Yeah, the trails out have changed a lot in the past 10-15 years or so, at least the beginning parts out of Heart Lake. I've climbed Algonquin, Iroquois and down to Colden Lake and back through Avalanche pass a few times, those trails haven’t changed too much. Other trails have been drastically affected by Irene: Marcy Dam is gone, Basin changed with large sections simply washed away. A section of Wolfjaw Pass was totally washed away. It really depends on where you go up there. Coming down from Algonquin, the trail changes a bit every year. Once you get by the falls, it is often easier, and certainly no slower, to simply walk the creek.
Unfortunately, the High Peaks Areas only cover about 15% of the park. Typical mileage is about 1-1.5mi per hour even with a lite pack, sometimes 18mi days are possible, average is closer to 8.
I tried low trail shoes up there one year, but didn’t really care for them. My ankles took a beating on all the boulders and side stepping. I use mid-hikers. These are as good as any for traction and really protect my ankles against the few times daily I bang them on a rock or tree root, or, wedge my foot in between a couple rocks. Actually, I have found that mostly the wet rock is not all that slick. In times of drought, any dirt turns to dust which is slipperier than the plain wet granite.
Nice set of pics, btw. I had to laugh. My very first trip up that way was over Algonquin, and down the east side. I remember my daughter getting frustrated with the steepness and tossing her pack as far as she could down the granite face, hiking down to it, then tossing it ahead of her again. I had taken everything except her cloths, so, this was OK, but she was a tired girl. (She is 33 now, and has been to Katahadin and done a lot of canoeing along the central corridor of the ADK, Oswagatatchie on the north western corner, hiking near Woodlands -car camping - in the Catskills.) She remembers her days of peak bagging with a laugh.