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Old 04-27-2012, 07:42 AM   #1
chudski63
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Dial and Nippletop..clockwise or counter???

Just as title asks...Plan a group hike in a few weeks...Need to decide which route to take...Group experience level always a questilon mark...Anything that should be avoided?..If so can it be avoided to taking one route over the other...Thanks
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:38 AM   #2
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There was a thread on this exact topic on ADK High Peaks a few weeks ago- you're going to get a lot of responses and not everyone is going to agree.

The steepest section of trail is the climb from Elk Pass to Nippletop. What it really comes down to is whether you want to ascend the steepest section (counter-clockwise) or descend it (clockwise).

If you do it counter-clockwise, you start out with the best views earlier in your hike. The hike north along the ridge isn't too bad- Dial is a barely noticeable bump on the ridge. Bear's Den isn't too bad either. The climb back up and over the shoulder of Noonmark might be a bit more than you expect at the end of the day, but there are some nice views from the burn scar on Noonmark.

In contrast, if you go clockwise, you'll start out with the decent views from the burn scar, and the views will improve as you steadily climb during the day until you get to Nippletop. Another advantage to going clockwise is that if you feel up to it, you can add Fish Hawk Cliffs and Indian Head at the end of your day, which provides some very nice views over Lower Ausable Lake.

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Old 04-27-2012, 09:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
There was a thread on this exact topic on ADK High Peaks a few weeks ago- you're going to get a lot of responses and not everyone is going to agree.

The steepest section of trail is the climb from Elk Pass to Nippletop. What it really comes down to is whether you want to ascend the steepest section (counter-clockwise) or descend it (clockwise).

If you do it counter-clockwise, you start out with the best views earlier in your hike. The hike north along the ridge isn't too bad- Dial is a barely noticeable bump on the ridge. Bear's Den isn't too bad either. The climb back up and over the shoulder of Noonmark might be a bit more than you expect at the end of the day, but there are some nice views from the burn scar on Noonmark.

In contrast, if you go clockwise, you'll start out with the decent views from the burn scar, and the views will improve as you steadily climb during the day until you get to Nippletop. Another advantage to going clockwise is that if you feel up to it, you can add Fish Hawk Cliffs and Indian Head at the end of your day, which provides some very nice over Lower Ausable Lake.
That pretty much hits the nail on the head. I hiked Dial & Nippletop last fall clockwise for the reason of being able to hit Fish Hawk Cliffs or Indian Head at the end of the hike, although we opted out of it.

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Anything that should be avoided?..
Nothing that sticks out in my mind.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:26 AM   #4
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Some hikers aren't big fans of the Gill Brook trail. It's not uncommon for people avoid the last stretch of the Gill Brook Trail (which leaves the road at Artist's Falls), instead taking the cut over trail that starts about a half mile further south. I can see why- the Gill Brook trail is somewhat rugged in spots, but I personally enjoy it. It's a very pretty hike along the brook, especially in summer when the leaves are out- it passes through some beautiful shaded hemlock stands where everything is kept permanently in shadow...
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:54 AM   #5
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We followed the Gill Brook Trail the entire way to the road. DSettahr is right though, it is a bit rugged in areas but I think it is worth taking. Something about hiking along a stream I love, and the rest of the hike is pretty much stream-less so it is a nice change in scenery. We crossed Dial & Nippletop off the list about 3 weeks after Irene passed through the ADK's and it was pretty neat seeing the damage only weeks after it had happened. Piles of twisted trees and rocks that make you realize how powerful water in a little stream can become.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:22 AM   #6
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clockwise
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:09 PM   #7
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Flip a coin.

I’ve done it twice CCW, partly because I prefer to go up steep trails like Elk Pass and partly because I started early and wanted to catch the sunrise on Nippletop and do the darkest part on the road.

It’s a great hike, incredible views from the Noonmark shoulder to Nippletop and at the top portion of El pass. Next time I’ll do it CW for a change of pace.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TakeAHike View Post
That pretty much hits the nail on the head. I hiked Dial & Nippletop last fall clockwise for the reason of being able to hit Fish Hawk Cliffs or Indian Head at the end of the hike, although we opted out of it.



