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  • Help trip planning

    Hello all. My friend Alex and I are planning to spend 5 days in the Adirondack backcountry with the goal of spending the majority of the trip climbing slides.

    A little bit about us. Alex has been climbing for 2 years now. He is mostly a gym climber but has some experience bouldering outdoors. He is a very solid hiker and has no problem on tough terrain in the hiking trips I've been on with him. I expect him to get the hang of friction climbing very quickly.

    I have also been climbing for two years now. I am mostly a gym climber but have had success following cleanly up to 5.9 in the gunks on several trips. I have experience solo friction climbing on easy slabs. I am also a very experienced and solid hiker.

    So far we only have for sure plans to climb in the Mt Colden Area. Routes in mind include Trap Dike and the 1990 slide.

    The purpose of this post was to ask for some suggestions for route options. Any particular slides that are fun in the area. We are not opposed to moving our car and going elsewhere if we exhaust Colden in this time span.

    We are hoping to climb slides that are on the more technical side but not 5th class climbing where roping up is essential to our well being. I think we may be bored on some of the easier slides though. I figured Trap Dyke\1990 would be a good way to get a feel for how we handle this sort of climbing. If others have better ideas for a "warmup" slide climb let me know.

    So yeah 5 days, with our experience, and not looking to rope up what slides would do. Any help would be amzing. I have a up to date copy of the aerial photo book and adk rock btw.



  • #2
    Hey all,

    If there are any clarifications I can make to help you help me with the trip planning please let me know. I am more than happy to talk over private message, email, or any other means if people don't want things public over the internet for whatever reason.

    We are leaving for our trip on Thursday the 21st. Just want to make good use of our time out there to maximize slide climbing and minimize non slide hiking.We're doing a day of 5th class climbing in the Gunks on thursday so our slide climbing will now only be Friday-monday.

    I'd really love to do slides that make it close to, or all the way to the summit. I'd also prefer to ascend and descend on slides rather than escaping to a hiking trail. Slides that I think meet these qualifications are the Colden slides, I believe eagle slide does, some of the slides on Gothics appear to go most of the way though some look like they may be to steep (5th class). Whiteface looks appealing too as we can ascend and descend a number of different slides in close proximity.

    So yeah any suggestions based on this. Especially thoughts on how to maximize on slide time. Maybe heading over to the great range and summiting a number of those peaks via slides. They seem to have an abundance. Anyways there are so many options and not a lot of beta on the various routes so any help would be super appreciated.



    • #3
      Those are great choices. You'll like Mount Colden, from either side. Long lower section of the 1990 slide is easy walking, but it's very scenic, so you won't be bored. The friction is great on the steeper part higher up; no problem, but lots of fun.

      Of course the trap dike is great fun. As climbers, you'll find the dike itself very easy. The little steep section known as the "Second Waterfall" is the only place with real exposure to a fall, but the climbing is very easy. The dike is like a big channel about 20' wide; the water flows on the climber's left edge of the channel. You'll see a sort of an arÍte right of the water, and then a sort of a steppy chimney right of that. Many people get drawn into the chimney trying to avoid the exposure, but it sucks and the hold run out. Out on that arÍte, the holds stay great; big, square and flat. That's the place to climb, even if its getting splattered with a little water.

      The "new" white 2011 slide at the top of the dike is great.

      Have fun!


      • #4
        There are so many options and part of the challenge is sifting through them to find slides suitable for you. Check out mudrat's excellent website. I've spent countless hours there prepping for trips. A copy of the slide guide by Drew Haas may still be available at The Mountaineer. The guide book Adirondack Rock has good beta on slides and I heard the latest edition just came out. Try to get your hands on both those books asap. And there are plenty of solid reports in the archives here.

        Off the top of my head, based on your experience and criteria, I suggest the ski slides on Whiteface, the finger slides on Dix, and the Great Range.

        On Whiteface you can hike up the ski slopes (no permission needed last time I checked) to the eastern cirque. I really enjoyed slide no. 1 and it heads straight toward the summit, ending just below it. I haven't been on any of the four or five other slides in that cirque but I've heard good things about a couple of them and you could play around all day up there. If skies are relatively clear you could start at 4 am, hike the slopes in the dark, and see sunrise from the slide. Awesome!

