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Saddleback NE, Basin East, Basin SE, Basin Brook Slides...A Day in the Heat

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  • Saddleback NE, Basin East, Basin SE, Basin Brook Slides...A Day in the Heat

    Disclaimer

    PICTURES

    A long awaited trip up Basin got delayed on July 4th, rescheduled for this past Saturday, the 14th…a hot day to say the least. I knew it would be like climbing on a gridiron, but didn’t want to cancel again. Rico (walkswithblackflies), Alan Wechsler and I hit a nice route up Saddleback’s new NE slide. The next target was Basin’s Eastern Face via the col between the summit and northeastern shoulder. The third slide in line was the finger of new exposure running directly toward the summit. A descent down Basin Brook Slide would then lead us to the trail and back to the Garden.

    Starting as 6:50 a.m., we began the hike in humid conditions, but great company. An hour and one half later we were sitting on the slab just below Orebed Lean-to. This beautiful slab started off a runout that leads directly to the largest track of the new array on Saddleback, as I’m sure everyone knows. Nice piles of rubble and pools led up to the base of the slide. An intrusion of iron-rich rock sent Rico’s compass pointing in a new direction every few steps...not that a compass was needed, but it was fun to watch it switch directions.

    Saddleback NE Slide:
    There were a few climbers ahead of us and as we reached the first pitch of the slide; we winced as a grapefruit sized rock went wizzing between our skulls and Gothics. It was a veritable playground with easy and hard routes. Once at the top, out of the stepped fracture that leads directly to the highest point, we had a nice chance to relax and enjoy the views. Some people were making slow but steady progress up Gothics’ cable route. Once in motion again in the balsam, I led us through the woods veering right around the two ledges en route to the summit and popped out in the stunted growth for a nice view of the Chicken Coop route to the Basin's ridge with its thin slides.



    By the time we were at the Saddleback/Basin col, things were heating up. I took off my shirt, unhappy that I couldn’t unzip my skin to get even cooler. Darn heat! A bloodthirsty horde of blackflies joined us somewhere near the Basin/NE shoulder col. I don’t remember them following us into the trees, however, but then again the evergreens were bloodthirsty as well. The sod-hole that swallowed me to the waist briefly took my mind off the trees…and blackflies from earlier. As the col expanded in width, I panned right toward the slabs on the SE flank of Basin. Rico and Alan followed on their own routes; Rico eventually got out on the slab a bit lower when it leveled slightly and Alan followed the drainage into the soft ferns that eventually dominated the area. They also had the effect of covering the drainage stream, a rocky course down the center.

    Basin East Face:
    As I scrambled up the adjacent ledges of the false summit to shoot pics of the east face, Rico and Alan enjoyed a nice break under the shrubs. We later found it to be the hottest, most bug-infested area of the entire face. 15 feet higher, the breeze alleviated both. Now in rock climbing shoes, we decided to climb directly up the center of the face to the highest point. Incredible (and hot) sun-warmed rock greeted our every move. The pitches were steep, but broken by areas of lesser pitch or small shelves that allowed a solid stance every so often. Three quarters of the way up, we heard a rumble over Lake Champlain. The anvil slowly developed atop the storm as we reached the highest point…typical timing that cut our break short.



    Next on the list was a diagonal descent of the face to near the base of the ‘finger’ of lighter stone leading to the summit. That was a bit tricky as the steeper bulges seemed to pull me forward. I caught my toe once on a more level portion, tripped slightly and envisioned myself bouncing 900 feet down to the base…and grew more careful, opting to descend some of the face backward using hand and footholds. All came out well in the end as I traversed the (climber’s right) mossy edge of the main face and transitioned to the adjoining slab.

    Basin SE Slide Track:
    The first pitches were a mixture of clean slab and scoured moss followed by other pitches of varying cleanliness. Grass and fern intersected every now and again until we reached the final sections which broke the 45 degree mark. A short bushwhack led to another newly exposed layers of stone just feet to the right of ones I’d climbed in 2009. The bushwhack to the summit was quick but tedious. It was now late afternoon (5:00 p.m.) and "only" 90F by Rico’s thermometer. I’d gone through 5L of water and could now stop rationing at least…our next water was just ahead after a “short” patch of trees.


