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Colden's Cruciflyer Slide (West Gully) 08-11-2019

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  • Colden's Cruciflyer Slide (West Gully) 08-11-2019

    Since last summer I've been primarily bushwacking to various peaks. I felt it was time to add to my slide collection. So after signing it at 6:10 from HPIC I made my way to Avalance Pass, where the slide and the climbing begins in earnest. Words don't do justice to this marvel of nature, it's unlike any slide I've done. Here are two links by forum members Mudrat and Old Goat that include pics:
    https://www.adkhighpeaks.com/forums/...-slide-5-19-12
    https://www.adkhighpeaks.com/forums/...r-june-10-2016

    The gully has a sort of ''V'' shape for about half it's length of 1700', almost vertical overhanging cliffs on the left, while the steep rocky slabs are almost at right angles to the water flowing down this chimney-like chute. I ascended in the gully as long as I could by moving sideways; hands pushing against the overhang and feet on the slab. Must've been quite the sight. I got snookered twice, and both times I couldn't move up ..the angle was over 60 degrees and slick, so I carefully backed down and angled over to the left...it felt very unusual... like I was drunk..but what a full body workout, especially my lats and triceps. The views were stunning. High up on the (climbers) right slab I clambered a short distance in some brush before I could find a crack and safely move forward on rock. The pitches were quite steep but the surface was grippy. The headwall was tantalizing close, and the slide began to open up as I tried to figure out the best lines to navigate. My knee pads and gloves which came in handy during a couple of slips. The headwall was quite imposing, with significant exposure. Up until now I stayed in my hiking boots with no major issues. I thought about switching to my climbing shoes, but elected to stay to the right of the headwall. This was no picnic, mind you. I was close to the end of the slide, but it was all still quite steep. I spotted a felled tree (still well anchored) broke off the dead branches, and used it to haul myself a little higher into the crippling bush. It was 10:30. I turned around for one last look. Wow. What a rush.

    But it wasn't over. My bushwack route around the headwall was a dense, nasty piece of business. A six foot cliff (in the woods), to my left, extended SE to the ridge (my direction). Sidehilling wasn't too appetizing. After briefly paralleling cliff, I leveraged a tree limb to crawl over. The forest opened more along the ridge. It took about 40 mins to travel the 1600' to Colden's false summit. It was 11:20. I wish I could bottle this trip. The temps were perfect, a sun and cloud mix, and no bugs. I was still on adrenaline. Descended the trail to Lake Arnold where I crossed forum member Moosebeware. Hello MB! It was a pleasure chatting with you

    A little past Lake Arnold, I found a comfy rock in the brook, filtered some water, took out some lunch and relaxed in a peaceful setting, before heading back on my least favorite trail. But all I could think about was what I just experienced. I now have ten slides under my belt.
    Last edited by DennisK; 08-13-2019, 06:43 AM.

  • #2
    Very steep at the finish for sure.

    I've read some old Adirondack Life articles in the past year and leaned that the Ski to Die club had originally named Otis' Gully the Cruciflyer. That was until Otis (the dog) got stuck there unable to downclimb the cliff. So, the Cruciflyer place name moved North making room for Otis' Gully.

    Don

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    • #3
      It was great talking to you, as well! Did you by chance get separated from your gloves??
      #8335W, Solo Winter 46
      ADK Grid 304/552
      Catskill 35 (SSW) #1235
      ADK Quest #119
      NE 111 113/115

      One list may be done, but the journey is far from over...
      Half Dome, 2009

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Hear the Footsteps View Post
        Very steep at the finish for sure.

        I've read some old Adirondack Life articles in the past year and leaned that the Ski to Die club had originally named Otis' Gully the Cruciflyer. That was until Otis (the dog) got stuck there unable to downclimb the cliff. So, the Cruciflyer place name moved North making room for Otis' Gully.

        Don
        Interesting bit of information.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by moosebeware View Post
          It was great talking to you, as well! Did you by chance get separated from your gloves??
          No, I still have them

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DennisK View Post

            No, I still have them
            Ok. I found a pair on the LA trail and thought they might be yours.
            #8335W, Solo Winter 46
            ADK Grid 304/552
            Catskill 35 (SSW) #1235
            ADK Quest #119
            NE 111 113/115

            One list may be done, but the journey is far from over...
            Half Dome, 2009

            Comment

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