Big Slide Mountain (#45) / Gothics / Sawteeth (#46)

Date of Hike: 10/9/11

Johns Brook Lane: 1.6 miles
The Brothers Trail: 3.8 Miles
Slide Mountain Brook Trail: 2.2 miles
Orebed Brook Trail: 3.1 miles
ADK Range Trail: 0.7 miles
Pyramid/Gothics/Sawteeth Trail: 1.4 miles
Scenic Trail: 3.0 miles
Lake Road / St. Huberts Road: 4.0 miles
Route 73: 2.2 miles
Total Miles: 22.0 miles (6,250 elevation gain)

Trip Report:
-Entering Sunday I had two peaks left to finish off the Adirondack High Peaks and become a "Forty-Sixer."  The two peaks I had left where Big Slide and Sawteeth which are not two mountains that are hiked in the same day.  However with another day of perfect weather forecast I figured I'd do a huge loop hike that started with a traverse over the Brothers to Big Slide Mountain, a descent down to Johns Brook Valley before heading up and over one of my favorites peaks (Gothics) via the Orebed Brook Trail, followed by a hop over a spectacular non-official 4,000 footer (Pyramid Peak), on my way to my final peak of Sawteeth before heading down to Lower Ausable Lake for some road walking.
- Johns Brook Lane 6:30pm, The Garden 7am, Big Slide 8:50am, Orebed Brook Trail, 9:55am, Saddleback/Gothics Col 11:10am, Gothics 11:45am, Sawteeth 12:35pm, Lake Road 2:30pm, AMR Gate 3:20pm, finished 4:15pm, Home 9pm!
- The Garden parking lot was full so I parked in Keene Valley at a free overnight lot and started hiking at 6:30am up Johns Brook Lane.  I wasn't to upset about having to walk the road eventhough it's uphill I figured it was best to get this out of the way now rather than at the end of my hike.
- I made it to the Garden Parking lot at 7am and started the hike up the Brothers Trail to Big Slide Mountain.  The borthers trail passes over "The Brothers", three sub peaks of Big Slide Mountain, which have awesome views of the Great Range from the first two brothers.  I passed by some overnight hikers who were just getting up, they were calling out for their dog who was up trail a few hundred feet on the ledges of the first brother sniffing around a hiker who was sound asleep in their sleeping bag in the middle of the trail.
- The hike over the brothers went by quickly and so did the ascent up to the summit of Big Slide Mountain.  As I was hiking I saw some fresh bear prints in the mud but no bear was to be seen.
- Before heading down from Big Slide Mountain I took in all the terrific views, refueled, and relaxed before I started my next part of my hike.
- I was surprised about the easy descent off of Big Slide Mountain down the Slide Mountain Brook Trail, it was never really steep and the footing was some of the best in the ADK's I've been on. I passed a couple of hikers near the bottom, one of which was with a dog carrying a huge branch in his mouth not phased at all and wagging his tail the whole way.
- When I reached Johns Brook Valley it was time to hook onto the Orebed Brook Trail and start the long climb to the Gothics/Saddleback Col.
- The Orebed Brook Trail trail has moderate grades until it passes near the Orebed Brook Slide where the trail has been damaged from Hurricane Irene and the slide has been widened from the storm and is filled with debris.  The trail now climbs up the left of the slide and you have the option of skirting along the side or just hiking on the slide marked by huge yellow blazes.  This was a fun part of the hike, it was steep, and the damage from Hurricane Irene can be see all around and in the slide, making for some pretty wild hiking.
- After leaving the slide the trail climbs steeply up to the col where I would get to hike on one of my favorite sections of trails anywhere up the rock slabs with the cables bolted into the rock to the summit of Gothics.
- Views while hiking along the cables are stunning and dramatic to say the least and the steepness really tires you out but the views make it worth it.  I was able to hike up without using the cables, which is not hard if you're an experienced hiker, I was able to do it all while holding onto my trusty camera the whole time while being extra cautious.
- I took a nice break on the summit before the last part of my hike over to Sawteeth.  Between Sawteeth and Gothics lies Pyramid Peak, to reach Pyramid you drop off Gothics and then shoot right back up to the summit of Pyramid, it's very steep but only a half mile so it's not too bad. The views from Pyramid of the slides of Gothics, Saddleback, and Basin are in your face and phenomenal!
- After taking a bunch of pictures it was time to drop down to the Pyramid/Sawteeth col before heading up to Sawteeth to end my journey of hiking the High Peaks 46R's.  It was about a mile but felt much longer, the drop off of Pyramid was steep and so was the ascent up to Sawteeth.
- When I reached the summit there were about ten people at the outlook, they all disappeared within a few minutes and then I stood atop my final peak taking in the view for a half hour or so to eat lunch and relax.  The weather could not have been better and I enjoyed every second of it before starting the long nine mile walk back to my car.
- I still had some minor climbing to do here and there as the Scenic Trail down to Lower Ausable Lake heads down and up the "teeth" off Sawteeth, it was nothing to major but was not too fun to have to do.  Once past the teeth it was downhill all the way with three awesome outlooks that sit high above Lower Ausable Lake with views of the Colvin Range and across to Indian Head and Fish Cliffs.
- The lower part of the scenic trail travels along the edges of the lake where the members of the private Ausuable Club were in canoes paddling around the lake.
- At the end of the trail I traveled on Lake Road for a few miles, passed by the golf course, and out to Route 73 where I made sure to not get run over on the final two mile plus road walk back to my car. My car was parked near the Noonmark Diner which has an ice cream stand where I celebrated with some refreshing ice cream before jumping in my car and heading back to RI.
- It was a long day hiking just as I like it and I could not have asked for a better hike to finish off my first spring/summer/fall hiking the Adirondack High Peaks!

Click here for all pictures

 The Great Range
Giant  Mountain and Rocky Peak Ridge
The Great Range 
 Orbed Brook Slide
 Basin and Saddleback Mountains
 Slides of Basin Mountain
Giant Mountain from Ausable Club


  1. Congratulations on finishing the Daks! You've done some big miles during this list.

  2. Way to go Chris! Your trip reports and pics have been lots of fun to read and look at, thanks for sharing, Congrats!

    -Eva P.

  3. Chris,
    Congratulations on completing your journey! It's a great accomplishment!

  4. Thanks Summerset and Eva!

  5. Congratulations.......great pictures.

  6. Congratulations, Chris...Mr.46er