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To Grace, from New Russia with Love, Aug. 28

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  • To Grace, from New Russia with Love, Aug. 28

    The idea for this hike came from a post by TCD in a thread two years ago asking for advice for an epic hike. I needed Giant and Rocky for a list and didn’t think G/R were enough for a nice summer day. I began in New Russia and climbed Rocky Peak and Giant, descended the Ridge trail, walked Rt 73 to Round Pond trailhead, climbed the five peaks of the Dix Range, and descended the S Fork/N Fork herdpath to Rt 73. The distance was 28.2 miles and total ascent was 11,000 feet; time was 13h50min.

    The latest news from Grace is that her unauthorized new sign/plaque has been removed. I thought she looked good au naturel. Maybe future climbers, if they are able to get there, will have no trouble finding the summit.

    My wife kindly got up early and we spotted a car at the N Fork bridge and she dropped me off at the trailhead in New Russia, el. 600 ft. This is the lowest trailhead for an Adirondack high peak. I know, I could have saved 1000 ft starting at Chapel Pond. But with a day like this, what difference does 1000 feet really make? The humidity had not moved out as forecast, but temperature was in the 50s F. It is a nice trail except for the numerous unnecessary cairns—many of which are gone now. It’s funny how cairns tend to pop up where rocks are conveniently available. I guess nature is not good enough for some people.

    Lake Mary Louise actually had some water in it and the trail was muddy at the outlet. With a long day ahead I kept going over Rocky Peak to Giant. On the summit, cold air was pushing through and the dark clouds were beginning to lift—a good sign for the rest of the day. The rocks were dry and only a few people were on the trail, making for a quick and easy descent. Hitting the road, I walked over to the Round Pond/Dix trailhead to start the second half of my hike.

    The trail was in great shape—thanks, maintainers—and I began the long grind to Dix. I knew I was going slower than my regular pace and began to be concerned about finishing the hike later than expected. I guess happy hour would have to wait. Hough, South Dix, and Macomb (nice to not carry my pack) were a blur and I finally was on top of Grace with only the nice walk out the Boquet in front of me. My knees were telling me they didn’t want to do any more climbing, so I listened to my body and headed down. I made it to Rt 73 just before I would have had to put on my headlamp, finishing a hike with the most total ascent I have ever done in one day.

    A few pics and the elevation-time profile:
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?...E0&usp=sharing

  • #2
    Cool hike Joe! Congrats on a new achievement!
    Crepuscular Rays: Dissolve into evergreens

    There's always gonna be another mountain
    I'm always gonna wanna make it move
    Always gonna be an uphill battle
    Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
    Ain't about how fast I get there
    Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side...
    It's the climb
    -Miley Cyrus

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    • #3
      Nice little jaunt Joe!

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      • #4
        Interestingly, your elevation gained per minute seems to be very consistent, on both sides of Rt. 73, regardless of the pitch you're climbing - and the trails you climbed varied greatly in pitch, from the gentle ascent along Rocky Peak (once up to the ridge) to the wicked steep section along the slide up to Dix.

        Awesome hike - I don't think I could ever accomplish that much in a day (just the first half and the jog/walk back to New Russia wore me out last year), as did just the Round Pond to Dix and back earlier this year.

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        • #5
          Ahh, to be young....no wait,
          Ahh, to be young at heart...no that's not it,
          Ahh, to be young at heart and strong of body and mind..yeah that's it.

          Now I will go and nurse that nagging inferiority complex
          "Climbing is about freedom. There's no prize money; there are no gold medals. The mountains are all about going there to do what you want to do. That's why I'll never tell anyone else how to climb. All I can say is, This is how I prefer to do it."
          Ed Viesturs

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          • #6
            wow. you are a machine!!

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            • #7
              To Grace, from New Russia with Love, Aug. 28

              Originally posted by Waynald View Post
              Nice little jaunt Joe!

              I chose this hike to check it out, in case you and Steve were interested. Tough for me, routine for you.

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              • #8
                Nice loop! When I did that one, I went out to Elk Lake, because I had other folks with me and we had a car there. But I've always like your suggestion of going out via Grace and the Boquet.

                (And for those who are considering doing this trip solo, Joe also had the idea of spotting a bike at the North Fork trailhead. It would be an easy roll back to the car in New Russia.)

                That trip is a lot of great hiking - nice!

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                • #9
                  Geebus Joe! Now i feel totally ashamed for not climbing Phelps the other day. I better invest some money in LaSportiva you must be wearing them out weekly. I'll second the Wow's.

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                  • #10
                    FYI Joe. Wayne and I are pale shadows of you. Super hike and great new combo. 3rd the wows

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DougV View Post
                      I better invest some money in LaSportiva you must be wearing them out weekly. I'll second the Wow's.
                      LaSportivas... nah. The model probably has better legs but I'm guessing Joe may be wearing these shoes instead...


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                      • #12
                        Nice. We followed your footsteps today, well, a 5th of them, with the Fireman for his finish. Love the RPR ridge trail.
                        You have the best gym of them all!
                        Moo
                        HPHikingmoo

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                        • #13
                          Well JoeCedar, I guess this means we should be able to handle the Dix Range minus Dix (which we have already done) today. Thanks for the encouragement!
                          46er
                          Saranac 6er #650

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JoeCedar View Post
                            ... and I finally was on top of Grace with only the nice walk out the Boquet in front of me. My knees were telling me they didn’t want to do any more climbing, so I listened to my body and headed down.
                            ...
                            Had your knees not been talking to you at that point what was your alternate plan? Perhaps back to Elk Lake then BCND via the Pinnacle Ridge? With a finale bushwhack to Noonmark? That would've been cool. Too bad your knees can't take it anymore.

                            Oh, btw, nicely done.
                            Scooting here and there
                            Through the woods and up the peaks
                            Random Scoots awaits (DP)


                            Eat, sleep, hike, repeat.

                            It doesn't have to be viewtiful to be beautiful. (NL)

                            "Pushing the limits of easy."

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                            • #15
                              To Grace, from New Russia with Love, Aug. 28

                              Originally posted by randomscooter View Post
                              Had your knees not been talking to you at that point what was your alternate plan? Perhaps back to Elk Lake then BCND via the Pinnacle Ridge? With a finale bushwhack to Noonmark? That would've been cool. Too bad your knees can't take it anymore.



                              Oh, btw, nicely done.

                              Up to that point I was telling my knees "quit your complaining, shut up and work".

                              After Dix, this hike had no easy bail-outs, as you know.

                              I will leave super-epic hikes to Mastergrasshopper, my idol.

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