It was 42 degrees when I got started from Upper Works. The forecast called for partly sunny skies with the chance of afternoon showers. I was on the trail at 7:30 heading for Indian Pass. This was also my route last year.
|Nice bridge over Indian Pass Brook, just north of the Henderson Lean-to|
|A Painted Trillium colony!|
|Ladder just before Summit Rock in Indian Pass|
|The Wallface Cliff|
|Junction of Indian Pass and Cold Brook Trail|
The Cold Brook Trail has some nice water pools in the early part of the trail form Indian Pass Brook. I stopped at each of them to take some pictures. They would be nice swimming holes in the warmer weather. Speaking of weather, I wasn't getting any sunshine, and it fact the wind was picking up and I thought it might rain.
It took me an hour to climb the 1.8 miles to the height of land in Cold Brook Pass. I went past the cairn to Marshall on the right, just a short distance west of the height of land. I had hiked this herd path last year.
At the height of land (7 miles into my hike), I found a small cairn on the north side of the trail. I went in the woods here looking for a route up the cliff band that guards Sheperd's Tooth. I didn't find one so I came back to the trail and went a little further east. In fact the trail was starting to drop towards Lake Colden at this point. Looking up, it seemed that the cliffs were negotiable at this point.
I wasn't sure what my plan would be once I was on the Tooth. It depended on the effort to get there. I soon found out what that effort would be. It was thicker than hell. I was determined though. There were no cliffs here, just really thick cripplebrush. It took me an hour and 20 minutes to climb the .3 miles to the Tooth! When I was about 10 minutes from the top, clawing my way through, I found a small pocketknife. It didn't look like it had been there that long. If anyone lost it, describe it to me and I'll get it back to you.
As I was crawling up the hill the sun finally began to make an appearance. Finally I made it to the top. I had only been there about 3 minutes when "NikeUSA" from the ADK High Peaks Forum appeared. I had read that he was planning to hike to Sheperds Tooth this weekend from Iroquois, but I didn't know what day. It was quite a coincidence. We chatted for a few minutes and then I decided to continue upward to Iroquois (I didn't want to go back down the way I came up).
|The top of Sheperds Tooth is near! Finally.|
|Lake Colden, Flowed Lands and Calamity Mountain from Sheperds Tooth|
|Mount Colden and Lake Cold from the Tooth|
|Zoom view of Wallface|
|Iroquois from the Tooth|
|A last look from the Tooth|
As I emerged from the Sheperds Tooth herd path onto the open rock on the side of Iroquois, I ran into "Mamamac", also from the High Peaks Forum. She was with several other folks; one of whom told me how to get to the plane wreck on Mount Marshall!
In no time I was on the summit of Iroquois, one of my favorite high peaks. Several other folks were there taking a rest and enjoying the view. I decided I would take the trail from the Boundary/Algonquin col down to Lake Colden, and if I had enough time, I would ascend the Cold Brook Trail from the east to go and look for the plane wreck.
|Sheperds Tooth from Iroquois|
|Algonquin from Iroquois|
|The nice new bog bridges. They are great!|
It took me just over an hour to go down to Lake Colden. The water along the way was fantastic as always. I passed 5 groups on their way down and 2 groups going up. I was surprised by the amount of people on this trail, but I guess its the only one up to the MacIntyre Range from the Lake Colden area.
It was 2:30 when I got to the Interior Outpost. I decided to go back up Cold Brook from the east to find the plane wreck. I was told it was about 2/3 of the way up to the pass. I kept stopping to scout around but found nothing. Finally at 3:30 I found it. It is just east of the height of land, behind a large boulder that sits 10' off the trail on the Mount Marshall side. If you walk behind the boulder, you will see it. It is just a 100 yards or so off the trail. There is a description of what happened here if you scroll down a little ways. The accident happened August 9, 1969 and the plane is a Cherokee 140.
|The Mount Marshall plane wreck|
|The inside, looking towards the tail|
|The left wing clipped a tree, broke off and lies nearby|
I had forgotten how rugged this herd path to Marshall is. I was starting to get a little tired at this point. At 4:30 I was on top of Marshall. It was now time to high tail it down to Flowed Lands and out the Calamity Brook Trail.
|I made it...|
|Iroquois and Sheperds Tooth from Mount Marshall|
I passed several groups going down Marshall (including a 3rd member of the High Peaks Forum, YanaLG). Nice meeting you. There were also a couple groups climbing who had to be camping in the area.
I reached the Herbert Brook lean-to (my ADK adopted lean-to) at 5:40 and gave it a quick inspection. The were 3 people taking an afternoon nap in there. They had gone to see sunrise on Mount Marcy this morning and were now catching up on sleep.
Next I made quick work of the Calamity Brook Trail and signed out at exactly 7:30 PM. Same time that I signed in. My last goal was to get back to Schroon Lake and catch some dinner before the restaurants closed. I was successful!
My journey to Sheperd's Tooth is now complete. I ended up covering a lot more ground than I expected to today, but it was a great day. There were no bugs. While walking though the re-route section of the Calamity Brook Trail, I was really enjoying the perfect weather at the end of the day. More pictures can be found here on my Picasa Web Album.
Hike Distance: 19 miles
Hike Time: 12 hours
Total Vertical Gain: ~ 5500'
The route (click to enlarge)
|a closer look at the main part|
|National Geographic map|