Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dix Mt.

I finally finished the Dix Range yesterday, though the weather was not nearly as cooperative as it was during my first visit. This time I went with the ADK and we started from Rt. 73, near Keene, at the Round Pond trail head. There are two approaches, that I know of, to just hike Dix Mountain. The other approach would be coming from Elk Lake, like I had when I climbed Macomb, East Dix, South Dix, and Hough. We originally were going to head in from that direction, but a boyscout troop had contacted the leader hoping that our group would be willing to help carry in supplies to build a latrine, which was one boy's project for becoming an Eagle Scout.

We each took something to bring to the Boquet River lean-to where the the aspiring Eagle Scout was going to build the latrine. This was a long, wet four mile walk for the scouts. The precipitation varied from being a light drizzle to a steady rain. Fortunately we avoided the snowfall that was later reported by a friend across Rt. 73 on Giant! The trail immediately begins at an incline, though it does become more level at Round Pond. Round Pond looks like a quiet and peaceful body of water. There was some misty fog lingering above the water - it would have made for a nice photograph but my camera spent most of the time safely protected from the elements.

We took shelter in the lean-to while waiting for the scouts and their leaders to catch up. As we watched them line up their materials, we realized that we hadn't quite understood the design. The latrine was described as an outhouse without a roof, sacrificing protection from the elements for less odor and more light. Apparently you also sacrifice privacy, as the latrine was basically a free standing toilet bench - a box with a beautifully carved toilet seat shaped hole and a lid. Perhaps one day Luke Barclay will include the Adirondacks in another edition of A Loo with a View.

We left the troop with their supplies and continued on as a group of 9, all women except the poor leader. Though it was a Younger Members Group hike, the hike is open to anyone including the young at heart. There must be an honorable mention to the woman whom I was told is 76 years young, a veteran of the 46ers earning her badge in 1995. That is just so amazing! She came along because Dix holds a special place in her heart. It must for her to come back and do it in the rain!

We headed to the base of the large slide, which we had to climb up a little before following the trail around to the right. It was quite slippery with the rain and runoff, we were glad that there was a trail to skirt around the slide so that we didn't have to go up it. From here the trail began to get much steeper. We rested at the junction with Hunter's Pass and decided that some of us would go on ahead to the summit and continue on to Hough quickly and meet again at the same junction. I already had Hough but I would get chilled when standing still so I decided it would be best for me to keep on moving.

The on the summit we had a nice couple take our picture. There were no views due to the weather, but on a clear day you can see Giant, the Great Range and the other mountains in the Dix Range. We continued on to the end of the Beckhorn where we knew were were supposed to leave the marked trail and go towards the left for the herd path to Hough. Our leader had stayed back with those who did not want to climb Hough. We are pretty sure we found the spot where the trail heads down to the left, but with the fog being so thick, it was hard to tell if there was any solid ground on the other side of the brush. We followed the marked trail for a short distance, wondering if we hadn't reached the herd path yet, but we had no luck. We turned around, my poor friend who is so close to finishing will have to come back again.

We were hoping on the way down that the boy scouts were still at the lean-to and had possibly made a fire for us as a warming station, but no, they were long gone. We got back to the car around 7, making it a much longer than expected day. I was soaked, a little cold, and one peak closer to the goal.

The whole photoset can be seen here.

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