OverviewThe Avalanche Mountain Gully is a great ice climb located in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks. The route is 2-3 pitches and is rated WI 4-. The route is a fun challenge that provides stunning views of Mount Colden and Avalanche Lake.
Getting ThereSnowshoe or ski from the Adirondack LOJ towards Marcy Dam. From the dam, follow the trail to Avalanche Lake. The route is located across from the Adirondike and Trap Dike. The approach and return takes longer than the climb, but is well worth it. Pairing this route with the Adirondike makes for a great day.
Route DescriptionClimb moderate snow up the gully until you come to the first ice step. The height of this step (WI 2) is dependent on how much snow is in the gully. Many parties choose to solo this short pitch.
From the top of the first ice step, climb moderate snow to the base of the final 2 pitches of the route. This is where the real climbing begins. Climb up and right for 100+ feet (WI 3+) to an obvious belay ledge / cave. Falling ice tends to funnel down this pitch.
From the belay ledge, climb up and left around the ice curtain that hangs over the huge overhang. Once on the left side of the curtain, climb straight up and over the curtain to finish the climb. Although this pitch was nice and fat when I climbed it, certain sections could be thin at times providing for some mixed climbing.
Rappel with two ropes to get to the base of the final two pitches. If you only have one rope, you'll likely need to make a v-thread from the belay ledge to get down and even so it will be close depending on the amount of snow. A single rope rappel from a tree will get you down past the first ice step.