One word. RAIN
Nice day, clear, snow covered
Hit the ceiling at 3800' so by the time we hit the summit's of Dial and Nippletop we saw nothing but white. A long and fairly rigorous hike that requires quite a bit of up and down climbing. We managed easily with our two children (11 y/o boy & 9 y/o girl) so that give an indication of the skill involved.
We did it in a circuit that went up the Leach trail through the fire zone, Bear den and Dial Mountain over to Nippletop. Went down the much steeper lake pass over to the Colvin trail. 14.4 mile round trip. Nice day hike. Must do it again on a nice day.
Climbed in the snow all the way through. Got to the summit in total solitude. Only 6 other hikers took that route that day. Took me 7hr 45min to complete.
Great views along the way.
My friend and I started early to get a parking spot (7:30) and had the trail to ourselves for once. We met only about 6 other hikers that day.
The trail was in excellent shape and it was the first time I did Nippletop from this direction and was quite pleased with the route.
Gill Brook is wonderful to look at and offers a much more scenic approach than the other ways to the top. There are a large number of waterfalls and clean cool pools, too bad one is not allowed to swim in them.
The only problem was a pall of smoke that blew in early in the morning obscuring most of the view from the top. The smoke was from forest fires well over 1000km away in Northern Quebec.
Nice fast run right over from Dial to Nippletop. Going down to elk pass and getting lost in the AMR was fun.
Good conditioning hike,