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Just the Nip! (9-22-2019)

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  • Just the Nip! (9-22-2019)

    I honestly thought that after finishing off the Seward's last month that Pokey Moonshine & I were done with bagging High Peaks for 2019. Almost everything that we have left on the list will require the long days of Summer sunlight. Yet, one peak on that list stuck out like a sore thumb.
    The Grand Teton of the ADK:
    Nippletop.


    The mileage seemed more than feasible for us to get Nip done before the Sun went down. A number of people told me that we should loop it and hit Dial again. With all due respect, they don't know how my daughter hikes. She is a good climber and excellent scrambler. But, she didn't earn the trail name "Pokey Moonshine" for setting speed records on her ascents. That said, she is quick at descending and has Lake Road down. I am 110% positive that she could do the whole loop without issue. However, it was important to get out of the woods at a reasonable time to get a good night of sleep before school.
    So the choice was made to hit Nippletop as an out and back.

    I parked the car at the Ausable Club lot at 7:15AM and we hit the road about 15 minutes later. The majority of our Summer hikes started in chilly conditions. Yet, on this second day of Fall, it felt like the warmest start that we've had all year.I immediately regretted not wearing shorts...

    We saw a huge heron in the brook. I took a few pictures of him and thought "That's probably the closest that I've been to a heron without it flying off."


    We hopped on the Gill Brook Cutoff Trail and began our hike in earnest. I'm a big fan of this trail. It's nice and easy on the feet as well as very scenic. It looks like some maintenance has been done since the last time we were here (June).

    We hit the Nippletop/Colvin trail split and took a left into new territory. The walk to Elk Pass is pretty nice. Nothing hard.
    Elk Pass itself is wicked cool. The Fall colors are popping which vastly enhanced the scenery.

    Pokey really loved the ponds and wanted to know if "there's fish in there?"
    "Nope."

    After swinging through the pass, we began our climb up the mountain. Nippletop starts off fairly steep but it eases up considerably at around the halfway point. It also has some pretty nice turnaround views through the trees. The scrambles weren't anything serious. Very fun!

    We saw a smattering of people during our climb (nothing remotely close to "overcrowded.").
    A group of two guys and a girl passed us. She complimented me on my Foot Stuff Podcast shirt. We discussed the show for a bit before they zipped off ahead of us. (Their group will be referred to as FSP Girl's Gang for the remainder of this TR).

    We soon arrived at the junction with the Leach Trail and took a really quick breather before making our summit push. The wind was whipping and the clouds were moving fast! This was a welcome relief from the heat!

    Walking from the junction to the summit was super easy. We topped out at 12:30PM on the button. As we arrived, FSP Girl's Gang cheered Kailee on and I congratulated her on High Peak #33. FSP Girl said that after her group hit Dial she too would be at 33/46. Her gang was getting ready to head off which left the summit to us & us alone.

    As mentioned, it was cloudy, but all of the High Peaks were still visible. The Grand Teton of the ADK delivers some amazing views towards the Marcy Range & Great Range.
    We cracked jokes and snacked as the wind dried the sweat off of our clothes.

    I made my way over to the Eastern lookout and fell instantly in love with the view of Dix! I went back to Pokey and told her that she needed to "check this out!"
    She was contently relaxing while leaning up against a rock. It took me a few minutes of convincing her to get her to follow. I lifted her up so that she could see the scale, colors and multitude of slides on Dix. She was immediately impressed!

    Then she noticed something stunk... It wasn't the view... It was the smell. Sure enough, down in the trees below us was a bunch of toilet paper & a tampon wrapper... "C'mon This is Nippletop! Not V-top!" I thought... I digress...

    We went back to the Western lookout and carried on with our snacks and jokes. We spent an hour at the top before saying "goodbye" to this amazing peak and beginning our descent (at 1:30PM on the dot).

    It took little time for us to get back to Elk Pass. We took a break and enjoyed the popping scenery. Then, continued on our way towards Lake Road.
    Kailee decided that we'd take the full Gill Brook trail back to the road. We'd never done that one. I was fine with this call. The full Gill Brook Trail is nice and serves as a better option for descending rather than ascending in my opinion. The path is littered... Littered with tons of beautiful waterfalls!

    Soon, we were back at the road and chugged our way back to the parking lot. We were back at the car at 5:05PM... Perfect!
    We took a break to stretch, hydrate and change shirts. FSP Girl's Gang arrived at the lot 15 minutes after us... I knew skipping Dial was the right call! They left Nippletop's summit a full hour before us... We beat them back to the car.
    It might be unconventional... There's no shame in splitting up popular peak pairings folks. It's worked out great for us. Every step you take puts you closer to the goal.


    We're both really happy to have made this "School Season" trek to the Grand Teton of the ADK. It's a super fun and scenic out and back!

    We started this year with a great warm up hike of Dial and bookend-ed it with a spectacular climb of Nippletop... So cool!
    ( Makwa , you're the stats guy... How many people have done that?)

