This is an excellent, airy route up to the summit of Giant Mountain. Around 1000 vertical feet of slab climbing on the scenic west face. Rather than hiking through the trees, smear up (generally) clean anorthosite and take in the views. This a short day hike relative to other ADK 46ers. The most dangerous part is scrambling up the colluvium in the stream headwaters--watch out for falling rocks.
POST HURRICANE IRENE, the stream has changed substantially. Landslides and woody debris clog the stream bed in several places on the approach. The tributary that leads to Finger Slide is now much more prominent (if in doubt, take the left tributary). The slide itself is clean.
Follow Roaring Brook Trail from road for about 2 mi. Drop left into the into the stream bed at a cairn as the trail ascends the ridge. Bushwhack along the stream for about 1 mi, then scramble up loose sediment to the start of the slide (see Adirondack Rock, by Lawyer and Haas).
A decent pair of approach shoes or boots. Rock shoes and a running belay (possibly off shrubs) might prevent a bad rock rash.
Looking up slide towards the top of Giant. Actual...
Looking up at Eagle Slide from almost at the botto...
BETA PHOTO: General idea of slab steepness. This isn't a hard ...
Looking down from close to the base
|By Mike McLean|
Jul 16, 2011
rating: 4th 1 2 I M 1b
I, unfortunately, never found the herd path; elected to bushwack my way to the base ... this is not as simple as it may sound.
Once on the slide, it was fun though; I had my rock climbing shoes so there were no worries at all. Easy friction up to the top with easy overlaps once in a while.
It took me about 40 minutes to complete. Made for a great day away from the Giant Mountain crouds.
|By Simon Thompson|
From: New Paltz, NY
Mar 13, 2012
Yes, the approach can be tricky. Just bring a map and compass and pay attention to everything. It is possible to get yourself into some hazardous areas if you get lost as you near the face. There is some loose rock so be careful.
My buddy and I did this in rock shoes and it took 45 minutes bottom to top. Interestingly, we met two people halfway up the slide who were pitching it out and belaying... I'm not sure why you would have to do this. It took them 3 hours to climb the slide. I felt like if I started to slip I could probably just lay down and let my body friction hold me up. Great mountain and fun route.
|By Ben Brotelho|
From: Albany, NY
Apr 16, 2012
I thought the scariest part of the day was the loose dirt in the gully below the slide that we had to ascend...awesome slide!
|By Greg Petliski|
Jun 24, 2012
Tried to make it to the slide yesterday but couldnt find the proper drainage to go up. At the first fork, we went right, then bushwhacked over left, couldnt find it, so went back down, and happened to return via the drainage that ran left from the fork. So right or left in that spot wouldnt have mattered it seems. We did get to a point coming back down the left drainage that had a cairn, but just one, and we didnt know what that meant. Anyone have any solid info? It was hard to tell which drainage was the "main" drainage since the water level was pretty low. Is it just "always keep left"?
|By Mark Trotta|
From: Latham, NY
Aug 5, 2012
The Lawyer/Hass book approach directions and subsequent corrections on adirondackrock.com are true, but it's still easy to make some navigation mistakes. I would offer these directions:
1 - Find the 12"-18" cairn on the north side of the roaring brook trail at 18 T 601045 4889931 and follow the faint herdpath the best you can. We lost it within 100 yards and just bushwhacked to the roaring brook. Not such a bad bushwhack, it's relatively open. Note: don't stop and the little tributary, continue until you're at the obvious roaring brook.
2 - Follow the brook for about 0.5-0.7 miles until you can see the eagle slide just left of your direction. STAY IN THE BROOK! We kept getting off the brook for three reasons:
-There are very temping clean rock slabs to the right
-the brook itself was choked up at a junction with said rock slabs
-we thought a landslide on the left was the new route to the slide
So how do you stay in the brook until you're supposed to exit? Answer: if you're at a junction, it is the choice that has less elevation gain ahead. It's also usually the one that looks as though it has more obstructions. And for the most part, it's almost directly due East, maybe a little north.
3-Exit the brook left at the approximate GPS coordinates 18 T 601978 4890293. That should put you near an open (new) rock slab exit to your left with the Eagle Slide visible above. The new exit is nice until the very end, but venturing to the left at the top of this is easiest and safest.
Hopefully the attached GPS map will help:
| || Green = Good, Red = Bad |
|By Jim Lawyer|
Aug 6, 2012
This drainage is a friggin' mess. The main drainage is full of tree debris from mini-slides along both sides of the river, making travel difficult.
| || The drainage leading to the Eagle Slide. |
Perhaps due to the significant land upheaval from Irene, the water is rust-colored with unusual brown algae and an unpleasant sulfurous odor.
At any rate, Mike's map is spot on. I followed the approach in the book to reach Roaring Brook, then followed the brook upstream over two debris sections. You'll come to a major fork; the right fork (with cairns?!) goes to the Finger Slide, so you stay left. Continue upstream over several obstacles and more chokes to an intersection where the stream branches in many directions. Now you can see the slide ahead, so take the fork that leads most directly there. My recollection is that this fork is also the one without fresh debris, but you'll have to poke around a bit.
Oh yeah -- the stream disappears into the debris from time to time, so you don't always know which fork has the highest volume of water.
After hiking up the new Trap Dike slide, I am less impressed with the Eagle. The Eagle has overlaps that are more difficult than anything on the Trap Dike, but the slide itself is less dramatic with lots of tree islands and ledges, and sections of not-so-clean rock.
If you want to see Irene's power firsthand, then it's pretty cool. Just be prepared to climb over significant tree debris. If you've hiked through Avalanche Pass, it's like that, but before the chainsaw crew did their thing.