    Basin Brook Slide:
    For the fourth bushwhack we locked our sites in on the NW summit, aiming to the right of its cliffs over an intermediate bump. This segment would be thick, ledge ridden, sod-hole infested and downright ornery…just what I expected. 30 minutes later, we were perched upon the Basin Brook Slide. Alan was remarkably clean compared to Rico and I, with less scratches and an untorn shirt. The blackflies were still in ‘bite-mode’.

    Basin Brook Slide’s near vertical headwall has a precarious herd path on the climber’s left which we descended carefully to the still relatively steep upper pitches. They were as I remember, rough with a bit of rubble strewn about them. Descending was, at this point tiring, but not as much as the streambed would be. We day-dreamed of water as we ticked away the descent to the rubbly curve leading into the drainage. Irene’s high water line could be seen on the edges. Boulders and intermittent blowdown sucked more energy as the sun angled further in the sky. We heard water, though, which brightened our day. Rico’s steripen quickly replenished our supply at a quaint cascade amongst the boulders.

    The roughly half mile trek to the trail seemed to go on forever. It was really a continual descent of bouldering it seemed. Eventually we came to a deep gorge and bushwhacked to the more level if not rubbly drainage beyond and finally to the trail at around 7:00 p.m. The rest of the way consisted of a few breaks: Bushnell falls, jbl and along the path. A saw-whet owl berated us just moments before our exit at 10:50 p.m. What a day!

    I wrote this report quickly and without alot of route detail, but I need to say that the Basin Face is a serious outing. It is remote and exposed; a slip and tumble would be life-threatening if not fatal. Getting there is also huge challenge from any direction.
    Last edited by mudrat; 01-17-2013, 04:46 PM.
    May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

    http://www.mackenziefamily.com/46/46r.html

  • #2
    Basin East face is truly a gem, but as mentioned, it is a serious outing, just to get there is an adventure by itself.

    The NE slide on Saddleback is going to be a classic, great rocks, great view. Well I still think that you are very determined, to get there in the scorching heat.....

    I am sure it is a day that you will not forget soon.

    I will go back on the East face, many good lines left to do.

    Congrat to all three of you.
    8000m 0/14

    Comment


    • #3
      That certainly has the elements of another trademark Mudrat route: ambitious, unique, and agonizing in a the best possible way. I think I might now be obligated to add the new Saddleback slide to next Monday's itinerary! Very impressive

      Another amazing, steep day! You could've fried your lunch on that face from the looks of it. Thanks for recounting your adventure for us.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by krummholz View Post
        That certainly has the elements of another trademark Mudrat route: ambitious, unique, and agonizing in a the best possible way. I think I might now be obligated to add the new Saddleback slide to next Monday's itinerary! Very impressive

        Another amazing, steep day! You could've fried your lunch on that face from the looks of it. Thanks for recounting your adventure for us.
        Thanks.
        ...and fun. The hottest long day I've taken. I'm a creature of the cold now! If you're a slide climber then the slide is a really good route that basically takes the hypotenuse of the triangle to the summit, as opposed to the trails. You'll love them both. Be careful on the E face
        May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

        http://www.mackenziefamily.com/46/46r.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mudrat View Post
          Thanks.
          ...and fun. The hottest long day I've taken. I'm a creature of the cold now! If you're a slide climber then the slide is a really good route that basically takes the hypotenuse of the triangle to the summit, as opposed to the trails. You'll love them both. Be careful on the E face
          You said "hypotenuse." nice.

          It's good to get more info on that narrow slide. I've been looking forward to the E. Face for a while. Hopefully to predicted temps in the 70's will hold up.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by krummholz View Post
            You said "hypotenuse." nice.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQHaGhC7C2E

            3:45
            46/46, 12/48, 58/115
            46-R #6866

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mudrat View Post
              PICTURES

              ...
              I wrote this report quickly and without alot of route detail, but I need to say that the Basin Face is a serious outing. It is remote and exposed; a slip and tumble would be life-threatening if not fatal. Getting there is also huge challenge from any direction.
              Great TR and photos I met and spoke with Alan W. last night and chatted about some of your adventures.

