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Adirondacks: The Brothers to Big Slide Loop Hike (Day 69)

September 25th, 2009 5 comments

“Big Slide Loop” is not a thing. “Big Slide” is a peak. “Loop” refers to the hike being a “Loop Hike”. “The Brothers” may be a peak or several peaks or some other undisclosed feature. And the whole thing is in a part of the Adirondacks called the “High Peaks”, even though the highest is only 5,000 and change. They’re not far from Lake Placid. I camped at a campground called Wilmington Notch. There were showers, but the lines between campsites were indistinct. And though the weather looked sketchy, the guy at the mountaineering store said that I should *definitely* go hike Big Slide that day, because the rain was going to hold off and I’d definitely get the good view from the top.

My route: The Brothers trail to Big Slide, then down by way of the John’s Brook South Trail.

There: the stage is set. Here are the ride-along photos.

big-slide_root-trailPath, uphill, with roots.

big-slide_valley-leavesFirst valley view. Clear-ish.

big-slide_brother-viewView from the First Brother. Maybe First Brother.

big-slide_cliff-trailThis isn’t scenery, this is the trail. It’s at least as steep as it looks.

big-slide_peak-from-brotherThat peak up there is Big Slide. Still looking clear!

big-slide_me-on-brotherI’m going to say that this is me on top of Fourth Brother. If there *is* a fourth brother. If there are any brothers for that matter.

big-slide_walk-through-treesSteps through the trees.

big-slide_brook-with-mossA moss-covered brook.

big-slide_me-climbing-rockFinal assault to the peak and me without my harness. (Fine, it’s only about 70 degrees from horizontal in real life. That’s kind of steep for a hike.)

big-slide_me-at-peakMe at the peak. Not so clear. But I like the idea that the world ends just past that row of trees there.

big-slide_leafy-trailThe way down isn’t as steep, but it’s two miles longer (four up, six down).

big-slide_creek-on-mossA brook-covered moss.

big-slide_cascade-with-leavesA happy cascade. I imagine. It’s probably repressing anger at the cairn in the foreground, come to think of it.

big-slide_big-rockA big rock that looks like it could function as a big slide.

big-slide_red-leavesLeaves, red.

big-slide_chaise-longueIt’s hard to completely disrespect a trail that places chaise longues at various locations.

big-slide_johns-brookJohn’s Brook.

big-slide_more-leavesMore leaves. And then it started raining.

big-slide_me-at-trailheadProof Evidence that I made it back to the trailhead. Plus I wanted to show off my rain jacket that I never get to wear (because it doesn’t rain on this trip, apparently).

Sorry for the narcissism on the photos — I just felt that it was *me* that was making this place come alive.

  • Without the view at the peak, the hike is a little light on payoff.
  • It’s a very different terrain than I as a western hiker am used to. Out west they would’ve found some way to build switchbacks across all those faces. Not here.
  • As such, it’s a ten-mile hike that took me six hours.
  • Also as such, the trail itself was more engaging than I’m used to — although there were also plenty of long stretches but nothing to do but go up steep, dirt trails and peer through the tree-prison.
  • And some of those rocks were pretty slick: yes, I fell once.
  • But: pretty, worth it.

So it was.

bkd


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