        Similar case with Dix. Hike out of Round Pond trailhead. Access to the slides is easy. You'll see them up on climber's left and the base intersects the trail. You could do a lot up there in a day and sunrise over Lake Champlain is sweet.

        The Great Range holds a bunch of slides. To keep it relatively straightforward you could hike in from the Garden--although it's 7$ a day to park there, as opposed to the AMR lot on the other side which is free. Bennie's Brook slide may be too tame for you but it's a lot of fun and the headwall is a challenging little pitch that I failed to climb in worn-out trail runners but later succeeded with rock shoes (I liked the right side). You could hit the summit with a short bushwhack, hike by trail down to the col, hang a right and hike down for a bit until you see Wolfjaw Brook slide intersect the trail with the ascent on your left. You might like that one a lot but the whack to the summit can be nasty.

        Gothics and Saddleback might be your best bets. From the west side of Gothics you could choose, L to R, the True North slide, the NW Face, or the Finger slide. True North is often used for descent. Continuing to climber's right you've got Orebed Brook, which is a good descent route, and then the NE face of Saddleback.

        Basin East Face is rated 4th class and may be right up your alley. Check that out.

        You've already got Giant on your radar, and there are excellent options there: Eagle, Bottle, Diagonal, even Giant East Face with a bushwhack from the col with Rocky Peak Ridge to the base.

        Nippletop is very nice, but it's a fairly long approach and somewhat isolated.

        Colden should be awesome!

        These are just a few of many possibilities. Others here may have better recommendations. Hope this helps. Have a great weekend!
        You know I'm born to lose / And gambling's for fools / But that's the way I like it, baby / I don't wanna live forever "Ace of Spades" - Motorhead


        • #5
          Thanks for the help. I do have a copy of both ADK Rock and the Slide Guide. The slide guide is amazing with its aerial imagery I just wish they would talk about the approach and the actual climbing. For example looking at the slide guidebook makes Gothics and Pyramid look absolutely amazing slide wise but referring to adk rock makes it look like the most impressive rock is strictly 5th class which we want to avoid. Gothics east face would be awesome to get up but don't want to get into sketchy terrain. I hope someday there will be a guide book with at least miminal descriptions of what the various routes are like.

          Adk rock ( the edition I have at least ) only has a few of the classic slides ie Trap Dike, Eagle Slide, Bottle Slide. The rest is focused on the fifth class stuff. I will have to check and see if the newer edition has any more information.

          For Colden if we are planning to do 1990 and Trap Dike which would you ascend vs descend. I'm guessing the Dike may be easier to descend assuming the crux climbing part between the dike and slide is not that bad of a downclimb.


          • #6
            (That "guidebook gap" has been recognized. There is a slide book coming - local author, and I think it will be excellent. I'm looking forward to seeing it!)

            I've been up and down that section of the dike, and for climbers, again, it's fairly easy. But overall I recommend going up the dike side of the mountain and down the 1990 slide. I've been down that slide several times and it's relatively easy to run down it. Pack your climbing shoes and it will be very easy.

            Tricky finding the top of the 1990 slide from the top of Colden. The most prominent landmark on the summit ridge of Colden is the unmistakable very large balanced rock that looks like it wants to roll down into Avalanche Lake. The summit ridge runs SW to NE. The true summit is just a little ways NE along the ridge from the balanced rock. As you walk NE from the balanced rock, there is a low sloping rock with an old bolt hole and a little faded red marking about 10' right of the trail on a spur. This is the true summit. Continuing a couple hundred feet NE on the trail, you will spot a low boulder right next to the trail on the right. The path to the top of the 1990 slide starts on the other side of that boulder. If you get to where the trail starts downhill steeply, and tunnels under another enormous balanced rock, you have gone a couple hundred feet too far NE.

            Have fun!


            • #7
              TCD & SoloJoe nailed some fine choices! If you tag the Finger Slides on the NW side of Dix, then it would be worth hopping the ridge to check out Hunters Pass slide on the W flank too. The N Fork Boquet lean-to positions you well to explore both flanks and is a beautiful place to set up camp for a day or so.

              ADK Rock 2 will hit the shelves in September, though you can pre-order from their site. Jim included a few slides; some that were in there already and a few new ones -- look under the High Peak section in vol 1 (2 book set).
              May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.