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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Going Beyond Our Limits – Hough and Dix – 7/26/16

Location: Peru, NY

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Last week, our hiking friends were discussing what mountains they intended to do next. They asked everyone if people wanted to do a couple peaks in the Dix range – Hough and Dix. People who are working to be a 46’er (one who hikes all of the 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks) sometimes do all five peaks in the Dix range in ONE day. I misspoke in my other blog about it being Harry’s first, forgetting that we did do one high peak last summer.13627209_10210662302620496_8060710642654467199_n But we are still relatively low in experience in hiking the high peaks, and doing two in one day sounded a bit daunting. My mother and a couple other hiking friends also doubted whether they were up to two, so in the end we took two cars – one car for the Hough mountain people and one car for those doing both.

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The first 2 or 3 miles seemed relatively flat. At any other time, I would have been so happy to encounter an easy slope like this. However, given that we were 13686783_10210662304260537_3878628241067045100_ngoing to climb a high peak (4400 ft) and had to ascend 3200 ft, it was a bit daunting as I kept thinking, oh boy, what is this going to be like when we start going up?

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And then we started climbing. Elevation is hard to show in pictures, but I think you can see from the angle of this photos and the two members of our party ahead of me where we had to climb on our way up to the top of Hough Mountain.

I felt really good though. And when we got to our last resting stop before the last 0.4 up to the top, I was surprised how good I felt, and Harry and I talked it over and decided that we would press on to do Dix after all.

13782194_10210662445544069_6009132042781722716_nAnd then we encountered our first mental challenge. We came out on a beautiful ledge with a gorgeous view…wow. Until we turned around and realized where we had to go.

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This picture doesn’t do it justice. But the place we were standing was maybe four feet wide. And we had to climb a rocky area and go around an outcropping of rock. Have I mentioned I am afraid of heights? I actually for a minute thought I might not be able to go on.

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Now I’d love to say I conquered this outcropping, but I was lucky to be able to find another way up. Over on the side there was a crevice between the rocks and after taking my backpack off I was able to climb up between the rocks and get up that way. It was still a challenge but since it wasn’t so close to the edge, I was able to get past the height and get up there. I’m really not sure if I could have gotten up the front way.

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After that it was just run of the mill, straightforward climbing – physically challenging, but not as scary mentally.

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Here is our group on the top of Hough – 5.4 miles.

So. Here we were on Hough Mountain. We still planned to go on to conquer Dix Mountain.

 

13754706_10210662338581395_4134740029354028699_nAnd where was that? Well, this picture was taken from Hough Mountain…see that pointed peak over there? Yes that is Dix Mountain. Where we were headed next. And that pointed spine that leads up to it is a ridge called the Beckhorn, which was the way we were going.

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As this post is long enough already, I’ll be continuing it tomorrow…

 

Here we go on our way to the Beckhorn!!!!

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