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  • Saddleback Slide

    This summer I'd like to climb the Irene slide on Saddleback. I haven't seen too many recent reports. I'm thinking about making a big day of it and heading over the lower range and descending Bennies Brook if we still have any energy left.

    I'm interested in any advice anyone has about this slide or any beta you think might be useful.

    Also, I am a novice slide guy, I've only done the Whiteface Brook Slide, part of the SE slide on Colden, and the Great Slide of East Dix, so I'm wondering how this slide compares to those.

    Thanks for any info!
    Love all wilderness!
    Trying to hike and XC ski as much as possible.

    ADK 46/46 still not official.
    W 27/46

  • #2
    I can't offer you anything more recent that a year after Irene's remodeling. I think that slide is called "Back in the Saddle". Mudrat would know best.

    http://lookingforviews.blogspot.ca/2...012-10-26.html

    My blog post also includes photos of the many lovely waterfalls you'll find along the brook. I invented names for them and other features I discovered along the way. I doubt my nomenclature has found any traction but at least you might recognize something and think "Ahah! The Amphitheater!"

    Speaking of the Amphitheater, the slide effectively starts there. It's character is very different from Grace's Great Slide or Colden's SE Slide (I haven't hiked the Whiteface Brook Slide). It's "fresher" so you'll find less vegetation and its surface is more stepped than the others. It felt steeper than the Great Slide but it's upper end (headwall) was on the order of the SE Slide. There's a narrow dike that offers excellent footing so one can ascend the headwall without too much exposure. FWIW, I walked on the slab running beside it and I think you can too. I wore trail-runners and didn't need the rock shoes I had. I will say that I tried to ascend via the center of the headwall (there's a waist-high step) and found that a little to rich for my blood. All this to say, there's something for everyone on its headwall.

    When I was there in 2012, you had to find your own way from the headwall to Saddleback's summit. I imagine a herd-path might have formed by now.

    Photos.


    The "Slag Pile" in the foreground and the slide in the background.


    I think you'll agree the slope angle is about the same as the upper portion of the SE Slide. Plus you get a nice view of Gothics.
    Last edited by Trail Boss; 03-16-2016, 05:23 PM.
    Looking for Views!

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    • #3
      Order of difficulty IMO (easiest first): Grace, Saddleback, Colden SE.
      SB has a long, easy, winding approach on the creek bed, which is very pleasant and it gradually gets steeper. there is a cool little dike at the top, which can facilitate the final steepest section.
      Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter. https://project100singlewinter.wordpress.com/

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      • #4
        This slide is fantastic! I've done it twice, always with rock climbing shoes. Why not bring them and have more options for fun as well as security?!? The whack off the top kind of sucks, but there is a distinct HP developing; you do end up right on the summit of SB, which is a bonus for the pine needles you'll find in your underwear later...

        Enjoy!!
        #8335W, Solo 46W
        NE 111 113/115


        One list may be done, but the journey is far from over...
        Half Dome, 2009

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        • #5
          This is the little dike I was referring to. http://adkhighpeaks.com/neil/outdoor...lide_0042.html
          Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter. https://project100singlewinter.wordpress.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DelawareMike View Post
            This summer I'd like to climb the Irene slide on Saddleback. I haven't seen too many recent reports. I'm thinking about making a big day of it and heading over the lower range and descending Bennies Brook if we still have any energy left.

            I'm interested in any advice anyone has about this slide or any beta you think might be useful.

            Also, I am a novice slide guy, I've only done the Whiteface Brook Slide, part of the SE slide on Colden, and the Great Slide of East Dix, so I'm wondering how this slide compares to those.

            Thanks for any info!
            Mike, I climbed the Saddleback Slide in June 2015. Here's my report: http://www.adkhighpeaks.com/forums/f...ide-06-20-2015. I had a blast. The slide is spectacular. Just remember to look back now and then! I used hiking boots all the way, but if I went back I would change into some approach shoes just before the headwall, which is pretty steep. I chose to stay in the dike right to the end. The problem, as pointed out by Trail Boss, is that it's a challenge to get out and up safely. I didn't want to backtrack, seeing I was so close to the woods. I pulled myself out of the cleft, and on all fours straddled the dike, and gingerly inched up until I grabbed a tree limb. Once you're out, angle to climber's left to avoid the cliff band. Head for daylight and you'll pop out at the summit. Have fun!
            Last edited by DennisK; 03-17-2016, 07:51 PM.