              Question: I have approach shoes (5.10 GT's) and ascended the 2 slabs comprising the headwall at the top of the Cascade slide (fun). Done a few other slides, too. How would you compare the slabs on the Basin Face to the Cascade headwall mentioned in terms of difficulty?
              We are closer now than we were five minutes ago

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MtnManJohn View Post
                Great TR and photos I met and spoke with Alan W. last night and chatted about some of your adventures.

                Question: I have approach shoes (5.10 GT's) and ascended the 2 slabs comprising the headwall at the top of the Cascade slide (fun). Done a few other slides, too. How would you compare the slabs on the Basin Face to the Cascade headwall mentioned in terms of difficulty?
                Cool, he's a good guy and fun to climb with!

                They're different. Cascade's 2nd to last pitch is much smoother and involves more smearing while its headwall has a bit more grain. Basin is filled with handholds and divots as well as very crystalline (as long as you're not on the left-hand side with all the moss). Basin also has continued sets of steeper pitches (than Cascade) with extended exposure below.
                May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

                http://www.mackenziefamily.com/46/46r.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mudrat View Post
                  Cool, he's a good guy and fun to climb with!

                  They're different. Cascade's 2nd to last pitch is much smoother and involves more smearing while its headwall has a bit more grain. Basin is filled with handholds and divots as well as very crystalline (as long as you're not on the left-hand side with all the moss). Basin also has continued sets of steeper pitches (than Cascade) with extended exposure below.
                  Thanks for the feedback! The pitches on Cascade were fun going up (and the 5.10 Guide Tennies did a good job). I'm looking forward to opps to hiking with AW in the future.
                  We are closer now than we were five minutes ago

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What's this? Another great report from Mudrat? Hard to believe!



                    Props! This was very inspiring!
                    "Most often, my weeks are countdowns to the days I spend in the Adirondacks." - JZ

                    http://www.facebook.com/justin.zaremski

                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/justinzaremski/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      WOW! Amazing stuff. Is the Saddleback NE slide the same as this one or is it a different slide? http://adirondackexplorer.org/out-ta...dleback-slide/
                      "In truth, the forest hears each sound, each blade of grass as it lies down. The world requires no audience, no witnesses, no witnesses!" Conor Oberst.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Route info?

                        Can you post here the route from the day like you did on your Great DeRanged Traverse report? I'm can imagine one from what I just read and by using Google Earth, but I was wondering more about the specifics after Saddleback and also after the East face of Basin.
                        "Most often, my weeks are countdowns to the days I spend in the Adirondacks." - JZ

                        http://www.facebook.com/justin.zaremski

                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/justinzaremski/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gregpphoto View Post
                          WOW! Amazing stuff. Is the Saddleback NE slide the same as this one or is it a different slide? http://adirondackexplorer.org/out-ta...dleback-slide/
                          Thanks. Yes, that's the slide. It enlarged (from a higher trigger point) the "Back in the Saddle" slide that's been there for years. I just tend to call the slides by their dominant exposure many times.
                          May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

                          http://www.mackenziefamily.com/46/46r.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JZ Here View Post
                            Can you post here the route from the day like you did on your Great DeRanged Traverse report? I'm can imagine one from what I just read and by using Google Earth, but I was wondering more about the specifics after Saddleback and also after the East face of Basin.
                            Like this?

                            Route:
                            Garden to Orebed Lean-to, Start slide on runout and follow up to top of new exposure, bushwhack sw to saddleback summit, descend SB, climb Basin's ne shoulder, bushwhack down col b/t Basin NE shoulder and summit proper to mid section of East Face slab, climb to top trigger point (flat top on it), descend diagonally to base of SE slab of Basin, climb and bushwhack to summit, bushwhack to NW shoulder on N side, descend basin brook slide to trail, follow trail to JBL and Garden...collapse.
                            May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

                            http://www.mackenziefamily.com/46/46r.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gregpphoto View Post
                              WOW! Amazing stuff. Is the Saddleback NE slide the same as this one or is it a different slide? http://adirondackexplorer.org/out-ta...dleback-slide/
                              Same one, ascentionist who made the FA in its present form named it Khyber, which is the name of the dog who made the ascent.
                              8000m 0/14

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