Lesser Dix Range
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
Woke up at 4:30, at the trailhead and hiking by slightly after 5:30. Made good time on the road and the trail to the herd path. The herd path had a fresh dusting of snow but was very easy to follow. I was pleased with my recent improved fitness because I was able to climb without taking a lot of breaks. The trees had a lot of snow on them that kept coming off every time you brushed a branch. I was wearing my new wool thermals which did a great job of moderating temperature and keeping me dry.|
We made great time to the base of the slide (barebooting) where we changed into crampons. The climb of the slide wasn't bad, there was a mixture of snow, ice, and bare rock, so the footing was tricky. We stayed in crampons until the summit of Macomb.
At the summit we had a snack, layered up, and then continued on. We were very excited to find a set of tracks coming from the range up/down Macomb which made navigation significantly easier.
We booked the descent of Macomb and were on top of S. Dix in no time (we didn't even stop on the summit we just continued to East).
On top of East the wind was howling (I got knocked off balance a few times in the short section to get to the summit boulders). The wind (although very cold) was a nice change of pace, adding some excitement to what was a fairly straightforward day. We tagged the disc and quickly descended back below the wind. Roughly half way up S. Dix we ran into Joe Cedar and his friend who were getting the range as well. At the summit of South we stopped for lunch and a break.
After lunch we descended to South Dix/Pough col, then over Pough. This climb used to be TERRIBLE for me, now it is nice being stronger because it really just feels like a bump. After Pough we began the descent in earnest. After a while of going down we finally reached the campsite.
At the campsite we noticed lillian brook wasn't broken out, but we'd worry about that later. We made a quick climb of Hough past the ledges (which are always fun in gusty winds). After the ledges the climb of Hough seemed to take forever. We finally got to the top, enjoyed the views (and the wind).
We had enough hiking for the day so we decided to GTFO. We booked it back to the campsite where we ran into Joe again. He gave us some pointers for following the herd path, plus we already had a GPS tracklog. The descent of lillian brook was tougher than I expected (very steep at the top). Once we got past the steep section it was a beautiful trail which meanders along with a brook (although the brook crossings were unwelcome with ice and snow making them difficult). Once the grade lessened we knew we were on cruise control.
We went into death march mode once we got to the marked trail, I was pretty much walking as fast as my legs would carry me to get us out. In less than 2 hours we were back at the summer trailhead. We were surprised to get passed by a car as we were walking out. About half way out we managed to get a ride with someone in the back of their pickup truck (which was wonderful).
Overall it was a great day, and it was really nice to get 4 of 11 peaks done on the first weekend of the year.
The Good and The Bad
Getting a stomach bug at the end of the hike
|Stayed at a wonderful motel in Schroon Lake (Maple Leaf Motel), drive to trailhead was easy|