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Ascent of Big Slide Mountain on 2014-10-18

Climber: Matthew Ledwith

Others in Party:John Bakerian
Date:Saturday, October 18, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Carpool
Peak:Big Slide Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:4199 ft / 1279 m

Ascent Trip Report

Parked in Marcy Field and took the shuttle to the Garden. Light to moderate rain at the start of the hike with temperature in the mid-50's. Signed in at the TH at 930a. Took the trail via The Brothers to Big Slide. The foliage was peak to just past peak. The initial hike was through the woods to the base of the First Brother. The ascent up the First Brother was rather steep with alot of short switchbacks with boulders and exposed bedrock increasing as we gained elevation. The first exposed ledges had truly impressive views southward of the Great Range. The skies were a bit hazy from the on-off rain but the peaks were largely unobscured. Giant's summit was cloud covered to the southeast. We paused for 10 minutes to take in the view and take pictures. We continued on over exposed bedrock, through sub-alpine gardens, and some partially exposed scrambles.

We found a cave-like overhang right before the First Brother that was stocked with some dry wood. We reached the summit of the First Brother by 10:45. Right before we descended between the First and Second Brother we came across a solo middle-aged Canadian hiker. He was coming back from Slide. We chatted for a couple minutes and bid him farewell. Second Brother was reached around 11:45 (although we didn't know we were there). We meet a hiker couple returning from Big Slide between the Second and Third Brother. They warned of swampy conditions ahead after the brook between the Third Brother and Big Slide. We thanked them and continued on. We lost track of time until we arrived at the junction near the summit of Slide. Here we meet a hiker coming up from John Brooks Lodge in full pack. He was the lead hiker in a group of five overnight campers who were going to continue on past Slide to Yard and beyond to camp.

With 0.29 miles to go we felt homefree. The trail to the summit was briefly technical with log ladders and steep rock faces. It took some extra effort, as we were beginning to get quite hungry. We finally reached the summit at 1:15. The summit had very low visibility and we were enveloped by a cloud within 5 minutes of arriving. For about 30 seconds visibility went to zero and we had total whiteout conditions. This was very ominous as it felt like we were on the edge of oblivion. Soon it passed and we could begin to make out the silhouette of the Great Range.

We took some pictures but grew concerned about staying for any more time. The last shuttle left from the Garden at 6pm and we didn't want to miss it, so without eating lunch we descended. We passed three groups ascending as we descended to the summit junction.

After making some good progress we stopped at the rushing brook between Big Slide and Third Brother to eat real food, drink some Gatorade, and rest our feet. We continued on after 15 minutes with a large group nipping at our heels for the rest of the day. Once we reached the last major sub-peak of the first Brother we could see the large group behind us resting at the second Brother.

We arrive back at the trailhead at 4:45 and shared full shuttle back to Marcy Field. What a great hike.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1213 ft / 369 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1213 ft / 369 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Stream Ford, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Calm, White-out
The ascent from the Third Brother to the summit of Big Slide lightly drizzling under the forest cano
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1213 ft / 369 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:DEC trail via The Brothers (blue blaze)
    Start Trailhead:The Garden  2986 ft / 910 m
    Time:0 Days 1 Hours 0 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1213 ft / 369 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:DEC trail via The Brothers (blue blaze)
    End Trailhead:The Garden  2986 ft / 910 m
    Time:0 Days 1 Hours 15 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Big Slide via The Brothers

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1First Brother2014-10-18 a1388 ft / 423 m
2Big Slide Mountain2014-10-18 b1213 ft / 370 m
Total Trip Gain: 2601 ft / 793 m    Total Trip Loss: 2601 ft / 793 m



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