Type: Trad, 2000 ft (606 m)
FA: Robert Clarke & Alexander Ralph -1850
Page Views: 53,840 total · 318/month
Shared By: Rafiki on Nov 20, 2007
Admins: Jim Lawyer, Morgan Patterson

You & This Route

102 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


On a summer day in 1850, two workers from the McIntyre Iron Company (Now the Upper Works trailhead) set out to stand on top of the unclimbed Mt. Colden, an Adirondack High Peak named after an investor of the Iron Works. Since no trail existed, the pair started up the only weakness in the Mountain, a large dike on the west side that spilled into Avalanche Lake. They followed the dike up the mountain until the walls disappeared. They soon found themselves ascending an exposed slide into the unknown. A few hundred feet of scrambling lead to the summit. Later that night, the pair celebrated their first ascent by killing a deer and cooking it over a fire.

Relive their adventure by climbing the original (and still the best) route up the mountain. I wouldn't recommend cooking a deer over a fire afterwards though, I think the rangers would be pissed.

The route climbs the obvious dike over easy 3rd-4th class rock. The crux is a 30ft rock staircase next to a waterfall. As you climb higher in the dike, the walls will shrink until its possible to climb out right onto the slide. It is VERY important not to exit the dike at the first chance. The slide here is very steep with no gear. A few parties have made this mistake having no technical rock experience or clean underwear and needed to be rescued. Stay in the dike until the 2nd or 3rd exit. If you stay in the dike too long, you'll find yourself in a nasty bushwhack to traverse right onto the slide. You know you've exited at the right point if you traverse onto the slide right and see a slab dihedral. Follow the easy, exposed slide to the top.

Here is an excellent trip report containing photos and topos..


The route is easy to locate, it's the huge dike in the side of the mountain, east side of Avalanche Lake.


I've heard of some people belaying for the waterfall section, but it's really not necessary. It's pretty much a rock staircase with huge hands and feet. Just don't fall.

You might want to avoid the route after heavy rainfall or in the spring. If there's a lot of water coming down, think twice. The two times I've done it, the water has only been a trickle.