Ascent of South Dix on 2014-09-29

Climber: Douglas Fortman

Others in Party:Jim Haynor
Malcolm Kogut
Date:Monday, September 29, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:South Dix
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4068 ft / 1239 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was a two night trip with friends Jim Haynor and Malcolm Kogut. We backpacked in from Elk Lake to the Slide Brook Lean-to on Sunday afternoon (9/28). The lean-to was recently moved from across the brook to close to the unmarked trail up to Macomb, and had a brand new roof, fresh paint job and brand new log book. The site was terrific, and had a number of other campsites in the immediate area. The flow of water in the brook was quite a bit less than Lilian Brook. Monday morning we hit the trail at about 8am (sun was up at 7am) - in hind-site, we should have gotten up earlier in the morning before sunrise and left earlier. We should also have not taken as much time on our breaks/rests as we did. We made it back to camp at 10pm, hiking through the woods in the dark for three hours, from 7pm. The unmarked trail was very easy to follow, and did not have too many leaves covering it, even though it was peak season. The only difficulty we had with following the trail was at the bivouac site between Hough and Pough, where there was a cairn that we eventually determined to be for the unmarked trail down to Lilian Brook lean-to.

The path up to Macomb was nice and steady. On the slide, it was very easy to determine entrance and exit points - plenty of cairns. The slide has many loose rocks/scrabble, but at the top of the slide there is more slab rock. The views back to Elk Lake were amazing, especially with the fall colors at their peak. Each time we turned around, the view revealed another nearby peak and was better than the previous view. Benchmark at the top.

From the top, it was a short descent to the col to South Dix (Carson), then short ascent to the top of South Dix (turn right at the cairn for the summit of South Dix, left goes to Hough). From South Dix, had a nice view of Macomb, and to the east, toward the Green Mountains of Vermont. The summit is marked with a carving in a tree. Herd path continues on 1.1 to summit of East Dix (Grace) with excellent views of the Dix Range and to the east toward Vermont.

After a rest, and checking email (cell coverage is good up there!), headed back to South Dix, and then on toward Hough, via Pough. Ascent up Hough seemed pretty steep in sections. I went ahead to the summit to make sandwiches for Jim and Malcolm. We realized that it was getting late, so we didn't stick around too long. Hough had great views of slides on the side of South Dix, and nice view of the Beckhorn, which obscured the view of Dix.

From Hough, we continued on to the Beckhorn, where the trees were very dense, and also had some steep sections. But, once to the top of the Beckhorn, the views were amazing - a 360 degree view with a view of the slides on Hough, and the rest of the Dix Range.

From the top of the Beckhorn, where the marked trail meets the unmarked herd path we'd been following, the path to the top of Dix is apparent and not steep at all, approximately .2 mile.

On Dix we took a few photos and had a quick snack and started back down via the Beckhorn trail. It was 5:45 and it was going to be a long return hike. The Beckhorn trail is very steep and rocky and I'm glad we went down it, rather than up.

All these peaks offered views of the Great Range and throughout the day, they each looked different with the different perspective and sunlight at the various times of the day.

The next morning we packed up and returned to Elk Lake and then drove to Lake Placid to the Cobble Mountain Lodge - stayed in Cabin 11 for $98. Went to EMS, then dinner at the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery - great menu and prices. Breakfast that day and the next (they open at 7am) at the diner on the main street in LP. Good food, and good prices. Wednesday we did Street & Nye. It was a great couple of days in the Adirondacks - bagging 7 peaks - 3 new ones for me and 6 new ones for Jim. Add beautiful weather and great friends, and it couldn't have been better!
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail

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