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Upper Wolfjaw Skinny Slide: Early Season Ice - 2014 November 15

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  • Upper Wolfjaw Skinny Slide: Early Season Ice - 2014 November 15

    ADK Explorer Article & VIDEO: Thanks to Phil Brown for posting this to the Explorer online.

    PHOTOS: ...by Kevin, Anthony & Rodrigo.

    Though some paths remain the same, the people we share them with often change and it feels like exploring anew. Such was the climb up Upper Wolfjaw’s Skinny Slide on November 15 with Don Mellor, Anthony Seidita and Rodrigo Solar.

    In addition to introducing them to the slide, I also needed an easy day to find the kinks in my gear and assess myself for the winter season...Do my hands still freeze in gloves? Do my boots still cause pain? Did I pack efficiently?

    Scott van Laer and I climbed this track during November of 2013 though it had much more ice (click for mosaic). This trip was about sketchy climbing on verglas, a few thicker flows on the lower ledges and rock covered with a meager dusting of snow. The mid-slide crevice, a feature that distinguishes this from other slides, was completely clear of snow and ice.



    We left the Garden around 8:30 a.m. and set a steady pace to Johns Brook Lodge. 10:30 a.m. found us at the exit for the short bushwhack to the bottom of the runout. I’d hoped for more ice on the way up the drainage, but that wasn’t to be. Instead we rock hopped up the disrupted streambed of stacked boulders with some patchy ice as we got higher.

    Tiered ledges below the first run of low angle slab held the best ice—makes sense since this area is nearly always wet. The track of the slide guided us to the left-hand side up additional ice flows before reaching the first verglas of the outing. More debris led to another nice ice flow below the slide proper. All the while, Don shared tidbits of wisdom gained from decades of guiding and climbing.


    Anthony/Rodrigo on the low angle ice on approach.


    Don climbing a nice bit of ice below the main slide.

    The steep footwall of the slide proper was bare of ice which left a leaning tree and vegetated crack with some frozen turf as the best way of ascent. Some ice at the top of the pitch led to a choice of verglas covered slab or frozen soil covered with snow. A 10 foot overlap with a few small icicles marked the entrance to the crevice (right).

    Before we entered, however, Don had some fun with a sling and the small icicles. A clove hitch secured to the icicle with a bit of spit barely held the sling/carabiner in place as he clipped the rope. Hooking the ice tool on a tiny ledge in the wall completed the faux climbing shot.


    No explanation necessary!


    Entering the crevice. The best pics are in the movie above.

    Wriggling through the crevice and climbing out the exit hole led to the final portion of the slide. The last 200 feet of slide (the new track ends slightly above the ledge while the old track on the right continues a bit higher) was characterized by climbing on thin ice and slab covered with a dusting of snow. An exit bushwhack of 15 minutes led to the Range Trail. We arrived back at the Garden before dark after about seven hours...a relaxed and excellent day on early season ice.


    May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

    www.adirondackmountaineering.com

  • #2
    Late TR? I was getting sad that there were no slide reports from anyone... (Part of a process I refer to as armchair mountaineering) Anyways, I especially like Don Mellor's Grivel Rambo ice axes.
    Last edited by HRS Nomad; 11-25-2014, 07:04 PM. Reason: mistook one of the pictures
    "Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck." -Roald Amundsen

    ADK 46- 35/46

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    • #3
      Yeah, a little late...been busy and finally had time to write. I'm hoping to add more as the ice kicks in!
      May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

      www.adirondackmountaineering.com

      Comment


      • #4
        We were half thinking about running up to Bennies Brook this weekend, else Jay or Wright. Thoughts? (We are equipped)
        Last edited by HRS Nomad; 11-25-2014, 08:12 PM. Reason: Bennies Brook and Bennies Broom are not the same thing
        "Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck." -Roald Amundsen

        ADK 46- 35/46

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HRS Nomad View Post
          We were half thinking about running up to Bennies Brook this weekend, else Jay or Wright. Thoughts? (We are equipped)
          I'd hoped to go out too, but not sure how the ice will be. BB looked nice on the 15th, but the temps were so warm and are just falling again. I'm assuming there will be some ice since the seepage will freeze. Maybe fresh snow on it which could be a PIA until it adheres.
          May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

          www.adirondackmountaineering.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the postreport. Think i'll wait a couple more weeks. Lean stuff makes me ver ee nervous.

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