Algonquin Panoramas

April 21, 2005

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Provided and copyright by: Steve Kluge, Fox Lane High School
Summary authors & editors: Steve Kluge

Experiencing all that the changes of season have to offer is one of the great pleasures of living in the Northeast U.S. The two pictures above were made from the same place on top of Algonquin Peak (New York's 2nd highest at 1,568 m or 5,144 ft), looking southeast toward Mt. Colden (center) and Mt. Marcy (at 1,629 m or 5,344 ft -- the highest point in New York) on the distant horizon. These scenes illustrate the extremes of summer and winter in upstate New York.

Conditions in the Adirondack High Peaks are always potentially dangerous and the safest hikes are well planned (see 'caution' link below). Markus' winter photo was taken on a relatively mild February day - see link. His summit log reads: "Fortunately, we got a perfect weather day, with temperature about -14°C with only gentle wind on the summit. It's always nice when you can eat and take pictures without constantly fighting frostbite and hypothermia." Steve's summer picture was taken late in the afternoon on the summer solstice. The summit temperature on this day was perfect (around 15°C) -- a gentle breeze kept the bugs away. Patches of winter snow can linger into July in some of the higher valleys and on the north side of many of the High Peaks.

The Adirondack High Peaks are developed on a huge dome of Precambrian age 'metanorthosite' that continues to rise up out of the northeastern corner of New York State. Structurally, the region is characterized by a series of northeast trending valleys developed on large fractures that have developed in the brittle rocks, and the northeast trending mountain ranges are found between those valleys. Smaller fractures run perpendicular to the main valleys, and the various passes across the ranges have formed along those fractures.

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