Nippletop Slide

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 44.08910°N / 73.8164°W
Additional Information Route Type: Scramble`Friction Climb
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: YDS 3
Sign the Climber's Log


Approach along the standard trail to mount Colvin up to Elk Pass and then follow a compass line due S from the turn that heads up to the top of Nippletop.

You should reach the base of the slide after a about 800 hundred meters or 1/2 a mile after desending a few hundred meters. You can also follow the stream heading S out of ponds at Elk Pass stay on the E side of the stream and keep an eye open for the slide comming down from the L or E.

No matter which way you go if you cant find it within an hour or so of walking head back due N or up the brook valley back to Elk Pass. If you really get lost go due NW and you will hit Colvin or its trail after some very steep climbing.

What ever you do not descend to valley to the S. That will take you to the Elk Lake area and a very, very long walk out if you can find a trail.

Route Description

A simple friction climb but absolutly superb with a length of over 0.85 of a mile, a rise of over 1500 feet and a nice steep angle ranging from 33 to well past 45 degrees and no wider than 30 meters across.

Simply follow the slide to the top where on the left side there should be a well worn heard path that leads to the summit to the NE.

Essential Gear

A map and compass and the smarts to use it.

Good boots a must, friction shoes better. A rope might be nice but there is no place for pro.

A fall would be most deadly since it is steep, there is nothing to stop you on the way down, and you are in an isolated area of the park where rescue would be hard even if someone knew you came to grief.

Not a climb for the faint of heart as one has to commit to its entire length. Your choice is the top or nothing as down climbing it is very, very tricky and retreat to the sides is hard at best.

Do not attempt when wet and I have no idea about winter conditions except it looks like a good spot for minor avalanches.

Miscellaneous Info

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Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-3 of 3

WalksWithBlackflies - Sep 21, 2005 10:47 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

Due to thick 20-foot band of vegetation between the base of the slide and the steam, the slide may not be visible directly from stream. When you reach an area of limited beaver activity about 1/2 mile from Elk Pass, head to the east (hiker's left) bank of the stream. A herdpath leads to the base of the slide. Although faint in some sections, this herdpath runs along the entire east bank from Elk Pass to the slide base.


WalksWithBlackflies - Sep 21, 2005 11:07 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

Just above the first step, the slide appears to continue straight up a drainage. DO NOT GO UP THIS DRAINAGE, KEEP RIGHT! The actual slide itself is partially obscured by thick vegetation. The first time I attempted the slide, I went up the drainage (see my Trip Report for the consequences of this mistake). The second time, I STILL missed the turnoff, but realized my mistake after about 10 vertical feet. Others I have talked to have also missed this turnoff even though they knew it existed. If the "slide" gets dark and wet, you've gone off-course.


WalksWithBlackflies - Sep 21, 2005 11:12 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

By no means is this a Class 5.1 climb. It is mostly Class II, with a couple of short Class III pitches. I performed one Class 4 move at the very top, but could have avoided with another route. That said, there is plenty of exposure. If you don't like staring directly down 1500 feet of vertical, don't hike this slide. The photos posted on the Slide page are good, but as usual with photographs, don't give the necessary depth perception.

Viewing: 1-3 of 3



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