The goal for this day was to climb Wyman Mountain in the Dix Mountain Wilderness Area. This would be a second attempt. Last year, Leesa and I headed towards Wyman on 10/8/12, during the peak of leaf season. It was a beautiful day, but we started late, and we had chosen a steep route to the summit. By the time we got to "the igloo", a nice rock outcrop labeled 809 on the latest metric topo map it was about 1:30 PM. We decided to just enjoy some time on the igloo and save Wyman for another day.
Fast forward a year. Wyman was still on my list. Time to head back. This time, I decided to start at the south fork Boquet River at Route 73 just south of Keene Valley. I would take the herd path for the first 2 miles, then head to the southernmost bump of 3 bumps (the 3 gems). This was the bump I had named Clark Peak in honor of Lt. Col. Todd Clark, a local soldier who was killed in Afghanistan on June 8th.
|Looking north to the 2nd gem from the 3rd gem (Clark Peak)|
The walk along the herd path beside the Boquet River was a easy relaxing 35 minute walk. Once past the end of the herd path, the South Branch Boquet River turns northeast, and an unnamed tributary continues south west. I followed the unnamed tributary for a few minutes before turning due south to work my way up the slope to Clark Peak.
It's not a bag bushwhack up the route I took and after a 45 minute bushwhack, I was on the summit. The last time I found a nice 8 point deer rack. Very unusual to find both antlers in the same vicinity. This time, there were none to be found.
|Looking north from Clark Peak. From L to R, Noonmark, Round, Giant and Rocky Peak Ridge mountains.|
Rev and I stopped on Clark Peak to have a snack. I really enjoy the summit. It is easy to get to, yet offers fine views in all directions.
|East Dix and the ridge to Spotted Mountain|
From Clark Peak, I worked my way SW, picking my way down the rock face. Rev and I crossed a dry brook, then Lindsey Brook (at a nice little 10 foot waterfall), before going up and over a bump labeled 602 (meters).
We traversed part of the lower east slope of Wyman Mountain, before crossing another small unnamed brook. Shortly afterwards we reached an inviting ridgeline containing lots of open rock. We worked our way up the rock, which led us directly towards the" igloo" our 2nd stop for the day.
We reached the igloo after enjoying the approach on the open rock. The igloo has a cleft in the rock on the west face which provides a means of gaining access to the top.
|The approach to the igloo|
We made our way to the top of the igloo and sat down out of the wind to eat some lunch. It had taken us 2.75 hours to walk the 4.5 miles from the car to the igloo.
|Wyman from the igloo|
|The igloo, below, as seen from the Wyman ridge|
|a closer look at the igloo|
Now it was time to investigate Wyman Mountain. I knew the true summit was in the trees, but the south face offered fine views. Rev and I followed a bearing of 280 degrees and worked our way up the slope. We stayed just right of a ridgeline and occasionally stepped out on open rock to views of Macomb, South Dix (Carson) and East Dix ( Grace) as well as a view back down to the igloo.
|the summit of Wyman|
Once on the summit cone, we worked our way to the true summit through some moderately thick pines. No view from the true summit, just a small clearing. To return to the car, I had decided to try and take the Wyman ridge all the way back down to the unnamed brook, then back out on the South Branch Boquet River herd path.
I was hoping that the ridge wasn't unbearably thick or full of blowdown. In fact, it was moderately thick, but varied, and I was able to scout and avoid small patches of thick growth. There were some welcome stretches of open rock along the way.
|Spotted Mountain from the Wyman rodge|
As I got lower on the ridge I headed for the unnamed creek to follow it back to the herd path. This is where the going got more difficult. I came across lots of blowdown in the vicinity of the creek. I moved away from the creek hoping things would improve, but there were lots of trees down until I got within 15 minutes of the herd path. The weather had been partly sunny earlier, but became mostly cloudy for last couple hours of the hike.
|a multi- level beaver pond|
The herd path was a welcome sight, as I was tired of downed trees by that point. The walk out was pleasant. A successful trip was complete.
Hike Distance: 11.3 miles
Hike Time: 7 hours, including stops
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 3200'