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Dixes/Allen/Cliff & Basin/Red for 46er finish

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  • Dixes/Allen/Cliff & Basin/Red for 46er finish

    7/10/17- I arrived at the Elk Lake lot near 11 am and squeezed into the last spot. After gearing up I made my way down to Slide Brook and set up at one of the designated sites. It
    was a beautiful, calm day. The plan was to ascend Macomb slide and do the range from there. This was because I was a little worried about finding the path at the bottom of the slide into the
    woods after descending. While climbing the slide the views looking back were very impressive. The loose footing was a little frustrating but variety is always nice. It was a bit warm and I was
    dripping sweat but had lots of water and wasn't concerned. Once I reached the summit headed over to South Dix. From there I really enjoyed the walk out to Grace and back. The path was more
    overgrown than I thought it would be but wasn't hard to follow. Back at S. Dix then to Hough. Passed the illegal campsites in the Pough/Hough col (empty) and made the rugged climb to Hough peak. Looking up at the Beckhorn was a little intimidating but the beautiful weather and increasingly good views motivated me. Made the steep climb up to the Beckhorn and then summited Dix.
    Definitely some of the best views for the day. I descended the Beckhorn trail which was very steep and rocky. It was dinner time at Lillian Brook and was swarmed by bugs. My feet stayed dry the
    entire day (which was not the case the rest of my trip!). Made it back to my tent by 8 pm and went to sleep.

    7/11/17- The next morning as I was packing up I spotted an earthworm squirming in the ground and took it as a good omen. Was back at the lot by 6:45 and drove to the East River Trailhead. I signed in and headed up trail. Weather-wise it was as just as nice as the previous day and I felt lucky. The East River Trail was a mud pit the entire way and I felt unlucky....and wet. My feet got more soaked in the first mile of that trail than in the entire day before. There were lots of frogs and toads hopping around and enjoying it though, so at least they liked it. When I arrived at the Allen junction, I stashed my bear can and tent in the woods. I really came to regret not stashing more of it (sleeping bag/pad/other junk I probably didn't need). While signing in at the inner register I saw four men riding an ATV, very surprising. Allen's herd path was pretty muddy but very peaceful and calm. I passed the waterfall and headed up the slide. There was water running down it in most areas and had a few close calls with the "red slime." As I was ascending I kept thinking "I really underestimated this climb". In addition, my pack was heavy and slowing me down. Again, I was inspired by the beautiful weather and views. When I finally summited there were three women on top, one of whom had just finished her 46er. I ate some food and then began the long, slippery descent to the junction. It was as enjoyable as the hike in besides for the extra mud I was carrying. When I arrived back at the junction I grabbed my stashed gear and ate dinner, it was about 5 pm. Swarming bugs forced me to cut dinner short so I headed for Uphill lean-to. The trail going north to Flowed lands was very quiet and calm. I disturbed a small coiled snake that uncoiled like a spiral and slithered off trail, awesome! Hanging Spear falls was powerful, and it's roaring noise is heard most of the trailway. In addition, this trail was very overgrown and resulted in getting scraped up. It wasn't hard to navigate though. All that can be said about the trail around Flowed lands and up to Uphill lean-to was that it was very muddy. Arriving near 8:15 pm I quickly set up camp at one of the designated sites and went to cool my feet in the stream. Around 9 pm tucked in for bed.

    ​7/12/17- After enjoying my morning coffee I packed a light pack (still my 65L pack but with almost nothing in it haha) and made my way past the cairn to the Cliff/Red junction. When I arrived I turned for Cliff. This trail was horribly muddy and made it a slow going. The Cliffs were steep indeed but I was fortunate enough to have another perfect, dry day. At my breakfast (poptart) on the summit and began descending. I encountered a group who had a few members struggling up the cliffs. One decided it wasn't for him and allowed me to descend past him. It was much simpler going down then up. Splashed through the mud back to my campsite and ate some more food and geared up. Now I had to go to Basin. I climbed up to Lake Tear then over the 4 corners. From there I ascended up the Schofield Cobble which had spectacular views the entire way, however Haystack and Basin were enveloped in a hanging cloud/fog. Up and over crowded Marcy, down past the alpine bog and a long steep descent to the col between Little Marcy and Little Haystack. Then another steep rocky climb to the Basin junction. Next the steep rocky descent to the col, and a steep rocky ascent to Basin's summit. I liked the ledges near the summit. Since Basin was fogged in there were no views. Thinking about the hike back did not fill me with excitement. More of those clouds were moving in and I hoped it didn't rain. The original plan was to arrive back at the junction and head over Haystack, down to Panther Gorge, up to 4 corners then back to camp. I had done Marcy/Sky/Hay as a lollipop loop from the ADK loj last July so I was aware of the steepness. I knew this was not going to happen fairly early on the descent off Basin. My feet had hot spots and I wanted to get off the high stuff before the rain. In a choice between going back over Marcy or Haystack I chose Marcy. This was a bit disappointing because I really like doing loops and seeing lots of different terrain but it was the right choice for me that day. Making good time back over Marcy, it's summit was no longer covered with hikers. The only inhabitants were two scavenging ravens. Down to Lake Tear where I ate dinner then down the rocky, wet trail back to camp. Cooled my sore feet in Uphill Brook again then went to sleep.

