Slide Climbing

Last updated

Slide climbing is a type of hiking or mountaineering popular mainly in the Adirondack Mountains. It focuses around utilizing the region's multitude of "slides," which are areas where the soil and growth have been washed away in a landslide, leaving a strip of bedrock; these slides have a wide variation in type, which could last as short as a few hundred feet to over a mile long, and as gradual as the hiking trails in the area to the point where they can accurately be described as cliffs.

Hiking walking as a hobby, sport, or leisure activity

Hiking is the preferred term, in Canada and the United States, for a long, vigorous walk, usually on trails (footpaths), in the countryside, while the word walking is used for shorter, particularly urban walks. On the other hand, in the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, the word "walking" is acceptable to describe all forms of walking, whether it is a walk in the park or backpacking in the Alps. The word hiking is also often used in the UK, along with rambling, hillwalking, and fell walking. The term bushwalking is endemic to Australia, having been adopted by the Sydney Bush Walkers club in 1927. In New Zealand a long, vigorous walk or hike is called tramping. It is a popular activity with numerous hiking organizations worldwide, and studies suggest that all forms of walking have health benefits.

Mountaineering sport of mountain climbing

Mountaineering is the set of activities that involves ascending mountains. Mountaineering-related activities include traditional outdoor climbing, hiking, skiing, and traversing via ferratas. Indoor climbing, sport climbing and bouldering are usually considered mountaineering as well.

Adirondack Mountains Mountain range in northern New York state, USA

The Adirondack Mountains form a massif in northeastern New York, United States. Its boundaries correspond to the boundaries of Adirondack Park. The mountains form a roughly circular dome, about 160 miles (260 km) in diameter and about 1 mile (1,600 m) high. The current relief owes much to glaciation.


The activity gained much of its popularity after Hurricane Irene in 2011, where the downpour in the High Peaks region caused many slides to expand and appear. However, utilizing slides as means of climbing mountains likely goes back as far as the exploration and mapping of the area in the mid to late 1800s. [1] In addition to the sport of simply climbing the slides, others utilize them as a unique way to summit the peak (despite the rough bushwhack they may require to get on or off the slide), or for the purpose of backcountry skiing towards middle to late winter when the snow has accumulated.

Hurricane Irene Category 3 Atlantic hurricane in 2011

Hurricane Irene was a large and destructive tropical cyclone which affected much of the Caribbean and East Coast of the United States during late August 2011. The ninth named storm, first hurricane, and first major hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, Irene originated from a well-defined Atlantic tropical wave that began showing signs of organization east of the Lesser Antilles. Due to development of atmospheric convection and a closed center of circulation, the system was designated as Tropical Storm Irene on August 20, 2011. After intensifying, Irene made landfall in St. Croix as a strong tropical storm later that day. Early on August 21, the storm made a second landfall in Puerto Rico. While crossing the island, Irene strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane. The storm paralleled offshore of Hispaniola, continuing to slowly intensify in the process. Shortly before making four landfalls in the Bahamas, Irene peaked as a 120 mph (190 km/h) Category 3 hurricane.

The Adirondack High Peaks is the name given to 46 mountain peaks in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, United States that were originally believed to comprise all of the Adirondack peaks higher than 4,000 feet (1,219 m). However, later surveying showed that four of the peaks in the group are actually under this elevation, and one additional peak that is close to this elevation had been overlooked. Due to tradition, no mountains were removed from or added to the group as a result of the revised elevation estimates.

Backcountry skiing

Backcountry skiing (US), also called off-piste (Europe) or out-of-area, is skiing in the backcountry on unmarked or unpatrolled areas either inside or outside a ski resort's boundaries. This contrasts with alpine skiing which is typically done on groomed trails benefiting from a ski patrol. Unlike ski touring, backcountry skiing can include the use of ski lifts including snowcats and helicopters. Recent improvements in equipment have increased the popularity of the sport.

Despite its popularity among the group of dedicated hiking community, it is inherently dangerous. A slip of fall could leave you dead, or injured or wounded hours away from help. As such, many climbers choose to learn on easier slides first, such as the Bennie's Brook Slide on Lower Wolfjaw, and then work their way up to more difficult and demanding slides. They typically require the use of rock shoes at the least, with helmets, harnesses, ropes and belay devices also being necessary, also with crampons or skis/snowshoes in the winter with ice protection as well, on the more difficult slides, such as the East Face Slide on Mount Marcy. While some are very easy to find and exit, others require extensive skill in backcountry navigation and an intimate knowledge of the area.

