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9/23/17 Mt Marshall #14

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  • 9/23/17 Mt Marshall #14

    I saw a group outing going to Marshall the day before our usual vacation at Elk Lake Lodge, so we found Lake George's finest $59 a night motel and headed up Friday afternoon. My wife and I got to the Upper Works trailhead around 6:30 AM. The rest of the group showed about 20 minutes later, and we were signed out and on our way along the Calamity Brook trail at 7:10 AM. We arrived at the Henderson monument just before 9 AM, had a quick break, and we're at the Flowed Lands at 9:20 AM. I took a nasty little spill sometime before this, and fell pretty hard on my left side. Not a good omen to fall so early into a hike I thought. We had a little longer break at Flowed Lands. My wife, trying to capture the beauty taking pictures with her phone stepped knee deep into some mud with her right leg. For me, the Flowed Lands was yet another one of those places I've read about, and the image I had in my head almost matched the reality. Perhaps I had seen some pictures while reading through various TR's, I honestly can't remember, but it's always very cool for me to finally visit these places I've only read about. Most of the group hung out absorbing the sun. It would turn out to be a hot, humid day, but it wasn't too bad this early in the morning. I snooped around the Lean to and some of the campsites. We passed another lean to at 10:00 AM (McMartin?) and were ascending the Herbert Brook herd path between 10 and 10:30 (I forgot to note the exact time on the trip). Shortly before this, we encountered two young guys who were looking to hike Marshall but missed the turn up Herbert Brook. Our trip leader told them that's where we were headed and asked if they would like to join us. They had backpacked in from the Loj and over Colden the day before, and were happy to join us, and a nice addition to the group. Herbert Brook was very dry according to the members who had been there before. One member pointed out all the beautiful vegetation on the way up. We climbed up at a fairly relaxed pace, enjoying the journey up for the most part. I was grateful for this, as the heat and humidity was beginning to kick in. We were in the summit at 12:05, and spent about an hour up there before beginning our descent via the Cold Brook herd path. And what a miserable descent it was. The path was very overgrown, and pretty steep at certain parts. I was trying hard not to get poked in the eyes from the branches. I also never would have believed this was the path down if I was alone, so it was certainly nice to be with people who had done this before. At 1:30 we arrived at a rock that offered a nice view of where we had just come from, and Wallface Mt in the distance. At 2:20 we arrived at the plane crash sight, and had a snack and took some pictures. At 3:30 I arrived at the Lake Colden Interior Outpost, probably 10-15 minutes after the faster hikers. The climb down had been rough for me. I reverted back to a pretty slow pace, I just didn't feel comfortable going any quicker. I wore gaiters for this hike expecting mud (not sure why) and one of the cinch strings snagged a branch and caused another little tumble for me. I re charged at Lake Colden with some Fritos and Gatorade (I was sweating a lot by this point) and just took in the stunning views and beauty. Left the lake at 4:10 and passed by what has got to be one of the finest lean to's in the Adirondaks at 4:20, also catching a glimpse of Avalanche Pass (another one of those mystifying places I have yet to visit but can't wait to). We were back at Flowed Lands at 4:50, and the Upper Works trail head at 6:50 PM. This hike was very challenging for me. I guess I got a little ****y with the Haystack via Elk Lake hike thinking "if I candi that I can tackle anything". My wife and I did a practice/training hike at Harriman State Park two weeks earlier, and I kind of felt crappy on that one too. I think this can simply be attributed to the lack of hiking these last few weeks since the end of August. All in all, Mt Marshall was a great hike, with great people and a really fun day. I just simply didn't feel my performance was anywhere near where it was one month ago.

  • #2
    Hi, On my descent I passed your group climbing. I was on the path and playing it safe not down climbing slab there. However, like you said the climb up the brook was beautiful it being covered extensively with green moss. It has mostly recovered since the flooding damage that occurred in 2011. The lean to you saw I know as the Herbert Brook lean to. The McMartin lean to I believe is the next one up the tail toward Lake Colden.

    As to conditioning. I've found that it does take going week after week to sustain a level of condition but don't let that deter you from enjoying the High Peaks.



    • #3
      Thanks for pointing out the name of the Lean to Don. I must have been in my own world on the hike up. I didn't recall seeing anyone coming down the trail. Thanks for the encouragement too.


      • #4
        I hiked to Cliff & Redfield that same day, and it was HOT! I have a tough time hiking in the heat, so perhaps that had an effect on you too. Don't be too hard on yourself, you completed the hike! What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger, right? Hopefully you'll get the chance to go back another time at some point.
        We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing ~ Satchel Paige


        • #5
          Thanks debmonster. Would love to get back soon, but I still have 30 more I want/need first.