Nothing that sticks out in my mind.
I think it is funny that you fixed the spelling error in my post when you quoted it...
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:33 PM   #9
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I think it is funny that you fixed the spelling error in my post when you quoted it...
Haha I didn't mean to call you out it just stuck right out when I was reading, I honestly didn't think you would see that in the quote...you got me
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:22 PM   #10
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Has anyone ever camped at Elk Pass? I thought I read a TR a couple years back that said the campsite is pretty rough and overgrown.
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:16 PM   #11
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Do it both ways, and then do them as a through hike from Elk lake to St. Huberts. I mean isn't that what everyone does eventually anyway
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:45 AM   #12
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Has anyone ever camped at Elk Pass? I thought I read a TR a couple years back that said the campsite is pretty rough and overgrown.
Yeah, the campsite there isn't the easiest to find. Elk Pass is sort of a rugged place. You can tell that you're starting to get higher up in elevation. It's pretty obvious that most people camp at the sites down lower on Gill Brook- I think because it's less elevation gain, and because it's easier to do both Nippletop/Dial and Colvin/Blake from those sites.
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:24 PM   #13
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I'm planning to do Nippletop and Dial early in August, as an overnight backpack from JBL. I also can't make up my mind which way to go. I plan to camp at Elk Pass. I think it would be easier and better timing to come down Elk Pass with backpack and set up camp before dusk. If I go there via Gill Brook, I can set up camp and if I have enough time left in the day, go up Elk Pass or wait until the morning and do Nippletop then Dial and then come back to Elk Pass to break camp and head back to JBL. I'm partial to coming around via Bear Den to Dial and Nippletop and descending with backpack to Elk Pass and setting up camp, and then the next day go back via Gill Brook and also check out Fish Hawk Cliffs (I enjoyed Indian head last year when I traversed Colvin to Blake and then trekked down the elevator shaft and then over Bartlett Ridge to camp at Panther Gorge) on my way back to JBL and my food cache. I'm going to then traverse Marcy to Uphill Camp etc. More questions later.

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Old 07-09-2012, 12:08 PM   #14
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I'm planning to do Nippletop and Dial early in August, as an overnight backpack from JBL. I also can't make up my mind which way to go. I plan to camp at Elk Pass. I think it would be easier and better timing to come down Elk Pass with backpack and set up camp before dusk. If I go there via Gill Brook, I can set up camp and if I have enough time left in the day, go up Elk Pass or wait until the morning and do Nippletop then Dial and then come back to Elk Pass to break camp and head back to JBL. I'm partial to coming around via Bear Den to Dial and Nippletop and descending with backpack to Elk Pass and setting up camp, and then the next day go back via Gill Brook and also check out Fish Hawk Cliffs (I enjoyed Indian head last year when I traversed Colvin to Blake and then trekked down the elevator shaft and then over Bartlett Ridge to camp at Panther Gorge) on my way back to JBL and my food cache. I'm going to then traverse Marcy to Uphill Camp etc. More questions later.
From JBL??? now thats a haul with full gear, or even bareback... either way You not catch me hauling my full camping gear up over any of these peaks, JUst me though...cant wait to read your TR....
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:21 PM   #15
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Well last year was my first time backpacking in the High Peaks, and I've learned from it and spent the winter finding the lightest version of everything I need as well as scaling down. I'll do better this time. Last year it took me 5 hours to get from JBL to the dam at Lower Ausable Lake, and that was in a pretty good rain storm with about 43 pounds on my back. This year I've got it down to around 30 and it will be much better. I'm going to also try to do Allen from the Flowed Lands or Hanging Spear Falls, or if I can put myself closer the night before, so much the better. That Bear Canister though sure weighs a lot. I hope they can make a lighter version that is just as strong.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:51 PM   #16
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Well last year was my first time backpacking in the High Peaks, and I've learned from it and spent the winter finding the lightest version of everything I need as well as scaling down. I'll do better this time. Last year it took me 5 hours to get from JBL to the dam at Lower Ausable Lake, and that was in a pretty good rain storm with about 43 pounds on my back. This year I've got it down to around 30 and it will be much better. I'm going to also try to do Allen from the Flowed Lands or Hanging Spear Falls, or if I can put myself closer the night before, so much the better. That Bear Canister though sure weighs a lot. I hope they can make a lighter version that is just as strong.
curious as to your route from JBL to the lower dam?
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:19 PM   #17
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I went up the Wolfjaw col from JBL and then over the other side on the Wedge Brook Trail to West River trail past BEaver Meadow Falls, and then crossed over to the East River Trail on a footbridge. I followed the East River Trail to the dam at the NE end of Lower Ausable Lake, and then up the Indian head Trail to Indian Head and then over to Gill Brook Trail from there. I set up an early camp at the last campsite on the Gill Brook trail going up, and then did Colvin and Blake the next day before descending down a "Carry Trail" that was pretty steep. A sign at the bottom of the trail called it "The Elevator Shaft" and that was pretty much how I felt about it. I then took a Carry Trail to the Haystack/Marcy from Wardens camp trail over Bartlett Ridge (that really tired me out) and saw some great southern views close up of Haystack before descending again down to the Panther Gorge campsite just before dusk. The next day I did Skylight and Grey before bugging out like everyone else as Hurricane Irene was on her way that night. I was camping at Marcy Dam when she hit, and made me way to ADK Loj where I was stranded with the others there as the bridge was washed out. The next day I could only do Mt. Joe as every stream was too fast and too high to cross. Two days later I was able to do Street and Nye, by fording Indian Pass Brook, and the next day I made it up to Wright before the bridge was temporarily fixed and I was given a ride bak down to the NY metro area. This year I'm heading up there a few weeks before Hurricane season to avoid any repeat of last year in that regard. This year I'm hoping to bag 11 high peaks, but whatever I do, I'll enjoy the adventure and keep coming back for more.

Last edited by Joe; 07-10-2012 at 07:07 PM..
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