    33/46.
    Colvin Range: DONE!
    Lake Road Peaks: DONE!

  • #2
    Nippletop!?!?! MY WORD!




    Less joking with this one:



    The Central High Peaks:




    DIX!!!:



    Slabby Stuff:



    Elk Pass is awesome!:




    If pics aren't working.... Click here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/FBiYPfMQexJQKD6P6

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Learning The Trails View Post
      We started this year with a great warm up hike of Dial and bookend-ed it with a spectacular climb of Nippletop... So cool!
      ( Makwa , you're the stats guy... How many people have done that?)
      Counting you & Kailee I calculate at least two. No need to bore everybody with the fancy book learnin' and cipherin' I used to figure it out.

      Comment


    • #4
      I think I saw that same Heron last week on my way to Colvin. About 15/20 minutes past the register on the right?

      Comment


    • #5
      Very nice, always enjoy reading your reports!

      Comment


    • #6
      Nice one! "Orphaning" a peak just gives someone another great reason to get back into the woods in my opinion. I love what Neil is doing lately, really lets someone focus on the individual peaks and take them in, and even doing them by "unconventional" routes, and going back for just Nip will let you guys remember this one better than if you did do the loop for sure. Great to get another hike in as shoulder season approaches.
      Great views up there, especially towards the range and Dix's, and elk pass is super neat with colvin's cliffs and the ponds, however now that I think about it I think when I went through besides a bunch of rice in the pond I think I did see a "Pennsylvania whitefish" in there too.
      You need to get the cool guy convertible pants, the zippers on mine definitely got used in the cats yesterday. I really do love those pants/shorts though, even if I get made fun of when I wear them around town.
      35er #3133
      46er

      "Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds"
      Zarathustra

      Comment


      • bikerhiker
        bikerhiker commented
        Editing a comment
        I think i misworded or mis-gramaticized or malapropriated or something. I would just edit out that word in my original comment but then everyone would wonder what the heck you guys were talking about in the comments section, lol.
        but yeah, I think orphaning would instead be something like going up the orebed and doing saddleback but not gothics.
        I keed I keed

      • Learning The Trails
        Editing a comment
        bikerhiker - Ore Bed to just Saddleback may be how we end up doing it.
        Because, we toooooootally wanted to have our butts handed to us by the BMF trail en route to Armstrong/Gothics this year...
        *cough* Thanks Garden closure *cough*


        I also think there's a level of bad*** to splitting up peaks.
        "Oh it took you XX miles & YY elevation change to get that pair done? It took us double."

      • bikerhiker
        bikerhiker commented
        Editing a comment
        That is true. And thinking about it briefly I might consider ha ba sa the 3 most tough individual peaks (right up there with couch by itself), and if you were to do only 1 of them each time that would be pretty wicked in some either good or bad way.
        actually nevermind,gray/sky/red/cliff/allen might be pretty tough too even if just for distance.

    • #7
      Originally posted by bikerhiker View Post
      Nice one! "Orphaning" a peak just gives someone another great reason to get back into the woods in my opinion. I love what Neil is doing lately, really lets someone focus on the individual peaks and take them in, and even doing them by "unconventional" routes, and going back for just Nip will let you guys remember this one better than if you did do the loop for sure. Great to get another hike in as shoulder season approaches.
      Great views up there, especially towards the range and Dix's, and elk pass is super neat with colvin's cliffs and the ponds, however now that I think about it I think when I went through besides a bunch of rice in the pond I think I did see a "Pennsylvania whitefish" in there too.
      You need to get the cool guy convertible pants, the zippers on mine definitely got used in the cats yesterday. I really do love those pants/shorts though, even if I get made fun of when I wear them around town.
      My dad orphaned Cooch 3x, though not by design- weathered out each time. That one is a beating to keep going back at, but he did it for his 46th many moons ago.

      Comment


      • #8
        I orphaned Nippletop cause we were doing it with a dog and started the bushwhack late...and then lost the 'whack, setting us back too much to finish. It just left us with a better story finish of Nippletop and Saddleback from lake road, which was super special. Saddleback had similarly been orphaned. This was our first time to Lake Road, without the dog of course, and a picturesque and unique finish.

        And then last summer we re-did the whack and got the dog Nippletop then went around the way for Saddleback to make sure the dog also got her 46.

        Orphaning peaks just makes for interesting stories!

        Comment


        • Learning The Trails
          Editing a comment
          Nice stories!

          As I said above, I never felt like we orphaned NT.
          We set out to do just Dial in May because my daughter was hungry to get back into the High Peaks. That was the plan, we stuck to it.
          I knew there was another trail to NT, so it was never a worry.
          The nice thing about splitting up peaks is it allows way more time to appreciate the summit!

        • MTVhike
          MTVhike commented
          Editing a comment
          How did you get Saddleback and Nippletop on the same day - especially without going on AMR land?
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