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            • #7
              I'd consider Saddleback's NE slide intermediate...basically in the order Neil mentioned. Trailboss nailed the name, "Back in the Saddle". The new tributary...the cleanest tributary is sometimes referred to as Catastrophic Chaos, but it's really the same slide. Start at Orebed Lean-to and you have 1.7 miles of ledges, slab etc. The pic above--the slag pile--is a monster intrusion of iron rich fine grained rock in the anorthosite. It gets steeper after than, but the rock has alot of traction and there are ways to switchback your way up as well as friction climb. The top is probably the steepest area, but there's the dike which serves much like a staircase. Very cool area. Depending on your ambitions you can also descend Gothics True North without much trouble. Bennies would be the next best descent option if you want to use a slide yet add several mtns. Have fun!
              May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

              www.adirondackmountaineering.com

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              • #8
                I made a feeble attempt at the SB slide two years ago. The timing wasn't quite right and my climbing partner wasn't feeling well and stayed back at the outpost, so I went solo. LOTS of fun to be had up on the slide. I opted to bushwhack towards the top due to being solo at that time and trying to rush the climb too much..yes I regret that somewhat. But I did make the summit of SB. I want to get back on that slide and finish what I started, so if you're looking for a partner give me plenty of notice and I'd love to join you if you don't mind.

                Steve
                46/46 - #9464
                7/46 "W"
                NE115 - 53/115

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                • #9
                  Thanks for all the beta and photos everyone!

                  Mudrat (or anyone else): How hard is it to find True North from the summit of Gothics? Is there a herd path or anything?
                  Love all wilderness!
                  Trying to hike and XC ski as much as possible.

                  ADK 46/46 still not official.
                  W 27/46

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Heading north from Gothics' summit, the trail turns sharply to the right. That's your cue to turn left into the woods. The bend is clearly visible on this map:
                    http://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=44.12...476&z=17&b=mbt

                    You'll head NNW for a few yards though the woods to emerge on open, bare rock. I wouldn't call it a herd-path but you definitely get the feeling others have tramped through the very same woods. The rocky spot is visible in this satellite image as well as the True North slide (running NNW); it looks like an alpine ski trail.
                    http://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=44.13...17&b=sat&a=mba


                    You get a great view from the top of the slide (except on the foggy day I was there).


                    Looking down on True North.

                    It's an old slide; the upper portion is covered in thick moss; the lower portion is completely grown in. Seen from Armstrong, I thought it would be like descending an old alpine ski trail. Nope! I was there mid-May 2013 and the soggy tussocks of grass and moss tore out from underfoot. Not only was it unpredictable and treacherous, it made me feel guilty as hell to contribute to its erosion. I hugged the edges of the slide to uses branches for handholds and to avoid tearing out the thickest, plushest bits of "carpeting". All in all, descending it wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be but the view of Gothics' North Face is worth the admission fee. I imagine a nice thick layer of snow might make ascending/descending it more fun. YMMV.


                    North Face.

                    FWIW, the slide peters out and the last mile or so is a bushwhack through the woods (used brook as handrail). I found some rough footing along the way, including my first femur-eater.


                    Looking back at the upper portion of True North.

                    More pics of the slide can be seen here.

                    Last but not least, while descending True North, I arrived at a spot where the slide seemed to fork. I went straight and learned (later, from Mudrat) that it's the commonly accepted path of True North. Turning left would've led me down to the base of North Face and then I could've followed another brook west to intersect the trail. If I ever visit True North again, I think I'd like to explore that route because the lower portion of True North (from the fork to the trail) wasn't all that interesting (to me).

                    I hope this helps!
                    Last edited by Trail Boss; 03-27-2016, 07:24 PM.
                    Looking for Views!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DelawareMike View Post
                      Thanks for all the beta and photos everyone!

                      Mudrat (or anyone else): How hard is it to find True North from the summit of Gothics? Is there a herd path or anything?
                      Pretty easy from the summit. Just look for the herdpath on the descender's left a few hundred feet down the trail from the false summit. This avoids the headwall (which is also downclimbable if you're good with some exposure).
                      May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

                      www.adirondackmountaineering.com

                      Comment

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