Type: Trad, 1450 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Kevin MudRat MacKenzie, Richard D. McKenna, 2012
Page Views: 743 total · 14/month
Shared By: Kevin MudRat MacKenzie on Aug 21, 2014
Admins: Jim Lawyer

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Private Land/Hunting Season Limitation from Elk Lake Details


There are two technical pitches at the top. The bottom is low-angle scrambling.

Start the climb by walking up beside a hulking knob of anorthosite amidst a sea of debris. Thereafter, the slab varies in slope as it ascends some 400 feet to the convergence of the tracks.
Scrambling transitions into low to mid fifth class climbing above the lower tracks.

An obvious, though dirty, crack dissects steep bulges of freshly exposed anorthosite on either side. Above, the “Upper Dihedral”, a stunning corner with a finger-crack ascends steeply before transitioning to an exposed traverse–what I consider the crux of the slide. You can climb using only the slab on small holds or via the crack depending on your comfort and skill level. A boulder below an overlap (about 100 feet up and surrounded by dirt) makes a good belay point. Climbing up small overlaps and bulges continues as the width of the slide narrows.

The final pitch seems to end at what I call the “Capstone”, a thick ledge that forms a small roof over the slab. Pieces of the mountain to its right form a large mossy room-sized alcove while a final exposed traverse leads left to the final few feet of the Buttress Slide.

Round-trip distance: 12.25 miles
Distance to slide: Just over 5.5 miles
Length of slide: 1,450 feet
Slide Elevation gain: 900 feet
Exit: Descend through the woods to the south of the slide.

Also see Adirondack Rock ed.2, vol.1, p 528.


Climbers should note that the Dix Trail traverses private land until a few tenths of a mile before Slide Brook, so don’t deviate from the marked path. This segment is also closed during the big game hunting season (dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28605.html ).

Park at the public parking lot near the end of Elk Lake Road in North Hudson. Begin hiking along the Dix Trail toward Dix Pond. At 4.3 miles you’ll reach the Beckhorn Trail; pass by and continue up into Hunters Pass. After crossing East Inlet Brook, views of the North Fork and South Fork Slides may be seen high up on the flank of Dix. A bit farther along, the first views of the Buttress Slide first appear.

Your next benchmark is the stream flowing down from Nippletop Mountain’s eastern cirque (about 1.25 miles from the Beckhorn Trail intersection). A striking view of the snaking white track of the Buttress Slide lies just moments up the trail. Walk a few hundred feet through the trees to the debris field and footwall—a nearly vertical cliff. Twin overhangs marking the northern slide path loom high above. Walk north along the cliff and bushwhack up through the woods to a small adjacent slide. Trek south to access the Buttress above the overhangs.


Standard rack.


Robert Hall
North Conway, NH
Robert Hall   North Conway, NH  
Is this a relatively new slide?....i.e. Hurricane Floyd or newer? It looks really "clean", esp. the top corner photo. Feb 25, 2016
Kevin MudRat MacKenzie
Lake Placid, NY
Kevin MudRat MacKenzie   Lake Placid, NY
HI there. This came down in August of 2011 with Tropical Storm Irene. It's incredibly clean at this point. Feb 26, 2016