No announcement yet.

Finger, Eagle slides 09-27-2019

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Finger, Eagle slides 09-27-2019

    Giant's west face is an area that I've read about, researched and admired (from a distance) for many years. Who hasn't looked up at the slides while passing through the AMR property? I climbed the East face slides a couple of years ago, so it was only natural for me to eventually venture out to the other side of Giant. My goal was to descend the Finger slide, cross over to the base of the Eagle slide and begin climbing.

    I arrived to a full Roaring Br. parking on friday at 11:30am. I'm usually on the trail by 6am, but this time it was unavoidable. The AMR lot was packed, but I got very lucky and found a spot. I hit the RB trail at 11:43. A gorgeous, sunny fall afternoon. I chose the RB route because of the easy grade at the start. The familiar scent of fallen, moist, musky autumn leaves was quite pleasant. As I started approaching the ridge trail, I noticed there were no more red trail markers, but didn't think nothing of it. Turned out I was on a rough herdpath that eventually exited on the ridge trail about 130 about the correct jct. Interesting.

    At 4185' just before the Ridge tr. turns right, I began a 100 yd bushwack through extremely dense, stunted spruce and balsam before popping out on the Finger slide at 4088' to 40 degree + slabs. The amazing views were beginning to unfold and I was pretty excited. I had some difficulty descending the steep slab at this juncture. They were moist and offered little respite. I carried my rock climbing shoes on my pack. I had plenty of vegetation further down that had to be traversed so I decided to keep my boots on a little longer. I had to grab on to some branches (on my left) as I skidded down. At 3928' I traversed 75 feet through thick trees and landed on the Eagle. It was 2:25, the skies were blue and the scenery was stunning. I changed into my climbing shoes. I could have descended a little further to the base of the Eagle, but because of the time I needed to give myself a cushion if something went wrong (spoiler alert: everything went fine). The slabs were covered with spots of dark brown moss, which does not mix well with rubber soles. Foot placement was crucial and on all fours. I positioned myself under the 3rd ''feather'' from climbers right. I took note of the longer central feather, with its crux slab ( around 50 degrees) at the top. That will be for another day. The ascent was a quad burner, There are many small pockets of grasses were I could stop to catch my breath. I carried a cloth which I used regularly to wipe the moist dirt on my soles. Slipping is not an option. The views of the valley below, the AMR golf club and the outlying peaks were tremendous. Voices echoed on the ridge. At 4198' the slabs were 40-49 degrees, but narrower, and surrounded by dense spruce and shrubs. I came up a 7 foot ledge which seemed to extend for at least 200 feet. I traversed to the right and managed to climb over. Every now and then I would look back at my progress. It's so steep it's hard not to be in awe of the natural beauty of this cirque.

    At 4327', 45 degree slope, I turned SE, followed the countour, clawed my way in thick spruce for 75' until I popped out on the Ridge trail. It was 3:34pm. I took a break and changed back into my trusty hiking boots. Eventually I descended the trail to the correct Roaring Brook jct.. It was only then I crossed my first hikers of the day. I arrived at the trailhead at 6:15pm, so my timing was good, and I was content with my day. I did brought a headlamp and extra batteries just in case. However, I would like to return to the Eagle, start around 6am, but head closer to its base. My options would be to descend via the Finger, but go further down, or perhaps climb the drainage from the cairn on the RB trail, which, from what I've read, can be a handfull. Either way I plan to return.

  • #2
    I suppose the enjoyment of walking in brooks or creeks is something I acquired growing up with home with property along a creek; or maybe climbing the mountain ravines in the Catskills in search of waterfalls. Anyway, having been up to the slides of Giant on the Roaring Brook, I wouldn’t say it is difficult. And it’s enjoyable in it’s own way. Though I appreciate it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. And it will be slower than going as much by trail as practical by trail to get to a destination.

    Anyway thanks for the report.



    • #3
      Thanks Don, appreciate your point of view.


      • #4
        I wouldn't say the brook is that bad either...all depends on perspective and whether its a "good" yellow jacket year since the love the sandy banks The brook bed is an interesting approach in that you can see the slides at various points some of the boulders in there are pretty impressive. You just have to avoid the Tulip Slide (several people have ended up on that rather than the Eagle) which enters from the right. Irene "hid" the main streambed more than it was in the past. No matter the method, it's a great day out AND you got to see the Finger Slide as well. Nice!
        May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.


        • #5
          Thanks Kevin. It was a great day. I appreciate the beta on the brook approach!


          • #6
            The first couple of times in there I bushwhacked most of the way up. Then for my 2nd Eagle ascent we took the Ridge Trail all the way to the top of the Finger, descended it and crossed over to the Eagle. In fact when Dunbar and I did the Diagonal, having whacked the entire approach, we crossed over the summit, dropped down the Finger then did the Eagle. Very steep exposed slabs.

            For my most recent Beckhorn Slide climb we took the trail to Dix then bushwhacked down alongside the slide before going up it.