Friday, October 14, 2011

Sunset on South Dix Mountain

Sunset over South Dix Mountain - Dix Mountain Wilderness
Aim and Colvin descending South Dix, one of the Adirondacks most interesting peaks.

I guess hanging out on remote summits waiting for the sun to set isn't for everyone, we still had a 4 mile hike back to base camp over herd paths -unmarked trails that may or may not exist or lead to your desired location. But even when I'm not setup for the sunset with my camera bolted down to a tripod, I still love the light that only comes at the start and end of the day.

We made it down safely, actually only needing our headlamps for the last mile. Aside from occasional blowdown, we didn't have any problems finding our way back till we got to a flooded area not far from the main trail. By this point we knew we were close based on the altimeter elevation, even if we couldn't find the herd path again, taking a bearing and bushwhacking to the trail wouldn't have been particularly hard.

Dix Mountain Wilderness is perhaps my favorite "high peaked" area in the Adirondacks. Fewer visitors, fewer trails (more adventure via bushwhacks and herd paths), some of the most scenic peaks in the entire Forest Preserve, dare I even say the entire Northeastern US.

However, relatively long approaches -some with only seasonal access- make this area far less traveled and photographed than other areas of the High Peaks region of the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

Dix, the highest peak in the Dix Mountain Wilderness, rivals the harder high peaks for length of approach with a minimum distance day trip being around 13 miles.  Elevation change is also fairly significant, with total gain loss near 8000 vertical feet, just for a single peak. It might not be under the umbrella of the High Peaks Wilderness, but it's definitely a High Peak!

The most interesting aspect of the Dix Mountain Wilderness and the Dix Range is the plethora of slide climbing opportunities. Ranging from Class 2 rubble piles, such as the Macomb Slide, to 5th class technical climbs, like the Hunters Pass slide, the Dix Range offers a little something for everyone.

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