Sunday, June 27, 2010

High Peaks: Dial & Nippletop

I tagged along with the Albany Chapter of the ADK for this hike, Dial and Nipple top via Bear Den from the Ausable Club. There was a total of 7 of us in the group and a forecast for possible showers all day up until 2pm when the chance of rain and thunderstorms was greater. It was our leaders goal to have us up all three summits and down to at least Elks Pass by 2pm.

We began at the parking lot on Rt 73 and walked the 0.9 miles to The Gate where we were greeted by a deer and a ranger. From there it was 0.7 miles to the beginning of the H.G. Leach Trail. From the start of this trail head, it was a difficult hike up to the summit of Bear Den. Once we got through to Bear Den, the hiking was easier.

We made it to the summit of Dial around 11:30. There was a decent view considering the threatening black clouds rolling in. The summit was a tight squeeze for the seven of us to jump up onto, and we only stayed a couple minutes to try to beat the weather.

Dial Summit

From the summit of Dial we moved on to Nippletop which was 2.1 miles away. The decent into the col hardly noticeable, it felt like we just basically kept going up. We got to Nippletop before 1pm, leaving our pack and metal poles behind at the junction of the trail to Nippletop and Elk Pass for a safer visit to the top of Nippletop. It started to drizzle again as we approached the summit. Hardly any views were available at the summit as the rain clouds surrounded us. We took a couple pictures and went back down to our packs for a quick lunch. We took the Elks Pass trail down a steep and rocky path - the elevator as the leader referred to it.

Elk's Pass from Nippletop

My knee were basically done by the time we got to the pond, 2pm, right on schedule. The rain started to pick up, luckily it had held off until we were at the bottom of the steep and rocky part. We still had about 2 miles to Lake Road, followed by about another three to the parking lot. We joked about maybe going up Colvin and Blake real quick as we passed the trail to Colden and continued on to Lake Road. We passed a couple waterfalls and rested again on Lake Road. We got to the parking lot around 5pm. Not too bad considering we had started around 8am, walked over 15 miles, climbed three summits, and had hit some rain.

Today I am nursing a painful right knee and four very large blisters. But it was worth it!

See all the pictures here.


storybeader said...

sorry to hear about your knee. Three peaks before 2pm?! That's pretty good. Take care, good to see you're still hiking.

A Keeper's Jackpot said...

Two "high peaks" and a smaller mountain.

diane said...

You are a wonder! Thanks for sharing with the energy challenged :-)