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Dix West Face Slides

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  • Dix West Face Slides

    I was browsing my 1989 edition of McMartin's "High Peaks" guide and came across a description of the Dix Mt west face slides. These two slides, created in 1970, are accessed from the Elk Lake-Hunters Pass trail by bushwhacking east to the stream at the base of a slide at about 2600 ft. I do not recall this slide being mentioned recently and I'm too cheap to buy a new book just to find out. Has anyone climbed this route recently and how is it as an alternative to the marked trails? How is the bushwhack at the top? I know it is bad--but HOW bad?

  • #2
    I remember a trip report from last summer over at vftt. You might be able to search it over there.
    set the gear shift for the high gear of your soul...T.A.

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    • #3
      Joe, are you referring to theseslides?

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      • #4
        Neil, yes I think the ones on the right hand side are the ones described in the book and overlayed on the accompanying map. They begin around 2600 ft and end above 4700 ft, an ear-popping (and possibly eye-popping) climb! One can emerge quite near the summit depending on which branch is followed (the two main tracks fork at about 3200 ft). There is a page-and-a-half of description, typical of McMartin's thorough style. I had wondered how much the slides had grown-in or changed in the almost 20 years since the original writing.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JoeCedar
          I had wondered how much the slides had grown-in or changed in the almost 20 years since the original writing.
          I know a sure-fire way to find out. When my vacation is over we can go and check it out first hand. Then we can write a chapter in the slide climbing work in progress.
          Last edited by Neil; 07-10-2006, 09:12 PM.

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          • #6
            Looks more like 6 or 7 slides, if you count the 3 fingers on the right. I climbed to those 3 fingers and took the "middle finger" . Here is a pic I took from the base of the 3 fingers before I continued up. It wasn't too bad to find and it wasn't horribly steep, a "Class 2" slide in Mellor's slide classification, similar to Nippletop and Tulip and Finger slides on Giant. It was gnarly at the top, but no worse than others, about a 20 minute whack to the trail between the summit and the Beckhorn. I honestly don't remember if we were trying to find these 3 slides on the right or the one slide that splits into 2 on the left. We followed McMartin's directions and ended up there and picked the middle, which looked like it went the highest.

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            • #7
              Yes, let's check it out. Actually, I was up near the base of the slide Saturday on the 46r trail work hike, but "Slave Driver Pete" would not let us look up from our work all day!!! I can attest that the trail up to that point is nice and clear now.

              I tried searching VFTT but the sophisticated search engine said the word "dix" was not an appropriate search term!!!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JoeCedar
                Yes, let's check it out. Actually, I was up near the base of the slide Saturday on the 46r trail work hike, but "Slave Driver Pete" would not let us look up from our work all day!!! I can attest that the trail up to that point is nice and clear now.

                I tried searching VFTT but the sophisticated search engine said the word "dix" was not an appropriate search term!!!
                Try using the advanced search feature in Google and restricting your search to the VFTT domain. You'll prolly hit pay dirt that way.

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                • #9
                  Joe Cedar- I saw Pete's sign in and the two other trail crews from Saturday. I didn't get to Pete's Hunter's Pass as I came down the Beckhorn, but I can say the Slide Brook path is in beautiful condition. Made me feel somewhat guilty traveling so easy and not have helped out with the dirty work. My hat is off to you.
                  Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
                  It's about learning to dance in the rain.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JoeCedar
                    Yes, let's check it out. Actually, I was up near the base of the slide Saturday on the 46r trail work hike, but "Slave Driver Pete" would not let us look up from our work all day!!! I can attest that the trail up to that point is nice and clear now.
                    Gee, I wish you had mentioned it to me. Just about the place where we started sidecutting, I was looking at those slides, thinking that I want to climb them again someday.

                    Things have changed somewhat since McMartin's description. Things widened at the bottom, in around '92 (the same day the slide on the Round Pond side occurred). I suspect
                    that this makes it even easier to get to the base, although this widening may not have been from the slide itself. All I know for sure is that it took out a bit of the trail that day.

                    I attempted one of those slides in the early 90's, and there was something about McMartin's description that had me moving left all the time. There is a lot of open rock, and it wasn't clear to me what was slide, and what was rocky cliffs. In any case, I swung too far tothe left, and got 'stuck' on the cliffs of Hunters Pass, and found myself in a 'delicate' situation. A bushwhack through some REAL thick stuff got me back onto the trail above Hunters Pass. Ever since then, I've wanted to do them again, but it seems that every time I'm on Dix (except Monday), I have work to do.

                    IIRC, Random Scooter climbed a few routes there, some time ago (9 years?).

                    And yeah.... Does this look like you were slave driven:

                    http://newmud.comm.uottawa.ca/~pete/...l8/dixwork.jpg
                    Guinness: Goes in brown, comes out yellow.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pete_hickey
                      And yeah.... Does this look like you were slave driven:

                      http://newmud.comm.uottawa.ca/~pete/...l8/dixwork.jpg
                      All that's missing from the picture are talk bubbles: "Gee, I wish Pete would get here, I need a shovel to lean on."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Neil
                        All that's missing from the picture are talk bubbles: "Gee, I wish Pete would get here, I need a shovel to lean on."
                        In fact, the adventurous had just finished trying my chicken flavoured peanuts. You can tell by the expressions on the faces, which tried them and which simply watched.
                        Guinness: Goes in brown, comes out yellow.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JoeCedar
                          Yes, let's check it out. Actually, I was up near the base of the slide Saturday on the 46r trail work hike, but "Slave Driver Pete" would not let us look up from our work all day!!! I can attest that the trail up to that point is nice and clear now.

                          I tried searching VFTT but the sophisticated search engine said the word "dix" was not an appropriate search term!!!
                          Well, over here on this site, you are not allowed to correctly spell the proper names of the author of PSYCHO and the first signer of the Declaration of Independence because the last syllable of their names is a naughty word.
                          Cell phones are dog whistles for people.
                          -Lisa Loeb

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cantdog
                            Well, over here on this site, you are not allowed to correctly spell the proper names of the author of PSYCHO and the first signer of the Declaration of Independence because the last syllable of their names is a naughty word.
                            On the other hand, one is able to post a link to an uncouth woman making a rude gesture to a summit sign

                            You know....... we NEED to have those names blocked. For the sake of the

                            slow readers who take long pauses between syl a bles.
                            Guinness: Goes in brown, comes out yellow.

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                            • #15
                              Blowdown

                              MudRat and I climbed the left finger of the "V" slide this past weekend. It was a nice slide, but it was difficult to get to. We found the drainage that leads to the base of the "V" (left) and "Devils Pitchfork" (right) slides just fine. However, there must have been a whopper of a storm this past week because there was new blowdown, erosion, and landslides throughout the drainage. The leaves on the fallen trees hadn't even wilted yet. Some of the steep sidewalls of the drainage looked very unstable. If you go, just be sure not to stop for a snack beneath these areas.
                              --- Resident terrorist-supporting eco-freak bootlicker

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