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A Surprise Success on Colden


Submitted By Michael Virdone

The Mountains & Stats

13 miles with 2700 feet of gain
  • Colden (4714 Feet, NY) globe Mountain

People On The Trip

Trip Report

     Nicole and I decided to "take this weekend off" because we had a party to go to Saturday evening. I noticed the forecast looked good for Sunday Saturday afternoon, so on the drive home from the party I asked Nicole if she wanted to go hiking, she grudgingly agreed. We left Syracuse at 8pm and arrived at South Meadows a little before midnight. We camped Saturday night, woke up, made breakfast, and began the hike in. This was our first trip using the South Meadows trailhead and we liked it. We made awesome time heading in, making it to the former avalanche leanto site in 1 hour 15 minutes. From there we took our pace down a little bit to begin the climb up to Lake Arnold. I think it took us a little over an hour to get to the Lake Arnold campsite. From here the gradual climb got a little steeper (but never too steep). We ended up at the top in about 3.5 hours (I was very pleased because this pace was much faster than I'm used to).

      We spent almost an hour up at the top enjoying the views. I walked around taking pictures. My first hike in the Adirondacks was Colden via the Trap Dyke in January (a hike that damn near killed me), so Colden is a pretty special place for me. It was fun looking down from the Boulder down to the Dyke and wondering how the hell I made that climb in the first place. I also took a look to the South and checked out the SE slide (hoping to ski it someday). It was pretty cold on the top (There was still some ice from the freeze the night before) so we decided to head back down. Nicole got moving quick to get out of the cold while I took my time near the "tunnel" with the cool overhanging boulder. Eventually we climbed back down to the sub-summit and enjoyed the view there as well. I was surprised with the amount of slick mud in the col, but such is life in the dacks.

      The hike back down was uneventful, The trail from Lake Arnold to the Avalanche leanto site was very tiring because of the jumbled rocky nature. When we got back to the former leanto site we went to check out the "new" leanto (great job Pete & Crew). On the hike out we enjoyed the views at Marcy Dam and then we hiked out. We made good time on the road on the way out, however it got pretty old pretty quick since I was getting pretty tired.

      All in all it was an awesome day, the hiking was great, the views were great, and despite getting a bad nights sleep we both had a great time.

The Good and The Bad

The Good:

The views were awesome
Making great time to the summit
The easy grade

The Bad:

The slog out was tiring

The Drive

It was interesting, we didn't expect to hike, so we left Syracuse at 8:15 on Saturday night, fortunately I wasn't too tired and had no problem staying awake. The drive home was uneventful.


  • Carried the maps but didn't end up using them since you hit a trail junction every mile
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