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Old 02-23-2004, 11:17 PM   #1
MrOysterhead
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Ermine Brook Slide

Hey everyone! A few questions about the Ermine Brook Slide here (I'm thinking ahead to this summer)...

1) How are the views from the Ermine Brook Slide itself?
2) Is the climb worth the trek?
3) I've heard rumors of the conditions from the headwall to the summit being terrible. Is that true?

Thanks!

peace,
Oysterhead
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Old 02-24-2004, 10:31 AM   #2
rondak100
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Word on the Street it.....

... that it is a great hike and a nice slide, but not worth the battle to use it as an ascent up santanoni.

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Old 02-24-2004, 08:26 PM   #3
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I've done the Ermine Slide of Santanoni twice over the years. Both as overnight camp trips as it is a long way about 10 miles to the slide one way. The views are quite nice, and the slide very gentle and very beautiful. The trip is well worth it. The headwall very steep, but don't need to climb it if you don't want to. Also it is very thick from the top, and I've never gone all the way to Santanoni, as I was into slide climbing the high Peaks several years ago, and only did the slide to add to my list of different slides I had climbed. It is a trip you'll always remember, as I have.
I have heard of it taking at least 4 hours to do the last mile to Santanoni from the slide.
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:24 PM   #4
hillman1
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I want to ski that slide before the end of the winter. If anyone with a sense of adventure and halfway good skiing ability wants to make a go of it--please let me know. It might be fun to spot a car on the newcomb side and climb and summit santanoni from the tahawaus side, make a thru ski of it. If anyone is interested--let me know.
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Old 02-28-2004, 06:20 PM   #5
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I was hoping the snow would be above all the scrub up top. If any crazies out there want to try--post away. I need at least a week notice, and it helps if it's a weekend.
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Old 03-01-2004, 01:28 PM   #6
Johnnycakes
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Dissenting Opinion

MrOysterhead,

I have a dissenting opinion on the trek from the top of the Ermine Brook Slide to the Santanoni summit. I say it is well worth it, especially if you spot a car at the Bradley Pond trailhead (the conventional approach to the Santanonis). We made an effort to keep moving, but we were not pushing real hard, and the hike from the top of the slide to the summit took 1 hour, 30 minutes. The last 0.15 miles were thick, and the GPS definitely came in handy in minimizing the time and distance we thrashed through the thick stuff to locate the summit sign. I dug up a trail report from the trip, which I posted below.

If snow conditions were just right, I think this could be a go in the winter as well.

Trail: Santanoni via Ermine Brook Slide, Couchsachraga, & Panther

Date Hiked: 09/18/03

Conditions: Spectacular trail conditions everywhere. The 8.1 miles from the Great Camp Santanoni Gatehouse to the turn off for Ermine Brook went very quickly thanks to a trail that was more of a hard packed road than a trail. The bushwhack up Ermine Brook to the base of the slide started out on a strong herd path, but we eventually resorted to rock hopping our way up the brook, which also went quite quickly given the relatively dry conditions and grippy rocks. The slide itself is not quite as long as I had expected, but it makes a fantastic approach to Santanoni nonetheless. The views from the headwall looking down the slide and to the west were spectacular. I can only hope the photos I took with my CVS disposable camera will do it justice. The more I hike to the more "remote" destinations in the Adirondacks, the more I am reminded that others have been there before, and today was no exception. Imagine our surprise to find a halfway decent herd path on top of the Santanoni ridge on our route to the summit. The herd path is not evident from the head wall, but once on the ridge, it was fairly obvious. A nice surprise, but all good things must come to an end, as did this herd path about halfway to the Santanoni summit. At one point along the ridge, there appeared to be a precipitous drop off to the east. Further inspection revealed what must have been the slide that Cave Dog ascended during his record breaking hike of the 46 just last summer. We reached the summit of Santanoni shortly after pausing to check out this slide. From Santanoni, we went on to Couchsachraga, where we ran into two other parties that apparently had the same idea we did; get that hike in before the hurricane hits. It was on to Panther after that. The herd paths were remarkably dry for the most part. We descended from Times Square back to the main trail, which was also surprisingly dry. We finished our hike at the Bradley Pond trailhead, where we had spotted a car earlier in the morning.

Special Required Equipment: Map and compass, as well as a water filter to help lighten your load.

Comments: Just a note on the bushwhack from the headwall of the slide to the summit of Santanoni. I know that some guidebooks portray this bushwhack as being a beast of hike, but the faint herd path along part of the ridge, coupled with spotting a car at the Bradley Pond trailhead, make this a viable approach to Santanoni. Granted that we were moving fairly quickly, but the bushwhack from the top of the slide to the summit took about and hour and a half, and the steep drop off on either side of the ridge make the route pretty obvious until within 0.15 miles of the summit, where the ridge broadens out a bit. If the bushwhack along the ridge is not for you, the trip to the top of the slide is worth it alone, and the slide is not so steep that one could not comfortably descend it.
Submitted by: Johnnycakes-Claudia-Jim
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Old 03-01-2004, 04:36 PM   #7
MrOysterhead
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johnny - it sounds like the key to this bushwhack is hitting the herd path...if you don't you're sunk. did you stumble upon it by luck or did you know what you were looking for?

peace,
Oysterhead
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Old 03-01-2004, 05:14 PM   #8
Johnnycakes
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MrOysterhead,

We were not aware of the herd path. In fact, we had heard nothing but horror stories. I would say the herd path is quite apparent. As you face the headwall of the slide from below, there is a ravine (for lack of a better word) to the left, that takes the form of a dip in the ridge (when it intersects the ridge). Anyway, it is easier to gain the ridge by heading directly up the headwall (as opposed to staying in the ravine to the left) if heights don't bother you. But, the herd path is not apparent until you cross the small dip in the ridge, heading in the direction of the summit.

The ridge is quite narrow. If you don't see the herd path, head perpendicular to the ridge while looking down at the ground. If you drop more than 30 feet off the ridge, turn around and head the other direction, again looking at the ground. The herd path is faint in some areas, but can be followed about halfway to the Santanoni summit. Interestingly, there also appear to be a few small clearings cut out along the ridge. They are perhaps 10 feet long by 8 feet wide. The clearings do not look that recent, but the absence of trees is still quite obvious.

John
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Old 03-02-2004, 05:05 PM   #9
MrOysterhead
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Thanks John - we were planning on camping at Moose Pond near the foot of the slide - two cars is not an option for us (survey of parents was a huge no - i need to go to college) so we'd have to return down the ridge then down the slide. I'll definetly keep that in mind though. Thank you!

peace,
Oysterhead
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Old 03-09-2004, 12:05 AM   #10
Johnnycakes
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PB,

Is that the slide that Cave Dog went up? I believe it is. If so, there was no trace of a herd path at that point, but the slide tops out fairly close to the summit. However, one could wander around quite a bit on the ridge (as it is fairly broad and flat in this area) before finding the true summit. The GPS definitely saved us some time.

John
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