I was a bit surprised (happily) that both Dial and Nippletop have received a decent amount of snow. There was 3-5″ above 4,000′ elevation. Nippletop was cold and the wind was whipping. I used spikes…
After two straight days of being thoroughly drenched, we wanted something relatively dry. I knew the excellent Leach Trail to Dial & Nippletop, with much of the hike on a ridge, would fit my criteria.
“It doesn’t have to be fun, to be fun.” — Anonymous
For this year’s winter Gathering, I learned my lesson from the 14-hour behemoth hike last year and picked something that both Kathy and I could do.
God made me a glorious Adirondack day, with four summits and nearly 20 miles of wonderful winter hiking.
We enjoyed an unusually comfortable hike up the icy Elk Pass to Nippletop for our December Adirondack weekend.
This was the first year after completing the 46, so we were free to explore new and interesting peaks and trails, both 46er High Peaks and smaller summits or outlooks.
Instead of the quick 3.8 miles to Big Slide, for which we didn’t pack lunches, we started Dial an hour later and didn’t finish until after 5.
Iterations of this hike have been planned and scrapped since July, with the latest one a proposed Colvin-Blake-Nippletop-Dial hike. The previous day’s over-hiking scrapped the 4-peak plan in favor of a more modest straight up-and-back over these two, allowing if nothing else an extra hour of sleep.