) a trickle. We had Wright's summit alone in the wind, which meant there were 19 less people on Wright than on Couchie this day. Who would have guessed that?

    Algonquin, of course, was a different story. Summit was full of people, including a group of ten or so (including dog) spread out over the summit rock. The steward was there joking and laughing as some of them were flying kites and engaged in other reverie. For me, I didn't care, but the newbie would have liked an opportunity to stand right on the summit or at least get a look at the summit marker. For the entire time we were there, this group spread themselves and gear over the summit rock. In the meantime while the steward was engaged in conversation with some of the young ladies in the group, a number of young folks were trampling all over the vegetation, in full view of the steward. I gently suggested to some that they not do that, but was greeted with relative indifference. I can understand this, because I really had no authority to say anything to anyone, and frankly, didn't want to take away from the enjoyment of the numbers of others on the summit by causing a scene.

    It's not a big deal, but I had always thought that it was bad form to "hog" the actual summit in such a manner. Am I wrong in assuming that courtesy, or, it is really "first come, first served" as it were? Secondly, what group hires and supervises the summit stewards, and what is a typical qualification for same?

    You can tell me if I'm just being an old killjoy.

    BTW, climbed Mt. Jo for the first time the day before, as a warmup for the newbie. Neat little mountain. Nice little views. All those times I have stayed at the Loj campground, it never occurred to me to take a couple of hours to enjoy that hike. If you happen to stay there and have never climbed it, I would recommend it.

  • #2
    Mt. Jo is great! It took me a while to get there but I was pretty happy when I finally did.
    As for the summit situation. I would have been annoyed as well but I usually just find myself a quiet little spot to hang. Seems to me many out there are under the assumption that they are the only ones in the world. No awareness of others. The steward no doubt should have been protecting the vegetation. I believe that is their primary function. Hope your trip was fun for you and the newbie in spite of all this.
    This post is for entertainment purposes only.


    • #3
      It seems like a bad week for semi-professional mountain employees. First Alpine runs into an idiot guide and now Silverback encounters a steward that is more interested in talking to the ladies than his job. What's next a trail worker going postal with an axe?


      • #4
        Antlerpeak, I have gotta say: I enjoy your posts. Ya made me chuckle.

        Silverback, you may indeed be an ancient killjoy, but your point is right on the money.

        What I usually do in a similar situ is to walk right up to that group with the biggest smile and happiest dispostion I can muster and say "hey folks, beauty day here huh? We're just gonna walk thru you guys here and get our piece of the summit for a bit" This approach has never, EVER failed. People suddenly get it, and move every time without fail.

        Last year on Redfield during Mrs. Alpine's tour of the 46, on that cool summit boulder (okay, 'glacial erratic') this guy just sat there and didn't offer to share it. So I said, "Okay partner, make some room for mama - she's never been here before". He helped her up......

        And yes, this is the same guy who sounds like such a *rick in the Street-Nye thread.

        As for the steward: that's a new one on me but I know exactly who runs the program and was at Boulders talking to him last Saturday - the program was presented a nice check from the 46'Rs.
        Walk Softly


        • #5
          I think the stewards work for the DEC, but it could be the ADK. I asked one a bunch of years ago and I'm pretty sure they said DEC. I'll keep it in mind to ask the one on Marcy this weekend.
          Avitar: Софиский Собор, Новгород

          "My circus train pulls through the night
          Full of lions and trapeze artists
          I'm done with elephants and clowns
          I want to
          Run away and join the office"