|Jul 11, 2004 (Sun)
|Elevations: 4405 feet, 4060 feet, 4012 feet, 4400 feet, 4857 feet; Order of Height: 21, 37, 42, 23, 6
|Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Markus Wandel, Ewart Tempest
Markus wanted to 'catch up' to me on his 46er count with a hope towards summitting our final 46er peak together. He hadn't yet done the Dixes, and from doing it before I knew it was a great hike, so I decided to do it again with him.
We went down on a Sunday that promised good weather - Ewart also came along, for the fun of it (as this would be his third time at least on each of these peaks), and worrying about being too slow, he went down in advance and started 2 hours before us. We had FRS radios for communications so that we could meet up at some point.
It was no problem finding the herdpath turnoff, right after Slide Brook. Unfortunately, the low clouds had not lifted, and we were soon ascending into cloud. The trail was followable but somewhat tortuous, winding around and up and down, sometimes through annoying blowdown. Eventually the trail descended into slide brook, which soon turned into a real slide - but this one is different, being full of gravel and scree. Very unusual for the Adirondacks, but very interesting.
We reached top of Macomb in fairly short order, due to the direct and steep nature of the slide. The views had opened up, with some interesting above-and-below cloud views. Pretty nice, all in all. We had established radio contact with Ewart, who was a couple of peaks ahead of us. We'd have to try to catch up!
The weather, although forecast to be clear, was actually mostly cloudy, although at altitudes that created some pretty dramatic effects. The hike over to South Dix from Macomb was pretty easy, really. The approach to South Dix is quite spectacular, with some nice open rock along the way. At the summit of South Dix, we met Ewart backtracking from Grace on his way to Hough, so we had a brief Pow-wow. We were then off to Grace ourselves, sometimes in the clouds, sometimes not. Grace's summit is quite excellent for a peak that is barely over 4000 feet. Open and lots of views everywhere.
Next on the agenda was a hike all the way back to South Dix, and then on towards Hough Peak, a pointy summit not far from Dix. The trail goes through a lot of elevation gain and loss on this section, so maybe that's why they called the peak 'Hough' (pronounced 'Huff', as in Huff and Puff, maybe?). The summit of Hough, although treed, has lots of really nice viewpoints and has a good steep pointy feeling. This is also where we get very good views of the pointy side of Dix and the Beckhorn (a subsummit of Dix).
We arrive at Dix's summit mid-afternoon. The weather, although not clear, has lifted considerably, and the interplay of dark clouds and patches of sun creates dramatic lighting effects. Dix is an excellent summit, well-positioned and with views of the immediate rugged surroundings as well as views of the more distant Great Range. A very very enjoyable day to be up there. And, this is where we catch up with Ewart! Finally we'll actually be able to hike together! We head down via the Beckhorn on a very nice bit of trail. Down below things get a bit muggy and buggy (overall the bug situation was quite good for the entire day), and so the last bit out on the trail was a bit of a slog. We stopped to purify a bit more water.... but basically trudged right out to the trailhead, finishing at a pretty reasonable 6:30pm.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
Image Gallery: July 2004 Dix Range Hike