Heading to the Adirondacks is always nostalgic for me, being from E’town and the trip on this day was no different. I have climbed Dix 1 and 1/2 times before, once in my late 20s, early 30s and the second time, the half time, last March which turned into a rescue operation (not for me nor anyone in our group….another story altogether). Originally I had planned this outing for Hopkins, Green and Giant. That was when we had just received a fresh dumping of fluffy, white powder. Then, when the prediction was for an all day rain to arrive the day before, that was no longer going to be an option. Hopkins to Giant is not a popular trail to begin with and the likelihood of it being broken out was little to not! So Plan B was Dix.
Group met at 6:30 am at the K-mart lot on the Shelburne Rd. Tracy hopped in Phil’s truck and we wished her well in her travels; Phil does not know reasonable speed when behind the wheel of his truck. We left her with big eyes, clutching the dashboard. All made it safely to the trailhead on Route 73 including a pit stop at the Stewart’s in Port Henry at 8:15 am. Jim met us there as he traveled from Saratoga. Luck was on our side as the parking lot was nearly full; we grabbed the last “legal” spot, parking end to end. Signed in at approx. 8:50 am and on our way we went. When we hit Round Pond, we headed across the ice…crunch, crunch, crunch…then Felix Adler/ Noonmark intersection, then lean-to. Made it to the first slide and instead of going straight up as we did last year, took the trail, which is a grueling 1,600′ ascend with no give in approx. one mile. You had to keep in mind that the butt slide down was going to be a blast….summit, and mostly clear skies awaited us, with much wind, too.
Summit was in stages and after all hit it, we headed down and yes, the butt slide was all and moreso than expected…fast, twisty and lots of smiles. I equate butt sliding on your pants or a sled with skipping….there is no way you can come out of this and not smile and laugh, I don’t care how young or old you are or your gender. It’s just plain fun!
Back to the lean-to, intersection and pond, where we all did head back across it again vs. trail. Cars, then into Keene Valley for eats at Baxter Mtn. Restaurant…a fireplace, cold beer and burgers/ sandwiches awaited us and a table for 5 with our name on it! (Jim headed back to Saratoga) A great day was had by all, return to K-mart lot at approx. 10 pm. You can always count on a long day when you head across the pond but it will be oh so fulfilling!
Trip Leader: Robynn Albert
Trip Participants: Phil Hazen, Tom Smith, Tracy Sweeney, Jim Schneider, Max Seaton
Photo Credit: Phil Hazen