    ​7/13/17- It had rained hard over the night and was still raining when I awoke. By the time I had finished my coffee and took care of my ailing feet it had stopped. I packed another light pack and headed for Redfield around 6:30 am. The woods were wet and foggy, very serene. The path meandering in and out of the brook was very tranquil, I really enjoyed it. It was wet and muddy but I was on my way to my 46th peak and nothing was going to stop me (except for a broken leg or something, that probably would have stopped me). Taking my time on the slick rocks and slowly picking my way up was alright with me. Rain saturated spruce soaked me near the summit. At 7:40 am I made it to the summit sign, my final peak! I had it all to myself. The peak was socked in so I had no views but that didn't spoil it for me. I ate some food and reflected on the journey. There were several groups I passed while descending and I'm glad I finished and was descending before it got crowded. Arriving back at camp, I packed everything up and began the long trek out. I knew how sloppy the trail was at least to Flowed lands but hoped maybe the Calamity trail would be a little better. It definitely wasn't better and probably worse. The constant mud pits and slippery roots and rocks really slowed my hike out. It also rained on and off the whole way. Although my legs felt pretty good my feet were not and they also added to the slog. The last few miles were a bit death-marchish but I've had those before and know to just put my head down and finish. I arrived at the Upper works trail head and knew it was just a short road walk to my car at East River TH.

    ​Thank you to everyone on this forum. I've read many, many trip reports and general threads and learned so much from them.

    ​On my trip I encountered an aspiring 46er who was close to finishing. He asked if he would see me at the banquet dinner next year. I replied I wasn't sure but maybe I'd see him sometime on the trail. He said after he finished he didn't plan on doing much hiking there for awhile. Upon hearing this I realized how much coming to these mountains means to me, that I can't imagine taking a break. I am already starting to plan my next trip and can't wait to explore the lesser traveled areas of the park. I'm excited to try a few hikes/peaks out this winter.

    When I first climbed Marshall with my uncle and cousin it changed my life. It's hard to put in words but I know many of you feel the same way. I'm very grateful.

  • #2
    Congrats! Great way to finish!
    ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 238/552
    Photos & Stuff


    • #3
      Congratulations! That was quite the push to the finish! Try some of the lowland routes....Northville-Lake Placid Trail has some spectacular sections. See ya out there!


      • #4
        Congratulations. That was some finish. Especially liked the out and back to Basin.


        • #5

          An ambitious route and interesting combination of peaks to make for a memorable finish!
          Looking for Views!


          • #6
            A labour intensive finish! Congratulations and thanks for the TR.


            • #7
              Your last line brings tears to my eyes...the mountains have such an amazing effect on anyone who ventures into them, and you are not the first to thank the person who brought you to them for the first time.

              FWIW- the second time around is as much fun or more than the first, especially when you do it with family and friends. I finished when I was 13 (38 years ago) and I have no idea where I am on the second round...some I have done 5-6 times...and I never get tired of it. I do get tired, though....


              • #8
                Thank you everyone, I really appreciate it. This forum has given me a lot of crucial inspiration and information.

                I forgot to add that I thought Allen was the hardest.


                • #9

                  This might apply to every peak
                  "I really underestimated this climb"


                  • #10
                    Congratulations! Really great report, and I like that you chose a unique way to group the peaks for your finish. The journey has just begun!
                    Last edited by debmonster; 07-17-2017, 04:59 PM.
                    We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige