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  • Writer's pictureMichael Balthazor

Wright, Algonquin, and Iroquois

There are three ways to hike Wright, Algonquin, and Iroquois. Although the shortest route is 10 miles, six or so of it is rock-hopping which will slow any hiker down.

  1. First is the out and back method. Your goal here should be Iroquois and don’t worry about Wright peak. Most first-time hikers get to Algonquin after seeing how far Iroquois is and turn around. it’s easy enough to come back and get Wright on a separate trip.

  2. Second is to hike Wright, Algonquin, Iroquois then down and out via avalanche pass. But the col between Wright and Iroquois is exceptionally steep and bouldering. But with that said, almost any opportunity to hike avalanche pass is definitely worth it. There’s nothing like hooting and hollering and hearing the echo off of the sheer rock wall and lake.

  3. Third, and the only way I haven’t gone yet is to go through avalanche pass and up to Iroquois and then out via Algonquin and Wright. My thought is that this would probably expel a lot energy early in the hike and leaving the rest to gravity.

Elevation profile

This was a last-minute hike and I was still feeling sore from hiking Dial and Nippletop the day before. I joined my uncle and his guide at 6:15 at the LOJ parking lot.

You may not think that you need a guide to hike with you, but I would recommend it at least once. There were a lot of things I learned that I would never think about and this made me a better hiker. Here are a couple of things that I can remember...

  • Walking down steep rocks slabs backwards. That way, if you fall you land on your hands and not your tuckus.

  • Consuming smaller gels, goos, and snacks as you like.

  • Breathe, walk slow, and maintain a steady heart rate. This is extremely difficult for me, but when I can feel my heart in my ears I just slow my pace.

  • Keep your feet as flat as possible when hiking boulders to prevent pain in your foot. Also, the ball of the foot can get very sore trying to balance all the time.

After asking the guide probably one million questions, we reach the top of Algonquin around 10am. I promptly remove my boots and socks to let them breathe a little bit. There was no view because the clouds were so low that day. 11 minutes later we were off to Iroquois.

Algonquin break

After climbing over the countless boundary peaks to Iroquois, we reach the top at 11:03am. We snapped a pic and headed back over the boundary peaks, up over Algonquin again, and down the steep slab to Wright peak.

Top of Iroquois FYI you need to was mountaineer bandanas before you wear them.

I want to say it probably took me 30 minutes to hike the .3 miles up to Wright peak. My legs were hurting, my heart rate was high, and I was moving slow. This is where the guide really came through telling me to breathe and take slow small steps and really push my limits. (This technique is helpful for “non-athletic” hikers.)

Top of Wright

We finally reached the top at 2:12PM. After hiking in the clouds all day, it was nice to be below them. We took a 20-minute break and watched the clouds skim across the top of the 46ers.

At around 5:30PM we arrived back at the LOJ parking, which always seems to be a party with everybody talking and telling stories.

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