August 15-17, 2014:

Trail Conditions: Dix trail was wide and wet up to Slide brook lean-to, narrower and wet to Lillian brook lean-to and a bit rough in general (elevation change and mileage donít quite do it justice). Dix via Beckhorn was at times a fairly steep and at times fairly wet. Wettest about half way up and very slabby/ technical up and down just approaching and going over different sections of the beckhorn. The ridge trail to the main summit was short and in fine shape. The herdpath descends off of the EAST side of the southern end of the ridge. The herdpath down to Hough was mostly dry, easy and simple to follow. Same for the herdpath to South Dix- maybe a bit narrow in spots but really simple to find and dry/ beautiful trail. Same for the trail to Grace peak. The decent to the col between S. Dix and Macomb was totally open rock, very steep and more difficult to find a discernible path. The bailout path from the col down to the Lillian brook herdpath was very difficult. It crosses and re-crosses a very steep small stream, vanishes at times and is very steep in spots. The Lillian brook herdpath was open, dry trail in sections with several long mud holes seemingly every few hundred feet or so.

Special Equipment Required: Gaiters would have been helpful.

Comments: First backpacking trip in the Adirondacks, first bear canister rental, first Adirondack herdpaths. We did the loop clockwise because we wanted to get the views from Dix before the clouds moved in, then decided to take the long-cut and skip Macomb to avoid descending the slide on tired knees (we were camped out at Slide brook). Little did we know that the bailout herdpath down to Lillian brook was going to be super-challenging and that Lillian brook was going to have a hundred mud holes . In retrospect, we could have probably made better time just climbing out over Macomb.

Your name: Chad Forcier

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