All week the forecast for today (Monday) was looking great, so I was planning to climb some of the more exposed High Peaks. Then I looked at the weather forecast on Sunday and there was a high wind warning and talk of -20 degree wind chill for Monday.
I went to Plan B and decided to hike Mount Marshall from Flowed Lands. zMy dog Rev and I started from the trail head at 8:15. The Calamity Brook Trail is so much nicer in the winter than it is in the summer. So many trails are rocky or muddy in the summer, but winter changes them into nice smooth snow trails.
|Iroquois from Flowed Lands|
I had some strong wind hitting me as I started out so I put on my goggles right away. Within 15 minutes I was in the shelter of trees and the wind was gone. I made great progress and reached Flowed Lands in an hour and forty minutes.
I was expecting strong winds as I made my way across the frozen Flowed Lands, but instead I had strong sunshine and very little wind. How glorious! Crossing the lake saved some trail time and before I knew it I was on the herd path to the summit.
|Leanto at the base of the Herbert Brook Herd Path|
As I climbed the herd path, that too was easier in the winter. The snowshoe track lead right up the frozen Herbert Brook. About halfway up I ran into CPalmetier of Mr. P's Mountain Smokehouse (Schroon Lake), and JennyB. I chatted with them for a couple minutes, then continued upwards.
Just below the last steep pitch I saw a man coming down from the summit. He was from Pennsylvania and was packing skis. He had come from the High Peaks Information Center, and had skied to the herd path, then climbed Marshall. On the way down, he skied from the midpoint of the herd path back down to Flowed Lands and back to the HPIC.
|Nothing but blue skies and snow!|
As I reached the summit the wind resumed. Still it wasn't bad. This day was much better weather than predicted. I was comfortable all day. I reached the summit in 3 hours and 15 minutes from the start.
|My favorite pic - Iroquois & Colden|
Going down was even faster, 45 minutes to Flowed Lands. I took more pictures. Avalanche Pass, Lake Colden and Flowed Lands can't be beat for their beauty and even more so in winter.
|the leanto from the back on the way out|
I cruised down the Calamity Brook trail and was back to the car at 2 PM after a hike time of 5 hours and 40 minutes. This hike was a pleasant surprise. I was a little disappointed initially that I had to go with this plan, but the day was beautiful and so was the hike.
The only other person I was a man skiing up to Flowed Lands in order to ski back down. That is a fun trip also when the snow conditions are good.
|The David Henderson Memorial on the Calamity Brook Trail|
Hike Distance: ~13.3 miles (14 miles when the lake isn't frozen)
Hike Time: 5 hrs, 40 minutes
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 2750'