What's Your Nature?

Become a Nature Up North explorer to share your encounters with wild things and wild places in New York's North Country. Post your wildlife sightings, landscape shots, photos from your outings, and even your organization's events!

Avalanche Mountain Gully

Posted by Kevin MacKenzie,
North Country explorer from
February 9, 2019

The beauty that Christ manifests in nature is astounding. I've always said that walking out into the wilderness is like walking with Him. This trip reflected it once again as Phil Brown (formerly of ADK Explorer newsmagazine) and I trekked into Avalanche Pass and climbed the magnificent gully across from the Trap Dike. The climb is accessed up the slope from the hitchup matilda across from the Trap Dike. A climb of a few hundred feet up a semi-firm glad of neve led to a short ice step and the base of the climb. Phil looked at me and said, "Well, what do you think?" -- it was steeper and perhaps bigger than he envisioned. I said, "Looks great!" and proceeded to the the base. The yellow ice was aerated and screw placements weren't always easy since there was still some runoff from the recent melt. Several of the tubes flash-froze. Some stout climbing led to a small terrace below a hole aka "the cave." Most head left around a curtain of fragile daggers, but I went into the cave and found a few sketchy sticks that led to a wet pillar/curtain. Another ledge led to the belay tree at its top.

The views of other ice climbs--the Matrix, Goldrush of '96, the Trap Dike--were stunning. Cold temperatures (around 0 Fahrenheit) also helped...there was no humidity and not a cloud to be found. Shadows played in stark contrast to the sunlit snow and made catching memorable photos quite easy. So, enjoy the eye-candy from our day.