An excuse to get out on a beautiful late fall day: a new unclimbed 4000-footer peak for Jenn: Yard Mountain.
Although Yard is not an official 46R peak, it is still over 4000 feet - and it has an official trail leading over its summit. So, Jenn stated that she'd like to climb this "forgotten" 46R.
We started off early on a clear and calm November morning, choosing to do the hike as a loop, first starting up Johns Brook Valley's main trail. We made good time, arriving at Johns Brook Lodge an hour and a half after starting out.
An increasing amount of snow thinly blanketed the ground but provided no real obstacle as we climbed the cliffy south slopes of Yard. Despite being over 4000-feet, the unmarked summit provided only very limited views. We continued on along the ridge to Big Slide, where we had both lunch and much better views.
We chose to use microspikes on the fairly slippery and quite steep descent off of the east side of Big Slide, then walked eastward through forest to the first of the fabulous Brothers. This was the scenic highlight of the trip, providing great views in all directions.
It is a very short walk from the lowest Brother to the trailhead, so we were soon at the end of our loop, finishing the whole thing off in a fairly short six and a half hours.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: November 2013 Yard-Big Slide-Brothers Loop
Today's hike had a number of highlights: firstly, it was a fun social event: Roland invited a number of his friends - people that I'd either not met at all or only met briefly; secondly, the weather was wonderfully fantastically warm; and thirdly, we did a perennially favorite and scenic trail: the ascent of Big Slide via the Brothers. The reason why we chose Big Slide was due to my 46er winter quest; I'd not done Big Slide during the winter months.
It was a super-warm, super-nice day... except that this was the middle of January. There was only a dusting of snow below 3000-feet, and only a couple of inches above 3000 feet. And by the time the afternoon's warmth had set in, there was little to no snow at all below 3000 feet. This set a new record for the most un-winterlike day I've encountered during the winter in the Adirondacks.
Our group was lively, chatty, and generally a lot of fun to hike with. We had a great day, with great views. This summit marks my 30th winter 46er peak (although it sure didn't feel like a winter ascent!)
See the image gallery link below for a more detailed writeup and the set of pictures.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: January 2007 Big Slide Mountain Hike
My third or fourth time on this a guaranteed-to-please loop hike: Big Slide via the Brothers, returning via JB valley. Except, of course, when the weather refuses to co-operate, as it did for most of fall 2005. I was trying to pick a good moderate hike for Luke and Sophie (and a new 46er peak for Jenn) that also had some nice views. As it turned out, we didn't see much. Things went well on the way up, and the trail conditions were not too muddy given the recent wet fall weather. The summit had a few other folks, but it wasn't too crowded. We spent a good hour relaxing and chatting. It wasn't clear, but it also wasn't raining and it was quite calm. The way down was slightly tedious due to the many crossings of Slide Brook. Luke developed some soreness in his knees that really cramped his style. It made the final [normally-easy] walk back to the garden parking lot quite painful for him
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: October 2005 Big Slide via the Brothers Loop Hike
This hike was designed to introduce Johanna (Markus' sister) to the beauty of the Adirondacks. We chose the hike over the Brothers to Big Slide, which offers much: multiple viewpoints and open areas on the Brothers; an excellent vantage point from which to view the heart of the High Peaks region, and a loop route rather than a there-and-back route. The day turned out to be excellent - a somewhat cool but calm and sunny day. It had snowed a couple of days before, and a fresh white mantle of snow was over everything. After parking at the Garden parking lot, we tackled the route up to the Brothers, which wastes no time in climbing upwards. It isn't long before we start to be treated to the excellent viewpoints, and are soon on the Brothers themselves. Johanna is thrilled with the breathtaking views. The late fall sun and crystal clear day go a long way towards making the view superb. We push on, stopping for a good lunch break on the second Brother, and then hike into the dense but beautifully snowy forest between the Brothers and Big Slide. At the single viewpoint to Big Slide, we stop and take a few pictures. Big Slide looks magnificent today... a combination of the amazing sky and fresh snow coating and low-angle light. Definitely my best shot of Big Slide ever. Ewart is feeling quite under the weather today and is falling a bit behind. At the junction just below Big Slide he decides to return back the way we came and to meet us back at the trailhead. So, unfortunately, Ewart does not get to summit Big Slide for a third time. The rest of us head up the very steep and icy final bit to Big Slide's summit. Markus puts his crampons on, while Pu and myself and Johanna opt to try it out without. I was very tempted to put them on but before we knew it we were on the summit. Calm, clear, even warm, and, as always, a spectacular view of the Great Range, Marcy, Algonquin, and on and on. A long lunch break ensued. We decided to return via Yard mountain (not a real 46er peak, but close...), a trail I had never done before. Markus put crampons on Johanna, thinking she might find them useful on the way down, but the trail down the other side of Big Slide was not steep at all, and all Johanna succeeded in doing was tripping, falling, and ripping her gaiters. Markus and Johanna then ditched the crampons. No one had been on the trail to Yard since the last snowfall, and in places some significant drifts had formed. We plowed through them, and in an hour reached the totally treed summit (there is, however, one very good view towards Gothics just south of the summit). The trail down from Yard to Johns Brook Lodge is initially quite steep, and on our hike there were a lot of short drops, frequently coated with ice. We negotiated these without incident, and before long interested the klondike pass trail, at which point we turned left and headed down to JBL (a bit muddy and soggy here, still). I was glad to reach JBL and be rid of unbroken and muddy trail (2:30pm). From here it was a well-trodden boot path, mostly flat, all the way back to the Garden trailhead. This we covered in a relatively short time (just under an hour and a half). Ewart was dozing in his car, having returned back two hours earlier than us. All in all, an excellent day and a fantastic intro to the Adirondacks for Johanna.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: November 2003 Big Slide and Yard Hike
My second ascent of Big Slide. Wanted to show Gilbert the nice trail up the Brothers to Giant. We had tried to climb Big Slide a couple of weeks before this date but were turned back at the Garden parking lot by torrential rains. Not much to say about this hike, other than that the day was hot and hazy, and so the views were not as spectacular as they could have been. The hike over the Brothers was enjoyable, as always, and we saw relatively few people on our hike. Gilbert brought along an issue of the Economist so that he could keep abreast with world economic events (very important to do on hikes, obviously!).
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: July 1 2002 hike (Big Slide Mountain)
Starting off from the Garden parking lot, we chose to ascend via the Brothers, which turned out to be a very nice series of open spots with excellent views down Johns Brook Valley and the Great Range. Still being naive about conditions in the mountains, I was somewhat surprised to see so much snow not long after the Brothers. We did not have snowshoes and postholed a little, but mostly just got our feet wet. Approaching Big Slide one gets a very neat side view of the steep rock slab that forms the 'slide' part of Big Slide's summit. Very distinctive. The top has a very good 270 degree view facing south, with Gothics especially prominent across Johns Brook Valley. Brad broke the strap on his el-cheapo daypack but managed to cobble something together for the hike back. We boot-skiied down the trail to Johns Brook Lodge and from there hiked out to the Garden.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References: Image Gallery: May 17, 1997 Hike (Big Slide Mountain)