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Grace and Carson from Rt. 73 via Great Slide on Grace

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  • Grace and Carson from Rt. 73 via Great Slide on Grace

    Great adventure, this trip. The whole fambly (wife, 2 teenage kids and labrador) ventured into new territory for this old coot. In 40+ years of traipsing around the HP, I had never been beyond the first swimming hole of the Boquet; did Dix Range in one scorcher of a day back in mid-70's, from Lillian Brook LT, so other than the Carson-Grace ridge, this was new ground for me.

    Used multiple sources for beta on this one, some more useful than others. Shout out to Neil for the recommendation of OSM- they proved to be the best intel. Downloaded maps to phone and consulted regularly. Other than the first crossing, the only real question for us was after the 3rd crossing. Bear left at 10 o'clock and head up slight hill and you are good- will soon pass path to Lilypad Pond. There is a path along the river you crossed and that is not the one you want...

    Incredible how dry the woods are- very little mud and the Great Slide was dry as a bone. Route-finding was a challenge at outset from 73- stick to the most obvious path, bypass first camp site, leaving it low and to right, and hit the first crossing from S to N bank and you are set. The rest is easy until the campsite at 3.5 mi, just shy of an incredible swimming hole (hit it on the way back- shockingly cold but worth it). Do not rely on recent news articles describing how to navigate that campsite- there is no cairn with 'Grace' scrawled on a piece of wood, but there is a work-around path, marked by flagging and yellow discs with arrows, so you avoid walking straight through the campsite. No one was there when we were, so we cruised through the middle.

    Enter slide at the first obvious point where you have bare rock to left of hp. Beyond that the hp bends to SW and you move away from slide. We bushwhacked a little when we realized we should have struck out onto the slab earlier. Our route went up right for about 200', along obvious spine, then far left to scree edge, made some creative use of vegetation to wriggle through some tough spots, then found the "exit crack", where bare rock met soil, that led diagonally out L to R under the headwall at top. Really fun stuff and a great challenge. Not quite the Trap Dike for "wow factor" but still pretty exhilarating.

    Some spots on the slide were tough for dog- I would not recommend it for Fido unless your pooch has a full harness by which you can belay/haul her/his/its a*@ up a few sketchy sections as we did. Love that Outward Hound harness... Grippy rock did a nice job of trimming her nails, though... Easy ridge walk to summit boulders on Grace.

    Bring plenty of water as well as a pump/filter- we ran out (2 liters pro, plus the dog) on Carson; no viable stream after that until a welcome spot below the slide. All stream crossings have cairns (and there are many, especially above the campsite and swimming hole) or clearly worn paths on far bank and rocks with crampon scratches and dirt from soles. Really fun how hp bounces around from bank to bank, island to island on the upper reaches of the south fork.

    Views are tremendous from slide and top of Grace. Walked past the disc on Carson but views beyond summit are really nice.

    Took herd path down from the col- very steep and slow going. Marked by cairn but is brushed out to keep those on Carson-Grace ridge from going astray.

    Will put up pics once I figure out how to do so.

    14 mi +/-, 8 hours walking time if you take out route-finding pauses and summit-languishing/water-pumping/swimming hole-enjoying time. Was a quiet car ride home. Could barely get out of car once home, though...

    NOTE: Vehicles FLY along Rt. 73. Use extreme caution, as parking turnouts are small. If you park on N side of bridge, sprint across, as there is no shoulder and cars/trucks absolutely hammer through there. I wish they'd put signs up or do something to mitigate this hazard; I know they are working on Chapel Pond area and Cascade, but this spot is worse, IMO, as it is on a bend and sight lines are limited. Be careful!

  • #2
    Originally posted by 2505 View Post
    Took herd path down from the col- very steep and slow going. Marked by cairn but is brushed out to keep those on Carson-Grace ridge from going astray.
    2505, check out my report with pics here, we indeed went astray and took that steep turn down, but it only added a neat little note to our adventure having to climb that slide on Grace.
    "Not all those who wander are lost"

    Charlie's Adirondack Adventures


    • #3
      Wow, that added some spice to your trip! Looking at your track, we exited a little before you did, opting for the diagonal vegetation/rock line to top out a little to the right of where you all did. Definitely a good move to go up the slide rather than to backtrack and then go up the surprisingly steep SW ridge of Grace.

      Thanks for sharing it!


      • #4
        Nice report! I did the same route last year. I remember that swimming hole. Nice place for a picnic.


        • #5
          Nice report. Know what you are talking about that swimming hole but haven't taken advantage. The flagging etc. about the campsite. That must be new. Maybe I've been there once with people camping there. Usually go and pass straight through that area.



          • mastergrasshopper
            mastergrasshopper commented
            Editing a comment
            the original herd path went straight across narrow point of land to follow the continuation of the main flow of S. fork of Boquet. Sounds like flagging is trying to re direct people that way.
            the campsite was very secluded by itself with dense shrubs and a herd path along trib of S. fork that can be used to access drainage from beckhorn slide.
            just up that drainage there is a 1/4 mile stretch of flumes and water slides. the original campsite right before you cross trib turned into a open mud wallow.
            In high water times one can stay on right side all the way from swimming hole to where you cross to start up for slide.