Lower Wolfjaw Mountain mountain in United States of America

Lower Wolfjaw Mountain is located in Essex County, New York. Landscape artist Alexander Helwig Wyant (1836–1892) named Lower Wolfjaw, together with neighboring Upper Wolfjaw Mountain, about 1870 for their appearance in profile. The mountain is the northeasternmost of the Adirondack High Peaks in the Great Range of the Adirondack Mountains. Lower Wolfjaw Mountain is flanked to the southwest by Upper Wolfjaw Mountain, and to the northeast by Hedgehog Mountain.

Climbing harness item of climbing equipment that secures a person to a rope or an anchor point

A climbing harness is an item of climbing equipment for rock-climbing, abseiling, or other activities requiring the use of ropes to provide access or safety such as industrial rope access, working at heights, etc. A harness secures a person to a rope or an anchor point.

Crampons traction device for ice-climbing

A crampon is a traction device that is attached to footwear to improve mobility on snow and ice during ice climbing. Besides ice climbing, crampons are also used for secure travel on snow and ice, such as crossing glaciers, snowfields and icefields, ascending snow slopes, and scaling ice-covered rock. There are three main attachment systems for footwear: step-in, hybrid, and strap bindings. The first two require boots with welts, as a tension lever attaches the crampon to the heel. The last type are more versatile and can adapt to virtually any boot or shoe, but often do not fit as precisely as the other two types.

See also

Adirondack Forty-Sixers

The Adirondack Forty-Sixers are an organization of hikers who have climbed all forty-six of the traditionally recognized High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains. They are often referred to just as 46ers.

Related Research Articles

Snowshoe Footwear for walking easily across snow

A snowshoe is footwear for walking over snow. Snowshoes work by distributing the weight of the person over a larger area so that the person's foot does not sink completely into the snow, a quality called "flotation". Snowshoeing is a form of hiking.

Cascade Mountain (New York)

Cascade Mountain is in Essex County of New York. It is one of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks (36th) and is located in the Adirondack Park. Its name comes from a series of waterfalls on a brook near the mountain's base. The lake it flows into and the pass between Cascade and Pitchoff mountains are also named Cascade.

Peak bagging or hill bagging is an activity in which hikers, climbers, and mountaineers attempt to reach a collection of summits, published in the form of a list. The activity was popularized in Scotland in the 1890s with the creation of the Munro list by Sir Hugh Munro. Peak bagging was brought to the United States by Robert and George Marshall in 1918. Since then, the activity has been popularized around the world, with lists such as 100 Famous Japanese Mountains, the Sacred Mountains of China, the Seven Summits, and the eight-thousanders becoming the subject of mass public interest.

Ski touring

Ski touring is skiing in the backcountry on unmarked or unpatrolled areas. Touring is typically done off-piste and outside of ski resorts, and may extend over a period of more than one day. It is similar to backcountry skiing.

Dartmouth Outing Club

The Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) is the oldest and largest collegiate outing club in the United States. Proposed in 1909 by Dartmouth College student Fred Harris to "stimulate interest in out-of-door winter sports", the club soon grew to encompass the College's year-round outdoor recreation and has had a major role in defining Dartmouth College.

Dix Mountain mountain in United States of America

Dix Mountain is the sixth highest peak in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondack Park, and is located roughly on the boundary between the towns of North Hudson and Keene in Essex County, New York. The peak was named in 1837 after John Dix (1798–1879), who was the Secretary of State of New York at the time, and later became the state's governor.

June Mountain ski area

June Mountain ski area is a winter resort in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, located near June Lake, southeast of Yosemite National Park.

Mountaineering boots are a type of footwear used in the sport of mountain climbing. They are designed specifically for moving over harsh terrain.

Elizabeth Parker hut

The Elizabeth Parker hut is an alpine hut located in Yoho National Park in British Columbia at an altitude of 2040 metres in a small subalpine meadow about 500 metres west of Lake O'Hara. It is surrounded by some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the Canadian Rockies. The hut actually consists of two buildings, the main hut itself and the nearby Wiwaxy cabin. It is maintained by the Alpine Club of Canada.

