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Most difficult scrambles out East

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Re: Most difficult scrambles out East

Postby James_W » Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:13 am

Huntington Ravine is a nice intro to class 3 scrambles. I would recommend the Eagle Slide on Giant Mountain in the Adirondacks.
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Postby Bark Eater » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:10 pm

Mahoosuc Notch. Aptly identified as the toughest mile on the Appalachian Trail. I agree.
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Postby James_W » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:50 pm

I would say you are good with any of the slides in the Dacks. Check out the Caps Ridge trail on Mt Jefferson. You can go off trail on the caps and serve yourself a spicy meatball. I grew up in Ontario and there are lots of good little cliffs but nothing worth the trip. If you ever need a scrambling buddy in BC I know a guy.
Last edited by James_W on Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Autoxfil » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:20 pm

Trap dike, Mt Colden.

Or so I hear. I'm going to give it a shot in August (and then in winter).
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Re: Most difficult scrambles out East

Postby kakakiw » Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:41 pm

KristoriaBlack wrote:Hey ya,



Mt. Katahdin is 14 hours away, which is more than what I would wish to drive ... but maybe in the winter it would be worth the drive. (Though they don't allow soloists in the winter. Pft!)


They changed the rules about soloists last year for Katahdin.

http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/Camping/winterPolicy.html
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Postby nartreb » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:38 pm

On-trail or off? Check WWBF's photos for lots of slab slides off-trail in the 'Dacks, where they are particularly plentiful and scenic. But there's plenty of those in the Whites too, and they're easy to find on a satellite map: Hellgate ravine (west Bond), Arrow Slide (mt Hancock) and many more, some un-named.

On-trail, the traditional list of steep trails in the Whites goes something like:

1) Huntington Ravine
2) Tripyramid north slide
3) Six Husbands

Honorable mention to a few other trails in the Great Gulf (eg Great Gulf headwall). Noteworthy for easy access, though not nearly as hard as the above, is the Flume Slide trail just off of rte 93 in Franconia Notch.
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Postby MoapaPk » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:43 pm

You can usually find a way to make life difficult for yourself. Is the aim to have a scramble that will get you near the top of an alpine peak? Do you want a peak that is accessible only by a scramble? (Tough in the NE.)

This peak's true summit is accessible only by a scramble, but otherwise it is a pretty mellow hike on a green lump.
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Postby James_W » Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:54 am

KristoriaBlack wrote:These are all excellent. Thank you for the ideas. I feel like a kid in a candy store. These are going to keep me occupied for a while...

“On-trail or off?”

Either. I’m bored with following trails. Especially if I’m lucky enough to get pristine weather conditions there’s just no challenge. And if there is no challenge then what’s the point?

I should probably look to off trail. Hmmm. But I don’t entirely get how to know which rocks are climbable. Are all rocks fair game? How do I know which are rotten versus stable enough if the mighty government official does not tell me? I've done that before, I got myself up on a ridge and wanted to follow it up to the summit of some peak in France only to trigger rock avalanches (minor) as soon as I dug my ice axe into it.


What you explain is the only thing that kept me happy out east. It is so boring to follow flat trail again and again, no real fun. You grow much more as a mountaineer or hiker if you follow your own routes. Any decent western objective requires you to do your own thinking once the approach is complete. It is wise to get a mountain sense now if you have larger objectives in mind.

Thumbs up if you are planning to do this alone or with a partner. There is nothing worse than a large group on a mountain.
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Postby Autoxfil » Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:48 pm

James_W wrote:There is nothing worse than a large group on a mountain.


Well, there is one other thing...

not being on a mountain at all.
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Postby rasgoat » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:15 pm

Another vote for Trap Dike and the Adk slides.

Hellbrook Trail on Mt. Mansfield is very cool.

Also, King Ravine Trail on Mt Adams, NH

Maine is worth the trip. Katahdin, up Cathedral Trail and down the knife edge.
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Postby nartreb » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:19 pm

what Eagle Slide looks like in satellite view - Switch to Topo view for a better understanding of the slope.

Most of the slides you'll find this way require bushwhacking to actually reach a peak (and/or to reach the base of the slide) - otherwise there'd be a trail on them.

>how to know which rocks are climbable
Guess from the slope, but mostly go there and look (or search for photos - if it's climbable, somebody has probably climbed it and posted photos online). In the northeast, most of these slides are slabs - potentially slippery but quite solid. (BTW, if you can stick your ice axe into it, it isn't solid.) I recommend warming up on or near trails like Huntington Ravine or King Ravine, you'll start to develop a sense of what you can downclimb and what you can't. A rope won't be terribly useful, especially if you're solo.

PS if you make it to Baxter, try the abandoned trails up the slides on Mt OJI.
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Postby rasgoat » Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:30 pm

Yes, the north slide of OJI, good one Nartreb! as we would know!

One can find scrambles off trail in the east. As far as knowing which rocks to climb.... exploration and practice. Good idea to play around places like the king ravine and Huntington first before going too far off any trail.
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Postby MoapaPk » Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:42 pm

Often "off-trail" in the NE means: extremely thick brush. In the old days, when the ADK 46ers were really trailless, many slide routes were chosen simply because they avoided brush (until one exited, where krumholtz got fierce).
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Postby rasgoat » Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:15 am

MoapaPk wrote:Often "off-trail" in the NE means: extremely thick brush. In the old days, when the ADK 46ers were really trailless, many slide routes were chosen simply because they avoided brush (until one exited, where krumholtz got fierce).


Very good point, there usually is a bushwack involved.
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Postby desainme » Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:22 am

Bruce Peninsula about 4 hours from CN tower- vertical limestone. 6.5 hours to Saranac Lake.
Mudrat has numerous pages on Adirondack slides on Giant, Whiteface, Marcy, Gothics etc.
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