Lake George

Lake George
Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Indian Pass and Mount Marshall - High Peaks Wilderness - 10/4/13

On Friday, 10/4 I pulled into the Upper Works parking area with a loop hike in mind.  I was on the trail at 8 AM headed for Indian Pass.  It had been 3 years since I had been there, and it was time for a revisit.  My plan for the day was a big one, so I set off at a brisk pace.
After about 40 minutes, I reached the newly refinished Henderson leanto.  It has been moved back away from Indian Pass Brook and has been restored as well.  It's looking great. 
New redone Henderson Leanto
From there, I crossed a new brook over the brook on the way to the Wallface leanto.   They did a great job on it.

New bridge on the was to Wallface and Indian Pass

Next stop was the Wallface leanto.  The old Wallface leanto was in poor shape so it was dismantled.  The new Wallface leanto in actually the former Bear Brook leanto that used to be located on the Phelps Trail on the way to Johns Brook Lodge from the Garden. It was only .5 miles from the parking lot at the Garden, so it was taken down and moved to be the new Wallface.  
It has been placed at a new Wallface location away from the stream. (but still within the sound of it). 
New Wallface Leanto (former Bear Brook leanto)

 All that is left of the old leanto is the backlog; left to be a place to sit.

Former location of old Wallface leanto

Indian Pass Brook

As I approached Wallface Mountain, I noted a cairn on the left side of the trail, indicating a herd path.  Perhaps it goes to Wallface?  Something to check out on another day.
Immediately after the cairn, the trail crossed to the east side of the brook and the grade became noticeably steeper.  Soon I came to the two ladders near the pass.  I had a Ruffwear harness on Rev and I successfully lifted her up the ladder.
Ladder near Indian Pass

It was somewhat overcast, but the Wallface Cliff loomed quite clearly on my left. 

Wallface Cliff


After 2 hours and 4.75 miles, I was in the pass. The trail is quite rugged and there are several huge glacial erratics.  Once through the pass, the descent is equally rugged. 
At 5.25 miles I reached the Cold Brook Trail and turned to follow it into Cold Brook pass.  Another 1.7 miles and 45 minutes found me at the height of the pass.  My plan was to attempt to bushwhack to the small rock outcrop on the south shoulder of Iroquois Mountain known as Shepherd's Tooth.
Indian Pass Trail junction with Cold Brook Trail
The bushwhack is known for it's thick forest and band of cliffs.  I reached the band of cliffs and found a seam in the rock where I could continue upward.  Near the top of the double clefted seam I reached a location where I was unable to climb with the dog.  Perhaps I was not at the best location to climb, but I didn't see any better alternatives in the area.  I aborted the attempt and returned to the height of land.   
I headed west a couple hundred yards to the cairn for the herd path to Mount Marshall.  It was now 1 PM.   I headed up towards Marshall and 40 minutes later I was on the summit.   
Cold Brook Trail junction with Mount Marshall herd path


Shepherd's Tooth


Iroquois and Shepherd's Tooth

A lucky summit!

Rev and I stopped on Marshall to eat our lunch, then we began our way down the Herbert Brook herd path.  The trail was quite dry and we got to the base and the Herbert Brook leanto in just over an hour.  We felt a few raindrops on the way down, but we never got anything more.  

Herbert Brook leanto

From the leanto, we had a 2 hour walk back to the car on the familiar Calamity Brook Trail.  This trail  was also about as dry as I've ever seen it.    
Flowed Lands
We didn't see another person the entire day.  This route was quite a nice full day loop.  Except for the failure to find a way up Shepherd's Tooth, it was a great day.  I'll head back to the Tooth without Rev so I can climb without having to worry about getting her up the cliff band.
Hike Stats:
Hike Distance:  16 miles
Hike Time:  9.5 hours  
Total Vertical Gain:  ~ 3700' 

My route for the day


  1. Thanks again (as always) for your great trip reports and photos! First rate!

  2. Thanks for your reports- I always read to gauge how a hike would be for my dog.
    Did you have to actually lift your dog up the ladder or simply assist? I don't know if this will
    Be a road block for my 75lb retriever

    1. Sorry for the delayed response... I read your question and then was interrupted and forgot to reply. I'm sorry about that!

      I lifted Rev using her carry harness. I don't recall if there was a convenient way to bypass the ladder with a dog.