The Elk Lakes cabin is an alpine hut located between the French and Italian Military Groups in the Canadian Rockies, set near the Continental Divide among massive cliff faces, waterfalls, lakes, craggy summits, and hanging icefalls in Elk Lakes Provincial Park, British Columbia. It is 62 km south of the Trans-Canada Highway in Kananaskis Country, Alberta and 104 km north of Sparwood, British Columbia. The area has many easy trails for hiking, while also providing access to more serious mountaineering objectives. In winter, ice climbs abound, and backcountry skiers will find great terrain with lots of powder. Overall, the terrain around the Elk Lakes cabin is quite similar to that near the Elizabeth Parker hut. The hut is maintained by the Alpine Club of Canada.

Bill Putnam hut

The Bill Putnam hut is an alpine hut located in the Adamant range of the Selkirk mountains in British Columbia. It is set on a knoll at the edge of a high mountain meadow and provides access to a great array of mountaineering objectives, but is best known for its spectacular skiing terrain. The hut is maintained by the Alpine Club of Canada.

Giant Mountain mountain in United States of America

Giant Mountain is the twelfth-highest peak in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondack Park, in New York, USA. The peak is also known as "Giant of the Valley," due to its stature looking over Keene Valley and St. Huberts to the west. The prominent rock slides on the mountain's steep western face and its location away from most other large peaks make it quite an imposing figure, leading to its name.

Wedge Mountain

Wedge Mountain, 2895 m (9497 ft) prominence: 2249 m, often locally referred to as The Wedge or simply "Wedge", is the highest summit in the Garibaldi Ranges and therefore also Garibaldi Provincial Park, and is among the nearest of the many peaks visible from the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Area, lying north across the valley of Billygoat Pass from the Spearhead Range, which includes one of that resort's two flagship mountains, Blackcomb. It was named for its distinctive wedge shape by the Garibaldi Park Board in 1932 in preference to Mount Vancouver, which had been submitted earlier. It is part of an unnamed range forming the most northerly group of peaks in the Garibaldi Ranges, the other two most notable being Mount Weart, known as the Armchair because of its shape, and Mount Currie, which overlooks the First Nations Reserve of the same name and the neighbouring town of Pemberton. Wedge's very high prominence is defined by the divide between the Green and Cheakamus Rivers at a locality at the south end of Alta Lake known as Tokum Corners.

High Peaks Wilderness Area

The High Peaks Wilderness Area, the largest Forest Preserve unit in the U.S. state of New York, is located in three counties and six towns in the Adirondack Park: Harrietstown in Franklin County, North Elba, Keene, North Hudson and Newcomb in Essex County and Long Lake in Hamilton County.

Backcountry snowboarding

Backcountry snowboarding is snowboarding in a sparsely inhabited rural region over ungroomed and unmarked slopes or pistes in the backcountry, frequently amongst trees, usually in pursuit of fresh fallen snow, known as powder. Often, the land and the snow pack are not monitored, patrolled, or maintained. Fixed mechanical means of ascent such as ski lifts are typically not present, but alternative means such as splitboarding, hiking, snow shoeing and helicopters ("heliskiing") are sometimes used to reach the mountain's peak.

Snowy Mountain (New York) mountain located in Hamilton County, New York, United States of America

Snowy Mountain is a mountain located in Hamilton County, New York. Initially known as 'Squaw Bonnet', its summit is the highest point in the county. While most maps show the elevation as 3899 feet, some suggest that more recent surveys have it as 3904 feet or even 3908 feet.

Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain mountain in United States of America

Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain, spelled Pokamoonshine on U.S. Geological Survey maps, and sometimes known as just Poke-O, is a minor peak of the Adirondack Mountains. The name is believed to be a corruption of the Algonquin words pohqui, meaning 'broken', and moosie, meaning 'smooth'. It is located in the town of Chesterfield, New York, United States, on New York state Forest Preserve land, part of the Taylor Pond Wild Forest complex within the Adirondack Park. Due to its location next to the pass through which most travelers from the north enter the range, it has been called the "gateway to the Adirondacks".

T Lake Falls is the tallest waterfall in New York State and in the Adirondacks, at minimum doubling the height of Niagara Falls in Niagara Falls, NY. It is located in Hamilton County, New York in the West Canada Lake Wilderness Area. T Lake Falls with a height stated of 350 feet up to 600, depending on the source, reasoning behind judgment of the height is the crescent edge at the top of the falls and where the falls officially start. T Lake and the falls have been an attraction because of the several different ways to hike in, and the option of staying at the lean-to at the lake. There is also swimming in the pool at the bottom of the falls in the summer months and snow shoeing, cross-country skiing to the falls to go ice climbing in the winter.


  1. Colvin, Verplanck. 1869. Albany Evening Journal, 1869, Sept. 11.