Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hiking - Dial and Nippletop Mountains

Today I got together with my youngest brother and some of his friends to climb two more Adirondack High Peaks. All four of them are working on climbing the Adirondack 46, and I'd climbed these two already twice before.

I left Schenectady at 4:00am and drove north to meet them at the trailhead, while they were staying nearby near Lake Placid. We hit the trail a little after 7:00, just after dawn, and temps were in the low 30s. After a couple of hours of climbing, we reached the site of a 1999 forest fire that cleared a minor summit of Bear Den Mountain and opened up some spectacular new views of the Great Range and beyond. As always, click on the picture for a larger version.

After a stop for pictures here, we continued on to Dial Mountain, at 4,020 feet the 41st in height among the 46 peaks. Again, there were stupendous views of the Great Range, and we lingered here for a snack until we began to feel chilled.

Setting off from Dial, we headed inward farther away from the trailhead toward Nippletop Mountain, the 13th in height at 4,620 feet. Nippletop has some of the best views of any of the 46 highest peaks, and we really didn't want to leave.

Unfortunately, it was after 2:00 pm, and we now had a good 6 miles to cover back to the cars. The first mile dropped abruptly about 1,300 feet, and it wasn't made any easier by the ice-covered rocks. Temperatures had never risen above the low 30s at these elevations. After a very deliberate descent, we finally made it to the Lake Road, on the private property of the Adirondack Mountain Reserve and the Ausable Club. It's a private road open to hikers that leads to many trails in the area, and provides a quick and easy route back to the cars after a long day on the trail.

We reached the cars around 6:15 pm, just before dark, after 11 hours and 13 tough miles of hiking, but as somebody said "It's all about the views."


  1. Hello this is peter your brothers friend. Nice pictures, and once again thank your for accompanying us on our endeavors to become 46'ers. Great web site

  2. Thanks, Peter. It was a great day, and I was glad I was able to join you. Looking forward to some more!

  3. Nice trip report, and great panoramic photos!