View Full Version : Nippletop Slide
08-20-2012, 11:54 AM
Did the Trap Dike and new Irene Slide a few weeks ago. If interested I posted a TR on this forum. Anyway I am planning on tackling Nippletop Slide and Dial this Saturday. Are rock shoes necessary? Based on my research there is a lot more debris than on the clean Irene Slide. Also how does nippletop compare in terms of angle/difficulty to the Irene Slide? Thanks.
08-20-2012, 04:21 PM
I did NT Slide a week ago in wettish conditions with standard hiking shoes. There was a little waterfall on the base wall. The rock is not the same nice grippy "sandpaper" you get on brand new slides like the Irene/Dike but with care it can certainly be done without rock shoes. I did not think it nearly as steep as the Irene Slide, yet I found it harder due to the not so grippy rock and wet conditions. I wouldn't say there is a lot of debris on the slide, but it does have a significant amount of growth based on the age of the slide and a rubble slide section here and there. There are decent paths leading from Elk Pass to the base and then from the slide exit to the summit. Have fun!
I would rate the Nip slide as medium on a scale of easy, medium and hard. It starts off with a steep headwall. Difficult, but if I did it (angling upwards from right to left) just about anyone can. But, you can choose to do an end run through the woods to the right.
Indeed the rock is smooth and slippery (I too was just there but I only fooled around on the lower headwall before continuing on my way downstream - we downclimbed very, very carefully). Above the headwall it gets easier (would be a blue if it was a ski run) and rubbly. The exit involves some easy scrambling with a small amount of exposure.
The hike down from Elk Pass gets easier all the time. Stay close to the drainage and follow the obvious embryonic herd path. Avoid the tendency to stay on contour or, like others have done, you'll come out half-way up the slide. Start looking for the headwall after 30 minutes.
08-22-2012, 03:04 PM
Another quick tip...the slide will be grown in above the foot-wall. Take the right-hand track. The left will lead you into a full bushwhack. The right leads more efficiently to open rock.
08-23-2012, 10:42 AM
100% committed. My buddy and I will be headed into DEC campground late Friday night under headlamp...tackling NT Slide and Dial on Saturday. Hope to see some others up there. Thanks for all the advice.
08-27-2012, 10:50 AM
Quick TR. What an adventure to say the least. Friday night hiked in from Roaring Brook parking lot with my buddy. Arrived at first DEC campsite around 12:45 am. Up by 8 am. Took our time that morning thinking our trip up the NT Slide and Dial would take at most 6 hours RT. Set off around 9:45 am. Arrived at Elk Pass around 11. Started bushwack around the most southerly pond at Elk Pass...followed Gil Brook "herd path" as much as possible. Forgot to bring all BETA I had printed on locating the slide. Constant second guessing had us thinking we had hiked too far. Up and down we went along the Gil Brook which was quite low, allowing us to hike in the Brook. After hiking back to the marshes of Elk Pass we realized we most definitely hadn't hiked far enough. Arrived at cliffs of Colvin and ascended them to gain a vantage point to spot slide. Spotted slide. Very excited. Quick apple and we were off. Stupidly my friend and I thought we had hiked far enough Gil Brook drainage and decided to head into woods way too early. Bushwacked through very thick scrub heading in a south easterly direction. Caught glimpses here and there. Eventually started heading due south...found what we thought must have been the slide. Headed up for a good 30 min...narrow dried up river bed/slide. River bed/slide petered out at what I guess would have been approximately 3,600 feet. It was now 3:00 pm. Although not lost (we knew would could head down till we reached Gill Brook) we didn't know where we were going. Dejected and frustrated we decided to turn around and head home. Twenty minutes later we passed the point of the river bed/slide we had started on. Another 100 feet below or so we arrived at the top of the Headwall and the obvious path to the right heading up the slide was in view. 3:30. Our dejection turned to elation. We didn't give it a second though and headed straight up. Both of us really enjoyed the slide...varied terrain with lots of scrambles and minor technical sections. After taking the slide all the way to the very top we started our bushwack to the summit. Frustration. We were both bloodied from our earlier bushwack. This was just adding insult to injury. Nevertheless we prevailed and were on the summit by 5:00.
At 5:30 we began our descent. We scrapped our plans to hit Dial. The final "mile" leading down to Elk Pass was perhaps the longest mile I have ever hiked. We were dehydrated, out of water and exhausted. Arrived back at Camp around 7:30. After consuming a liter of water each we had a dip in the Gil Brook pool/water fall near the Gil Brook short cut trail. Back to camp, ate dinner and asleep by 9:30. Great day and great adventure.
08-27-2012, 10:55 AM
If attempting (especially in the near future barring replenished water tables) stay in the Gil Brook the entire time. Once you reach the Colvin cliffs on your right ascend them to gain a view of the slide. Stay in Brook all the way down and the Slide will be visible though the trees on your left. What should have taken 30 minutes took us 2 hours. Finally once you ascend the initial headwall STAY RIGHT. The left drainage peters out and leads to no where. Staying right is the obvious route, unfortunately for us, our bushwack put us on the left drainage about 200 feet above this split and we didn't have the advantage of a view of the entire slide above us.
08-30-2012, 11:51 AM
When I did this slide last year I ended up climbing with kids from the AMR. Contrary to advice above to stay close to the brook on the way down, these kids followed herd paths (braided) above and left of the brook most of the way, getting us to the bottom of the footwall (like a headwall but, you guessed it, at the foot) quickly and efficiently.
Advice: If you stay near the bottom of the drainage, it should be impossible to miss the footwall.
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