This route to Grace and Carson (East Dix & South Dix) mountains is a herd path from Route 73 at the North Boquet River. It is known to the locals and those who do a lot of hiking. The path is pretty well defined and in the summer it is not too hard to follow. In the winter things get a little more difficult, but as long as you know which water course to follow, you'll be OK.
I've done this route a half dozen times in different forms. Today I went with BillB who had the same thought as me.... we needed to get out on this Friday before the expected rain moved on in Saturday. This route turned out to be a good plan. We weren't sure which trails would be icy, and this herd path was in pretty good shape since it receives less traffic.
We parked the car along Route 73 and were on the trail just before 7:30. Rev led the way, as she always does. It was about 12 degrees when we started, but was expected to get up to 30. Microspikes were fine along the Boquet River and up along the higher drainage. There was only about 2" of snow down low.
|An early look at Spotted Mountain|
We stayed along the south side of the Boquet River to avoid the extra water crossings on the north side. High on the drainage, we still had a few crossings, but the volume of water is less and we didn't find it to be too difficult.
As the herd path turned towards Grace slide, we found the snow depth was quickly getting deeper and at the base of the slide we put on our snowshoes. We didn't ascend the slide itself, but rather stayed on the herd path headed for the Grace/Carson col. The herd path is steep leading to the col, but it is a nice ascent on a good herd path. Once it reaches the ridge, it is only a 5-10 minute walk to Grace (East Dix).
We could hear the wind picking up as we reached the ridge and the summit of Grace was quite cold with the wind chill. We were in and out of clouds and there were a few snow flurries coming down. We took a few pictures, then followed the short herd path from the summit to the top of Grace slide. From this vantage point, there is an unobstructed view towards Giant and Rocky Peak Ridge.
|Wyman Mountain from Grace|
|Mike and Rev on Grace (East Dix)|
|The view north from the top of Grace slide|
Next we made our way towards Carson (South Dix). The herd path on this ridge isn't always easy to follow in the winter, but Rev knew right where to go. The path is narrow, and there was lots of snow on the trees depositing itself on me as we walked. There was about a foot of snow on the ridge.
|Mike & Rev on Carson (South Dix)|
When we got to Carson, visibility had dropped so there wasn't much to look at in the distance. We didn't go over to the exposed western edge since there were no views. We each had a sandwich on Carson. We had reached Carson at noon and decided that it was time to head back after we ate.
Of course, as soon as we started to head down, the sun came out. Maybe that was just because we were off the summit. In any case, it became rather pleasant for the hike out. The mix of sun and clouds made for some interesting pictures along the Boquet.
|Rocky Peak Ridge from the N. Branch Boquet River|
|BillB along the Boquet looking back to Spotted Mountain|
|Spotted from the high ridge above the Boquet|
|a closer look|
Back at the car, I fed Rev and then we headed to Schroon Lake to stop at Mr. P's Mountain Smokehouse for dinner.
Thanks Bill for contacting me about doing a hike on this nice Friday. It was good to get out before the rain and enjoy the snow and the mountains.
Hike Distance: 13 miles
Hike Time: 8.5 hours
Total Vertical Gain: 3000+'
|The route of the day|