Lake George

Lake George
Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Nippletop & Dial Mountains - 2/4/12

Today was just the perfect winter day in the Adirondacks (except for the lack of snow).  I really wanted to go backcountry skiing, but the rain earlier in the week ruined that.  My only chance to find snow was to climb high, so that's what I did.

I parked in St. Huberts at the parking lot off of Rt 73 and hiked past the Ausable Club on the lake road to the Gill Brook Trailhead that leads past Elk Pass to Nippletop Mountain (4620').   I wore microspikes, but packed snowshoes in hopes of finding snow up high.

Sunrise approaching Round Mountain

I was on the trail by 7:15 and reached Elk Pass at 9:30.  At that point the trail climbs steeply about 1500 feet to the summit. 

Signage on the Gill Brook Trail

 I didn't run into any significant snow until I reached the summit ridge.  At that point it began to pile up quickly and I put on my snowshoes.   There was at least 2 feet of snow on the summit, maybe 3 feet.  Funny, since a half mile before the summit there was only a couple inches. 

Looking towards the summit of Nippletop

The weather was perfect.  Blue sky, sunshine, temperature in the mid 20's and no wind!  I was on the summit at 10:45 AM and no one was there.  Nippletop has great views of the entire Great Range to the north, views of Dix to the south and Giant and Rocky Peak to the east.

A great view of Dix Mountain

It really was a winter wonderland, but only at the summit

The southern half of the Great Range (Gothics on the right)

I left the summit of Nippletop and hiked northeast down the ridge past Dial Mountain (4020') and Bear Den Mountain (3399') as well as the shoulder of Noonmark Mountain before descending back to the Lake Road.

It was a great day, climbing 2 of the Adirondack 4000' peaks.  I was back at the car at 2:30.  Not bad for hiking 13 miles.  Tomorrow is supposed to be the same weather, so I'm planning on climbing Colvin and Blake (the same general area and 2 more of the 46 ADK 4000 footers).  They should take about the same time, or slightly less. I want to get back home in time to unpack so I can sit down and root for the Patriots in the Super Bowl! 

Hike Stats:

Hike Distance:  13 miles
Hike Time:  7.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  4510'
Elevation at Trailhead:  1250'
Dial Mountain Summit Elev.:  4020'
Nippletop Summit Elev."  4620'

My route shown in blue 

1 comment:

  1. Man those are some beautiful pictures! The High Peaks looked great on Saturday from Gore.