Avalanche Pass

After a long and arduous day of hiking the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, one of the last things I want to do is scramble over, under and through the tumbled chaos of boulders which is the Avalanche Pass.  It is at once a bleak, boulder strewn path threading its way among huge rock masses assisted by ladders, bridges and Hitch-Up-Matildas.  The Pass is enjoyable when you are fresh and eager in the morning and have a surfeit of ambition buoyed with a sense of invincibility but, it is a punishing insult to injury after a long day of battling gravity in mountainous ascent and descent.  It takes about an hour to get through the pass but you are still a one hour woodland jaunt from Marcy Lake, which is yet another hour from your car.

Avalanche Lake is nestled between Colden Mountain and Avalanche Mountain (and its upper neighbor – Algonquin).  Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden was once a single body of water until an avalanche separated the two.  Following Hurricane Irene, Colden Mountain unleashed a new malignant tumble of debris into Avalanche Lake creating an extended land mass at the base of the Trap Dike.  It is an awe-full Siren beckoning to be explored.  Here is a poem I sketched about ten years ago.

Avalanche Lake

A beautiful lake ‘neath sheer descent
into which terrible torrents tumbled
Two shuddering frames in fierce foment
poured forth its damming crumbles

Avalanche Lake, a bright streaked jewel
at the foot of frowning giants
whose feldspar loads dumped down in duel
to sublime scape compliant

I stumbled through with horny tread
a pasture where the boulders lie
a passage to my journeys end
a pass where time wafts slowly by

Avalanche Lake exudes devotion
amid the mountains watching brood
just as the pearl hides in the ocean
they tumbled rocks where man intrudes

Like the wail of the miserere
through the pass the breezes howl
wrought in prayer of reverent affray
to the God whose finger plowed

A jeweling lake with gemmy colors
where neighboring mountains bathe their feet
its crystal mirror to their features
a rugged scene yet peace replete

avalanche pass 2 avalanche pass 1 colden mountain


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