Nippletop & Dial
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
We decided to hike Nippletop and Dial since the weather was going to be nice and to hopefully catch some more of the foliage. We camped at South Meadows Friday night and then drove to the trailhead Saturday morning. We decided ahead of time to go up the road, climb to Elk Pass, climb up Nippletop, then descend over Dial, Bear Den, and the Noonmark shoulder. On the way up the road and trail we leap frogged with a group of people from Albany. We enjoyed their company up to the junction with the trail to Colvin & Blake. From there we continued into elk pass. The trail in this section is pretty cool, especially near the ponds. We took a snack break between the ponds and then began our climb. We did notice a DEC campground right near the ponds on the Nippletop side of the pass.|
The climb up Nippletop was fairly steep, but the higher you got the better the views were. About 3/4 of the way up I lost my footing and bashed my elbow pretty badly. Nicole and Nate were a ways ahead so I ended up taking a breather to collect myself since I was lucky I didn't break my arm. After a while I arrived at the junction to the Nippletop summit. From there it is .2 miles to the summit, but like every other mountain, that .2 miles seems like forever. We enjoyed lunch on the Nippletop summit and soaked in the amazing views towards the great range. There were a few viewpoints off the back that gave views of the dixes.
On the way down from Nippletop we met Rik from the adkhighpeaks forums. We chatted a little bit and then we continued on our way.
The descent from Nippletop to Dial is pretty fun and a nice trail. We undulated our way down to Dial seeing a few groups along the way. There's a lot of bumps on the way down and you're left wondering if you missed the summit of dial. It is obvious when you're at the summit, and the views are great.
From Dial we continued down and over Bear Den, from there we descended to the col between Bear Den and the Noonmark shoulder. The climb over the side of Noonmark was pretty rough, especially at the end of the day. At height of land on Noonmark there's another awesome lookout ledge, some people had the cool idea of camping out there. At first I questioned the legality of it, but I realized that they were far enough from the trail, and were well below 3500' so it didn't actually matter.
The descent down from Noonmark was pretty sketchy because the trail was covered in leaves, making the footing very sketchy. Eventually after what seemed like an eternity we were down to the lake road and on our hike out.
All in all it was a good day, and the views were spectacular.
The Good and The Bad
This was the first hike ever where there seemed to be more downhill than uphill.
|We drove up Friday night, stayed at South Meadows, then drove to St. Huberts Saturday morning|