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View Full Version : Dial & Nippletop, 3/27/04



Charlie
03-28-2004, 01:01 PM
Originally thought about Street & Nye, but thought the creek might be too high.Went with bgk, djhiker and a non-forum member. Started at the St. Huberts lot at about 7:45 am, saw that Pete hickey signed in to do Sawteeth, how was it Pete?

We barebooted down the Lake Road and for a while after that but the snow deepened rather quickly so we put on the shoes. The mountains were socked in by a snow evaporation fog all day, the woods were eerie. Only saw two other pair of hikers all day.

The Trail was packed but the snow softened throughout the day and if you strayed only a few feet from the trail there were spruce traps waiting for you. The descent after the Noonmark fire location was rocky and muddy and the snowshoes were more of a hinderance, once we began the ascent to Bear Den, the snow remained deep for the rest of the trip. We did the loop in the direction we chose figuring if we had to walk out in the dark, better to do it on the Lake Road. When we summitted Nippletop, God smiled on us and opened up the sky long enough for us to see the higher peaks of the great range as islands in a sea of clouds. The descent from Nippletop proved to be hairy as the snow had softened and our snowshoes became uncontrollable skis. I lost count how many times I fell. Once we were back down, we were treated to the sights and sounds of Gill Brook as the spring run off is about to get under way. I am sore as I type this but it was well worth it. Total miles 13.4

I should have some pic's on my site in a few days.

Oldsmores
03-29-2004, 01:25 PM
Charlie-
A friend and I were one of the other pair of hikers you saw. We were the pair that wandered off the trail while you were taking a break, then caught up with you a little later. I spotted the VFTT sticker on your car when we got back to the parking lot - sorry we didn't see it earlier.
Now I'm sorry that we skipped Nippletop. We decided that it was late and probably wouldn't be worth it, as we had no views from Dial.
We were a little worried about you guys when we left - it was getting dark and you weren't back yet. We came down the Gill Brook Trail and I was thinking that it wouldn't be the easiest trail in the world to follow in the dark.
We also fell fairly often. At one point my buddy had to take one snowshoe off and use it to dig the other one out of the hole he fell into. He also managed to fall in the stream at Elk Pass up to his thighs, making for a squishy hike back to the car.
Wished it had been a clearer day, but any day in the mountains is a good one!:D

Charlie
03-29-2004, 08:30 PM
Oldsmores, wow, small world indeed. That was some hike eh? There was no way I was going to be that close to a peak and not bag it (especially since I hadn't climbed it yet). Actually two of us climbed it and the other two who were behind us a little bit passed it by. The brief view at the top was worth it for me. We got back to the vehicle at 6:45 pm.

I was a bit nervous about the Elk Pass crossing as well but somehow that snow "bridge" held me.

I guess I need to display my VFTT patch a little better, I have it attached to the back of my pack but it must not be visible enough.

Hope to see you another time

btw, the trip up on my site, check it out

Petmac
04-01-2004, 01:53 PM
Charlie...

did you take the Gill Brook trail at all? i think i may go for Blake this weekend and was just trying to get an idea for how much snow is still out there.

pete

Charlie
04-01-2004, 05:13 PM
We came down along the brook on the way back. There was plenty of snow for the snowshoes when we were there. That whole area is on the north facing side of the range so it will take a while to melt off. I Don't know what kind of weather has been hitting the area since the weekend.