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  • Finish of Winter 46

    I am hoping to be able to complete my Winter 46 next Sunday (2/18/18). I have Hough, South Dix and Macomb left. I am thinking that I would do Hough first, then South and finish on Macomb. I have been looking for information on Lilian Brook trail, specifically what it is like to climb as opposed to descend. Also wondering about the trail along the ridge between Hough to South and onto Macomb. I am assuming that route finding will be an issue. Finally, this plan means an end of the day descent down the Slide Brook trail. I have been on this trail before but it was many years ago and I don't think I came back down this way. I would appreciate any suggestions or input on this plan. Thanks.

  • #2
    I don't think you'll find route finding along the ridge trail to be much of an issue, although finding the start of the Lillian Brook trail and the beginning of the Slide Brook hp from the slide itself can be tricky in the winter if it hasn't been broken out. You'll come to a couple of steep steps between Hough and Pough but there should be an easy work around if the snow isn't deep enough to simply walk up them. I unfortunately don't have any updated trail conditions, but maybe somebody else can chime in on those.

    Almost forgot: Enjoy the hike and congrats on your upcoming W46 finish!
    My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

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    • Nals
      Nals commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the info . . . I have read a couple accounts of folks missing the herd paths for Lillian and Slide.

  • #3
    The trail from Macomb to South can be tricky to find if there is deep fresh unbroken snow. You'll probably be fortunate this Sunday, as you'll probably have last weekend and this Saturday for folks to break it out for you. Descending the Macomb Slide can range from a fun butt glissade on soft snow to picking your way down slowly with crampons and an ice axe; with the potential for rain this week it might be icy.

    The herd paths are well documented on OpenStreetMap or OpenCycleMap, and there are many GPS apps for a smartphone that will download and cache portions of OSM/OCM. That can be invaluable for navigating on herd paths that are covered in new deep fresh snow. Or take a printout.

    I might be heading for Hough this weekend too.
    Last edited by toeknee; 02-13-2018, 02:58 PM. Reason: PS best luck for your W!

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    • Nals
      Nals commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the info . . . I am able to (and have) downloaded trail location from Caltopo for the location of the Lillian Brook trail and Slide Brook and will be sure to have them along with USGS map of the area. I have heard that a group is going in Thursday with plans of doing the whole range. Makes me think I’ll be in good shape except, for perhaps, Lillian Brook. We shall see!

  • #4

    OSM's trail data is used by WaymarkedTrails.org where you can download them as GPS tracks. For example, here's the Lillian Brook Trail:

    https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#route?id=7266590

    If you want to see contour lines in WaymarkedTrails, click the gear icon and change the Basemap to OpenTopoMap.

    FWIW, I revised OSM's Lillian Brook Trail about 3 months ago (and other trails in the Dix Range) using Strava's 2017 Heatmap as a reference. Those mapped trail are about as accurate as technology allows for now.

    https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/407839536

    Keep your eyes peeled (or set a waymark in your GPS) because the junction for the Lillian Brook Trail is subtle especially if there's fresh snow. Good luck!
    Looking for Views!

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    • Nals
      Nals commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the good wishes and the information.

  • #5
    Wanted to provide an update on this post. I was able to finish up my Winter 46 yesterday (2/18/18) on Macomb after climbing Hough and South Dix. It was a great day with interesting weather - the sun would poke out from behind clouds at times, flurries, no wind on Hough, winds on South Dix, . . . a beautiful day to finish. Trail conditions were excellent, hard packed to Lillian Brook HP, which was easy to find ( thanks to help here) and broken out all the way to Hough. The climb up to South Dix was also broken out. The descent from S.Dix was a little sketchy on icy rock and intermittent high winds. After stopping for a bite to eat in the saddle between S. Dix and Macomb it was time to finish up! The climb was mellow and we reached the summit as the sun came out from behind the clouds. We took some pics and exchanged some high fives but then it was time to head down the slide and we were a little apprehensive about the conditions we might find.
    The Slide was icy with varying amounts of snow cover. We had changed into crampons and worked our way down slowly with no problems. Now all that was left was the trudge out to the cars which we did, but quite a bit slower than in the am.
    I have been hiking in the High Peaks since I came to school here in the fall of 1976. My room mate and I, who supported me on this finish, hiked almost every weekend during those two winters spent at PSC. When I retired three years ago and moved back into the area I knew that doing a Winter 46 would be my first challenge. I have enjoyed every hike, every successful summit, every unsuccessful summit bid and all of the preparation, training hikes, map work, . . .that was included in this project. I appreciate all of the knowledge/intel gained from reading posts on this forum. While I have not posted often, I have read and learned much. Thanks!

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    • #6
      CONGRATULATIONS, NALS...!! We read your post as much to learn about the trail conditions as we did to see how your 46th turned out on Sunday. Thanks for the good description of the climbing, including the snow and ice, it gives us a rough idea of what we might expect next week on Colden. My wife and I were supposed to climb it this week, but the warm temps dissuaded us. (See our last post on the thread, 'Question: Climbing Colden') We have long ago abandoned our quest to complete the 46 in winter, but we have not lost our love of the mountains. In short, time got away from us, and it is unlikely we can beat the clock with 16 more to go, but, at least for this winter, Colden beckons... (Your own description of climbing Hough, Macomb and South Dix brought back some great memories for us as well - a few of which we could share with you, should you still happen to have the March/April, 1996 issue of Adirondac lying around - "The Dixes In Winter")

      In the meanwhile, our hat's off to you, Bro'!!
      Dan & Donna

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      • #7
        Congratulations on you finishing.

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