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Adk_dib
07-28-2004, 06:29 PM
I go on vaction in 3 weeks and will be doing macomb, carson and grace my first day. I am torn between (dial and nippletop) or (saddleback, basin and haystack) later that week. If i do dial/nippletop what is the best way to go, clockwise or counterclockwise. It looks as if the only water sources are at elk pass. If i choose the basin trip, again what is the best direction to go. it looks like there are a few rock cliffs to climb on that route. Again, are their water sources on that trip. It looks like the trail crosses johns brook by slant rock.The range trail looks like it crosses "ore bed brook" a few times.

KZKlimber
07-28-2004, 07:22 PM
For Dial and Nippletop I would reccomend the HG Leach Trail from the AMR going over Bear Den to Dial and then on to Nipple Top. Via this route you do much of the climbing early and avoid a very steep ascent from Lycopodium Pond to Nippletop. You can return via Elk Pass making a nice loop.

Haystack, Basin, & Saddleback is a healthy day trip. If you are confident - go after Haystack first. If you have doubts about the amount of climbing or distance try leaving Haystack for last and have a bail out plan. Since I have not done these 3 together I can't offer too much route advice although I feel doing Basin and then Saddleback is less treacherous than trying the opposite direction. I'm sure others will more to say...

skidoc22
07-28-2004, 10:56 PM
Agree with the advice for the Haystack, Basin and Saddleback hike. There is a steep rocky face on Saddleback out of the Saddleback Basin col which would be harder to descend IMO than ascend. I did the hike in two days camping at Slant Rock overnite and doing Haystack day1 and B and S and out Orebed trail day2. Obvious disadvantage hiking up and down from Slant Rock twice - the second time in full pack. And the hateful Shorey "shortcut..."

I did the Nippletop Dial hike the opposite way up the Lake road to the Gill Brook trail to Elk Pass. It is pretty steep out of Elk Pass but very doable. Leach trail back over Dial was longer than expected - especially the part over the shoulder of Noonmark where an extensive fire burned in 1999 (reportedly extinguished by Hurricane Floyd.... the silver lining?). I doubt it makes a huge difference which direction you take but again it may be a bit easier to ascend a steep area than descend.

Adk_dib
07-29-2004, 09:31 AM
I decided all 3 would be a bit much. I think I'll do haystack by itself for another day so I can enjoy it. That being said, I guess it is better to to basin before saddleback to avoid to decent's. Are there any good waer sources before basin?

bridgeman
07-29-2004, 11:03 AM
Dial and Nippletop.

I did this route the way of Bear Den, Dial then nippletop, descending via the gil brook trail. Gil brook was steep, wet and rough. I would try this route in reverse next time.

KZKlimber
07-29-2004, 08:40 PM
I can't remember any water sources after Slant Rock going up Basin.

stoopid
07-30-2004, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by KZKlimber
I can't remember any water sources after Slant Rock going up Basin.

You're correct, there's a small stream if you climb all the way down to the col between Basin and Haystack. It means you'll need to make up that elevation (it's a little ways down from the shorey shortcut intersection, but further than that from the Phelps trail).