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Ermine Brook Slide from Upper Works Rd?

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  • Ermine Brook Slide from Upper Works Rd?

    i have been wondering about approaching ermine brook slide from the Santanoni Trailhead on Upper Works Rd. I'd like the option of camping between upper works and the range, or doing ermine brook slide then descending the twin/south slide or the newer slide closer to the express trail, or just having the normal herdpath descent to bradley pond and then down southeast and out.
    i know the usual approach is from trails past Moose Pond from the south Lake Harris area, and from searching here and the other interwebs all i have found about an approach from upper works is one recent but vague report on the adk slide facebook page of an approach using possible old roads or trails going between the santa rd (that the "normal" bradley pond herdpath trail branches off of) and ermine brook further west around the the other side of the range. Does that santanoni rd actually go out through the camps in the Macintyre west tract further towards ermine brook and just not show on any caltopo or other maps, or is there really a long bushwhack for that stretch (roughly 2.5 miles from end of shown santa rd to the ermine brook area)?
    "...don't assume you can't do it...we all make mistakes and sometimes fail. Keep working and learning, and be committed to improving fitness, and there is no limit to what you can do." Joe Bogardus
    "I believe it is in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown. The only true failure would be not to explore at all." Ernest Shackleton

  • #2
    I know the road continues some. We went farther than the trail to Bradley Pond to reach the brook draining from the swamp below the old Santanoni Slide and the refreshed Santanoni Slides. And the road did branch off (left turn) before we reached our brook. Caltopo shows that branch road goes quite a distance but not where you want to go. Seems to double back to near the drainage below the old slides.
    Last edited by Hear the Footsteps; 06-18-2021, 03:17 PM.

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    • #3
      never tried it from that side.
      looking at map:
      take road till it does sharp turn north.
      use altimeter to stay between 750m and 800m and find a not too thick hardwood band and curve all the way around south end
      that elevation will put you spot on for footwall of E brook slide
      You don't want to miss the base, a ten foot wall with waterfall and pool where it meets main flow of E brook.
      overall a very mellow slide with formidable headwall. the best way up onto the ridge is up the headwall and past a few big rocks and blowdown pockets.
      the first 3rd of the way towards Santa summit is the easiest / few animal / human herd paths right on crest.
      Are planning on dropping down twin slides ?
      one day ? or camp ?
      possible to camp near base of slide along E. brook or on the slide itself as there are some level shelves flat slabs, part way up. If perfect weather just a sleeping pad, light bag and bug net might be good.

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      • #4
        No matter what my plan would be, i would think i would have more better options coming in from upper works rd, and doing a bushwhack first in the morning instead of at the end of a day or end of the weekend if i camp, as after ermine brook slide im pretty sure i would go over the range and down past bradley pond and out, or down one of the eastern facing slides and out (out either being to dropped heavy pack/camp close to road and herdpath junction, or out to santa trailhead on upper works rd). I would not be using shuttle or 2-car option.
        thats what i was thinking though with the route you proposed, was taking the santanoni road past the bradley pond herpath junction out to the santa rd's north swing (access/exit route for at least the east slide?), and then bushwhack staying on that contour or close thereabouts and swinging clockwise around to ermine brook.
        "...don't assume you can't do it...we all make mistakes and sometimes fail. Keep working and learning, and be committed to improving fitness, and there is no limit to what you can do." Joe Bogardus
        "I believe it is in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown. The only true failure would be not to explore at all." Ernest Shackleton

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        • #5
          We did this in April and went from Bradley Pond. The road conytinues until you need to begin the wack off. There are signs of the old camps and the conditions of the road only allow you to hike on it. It is a long bushwack but a wonderful slide. I can tell you that the thicket from teh exit of the slide to the summit is a challenging feat. It is seriously thick until you get toi the ridgeline.

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          • #6
            With one car this seems like a very good plan. The legal road-walk will get you a long way in and mastergrasshopper's advice will get you to the slide base.
            I have traversed from the top of the EBS to the top of the twin and whacked out to the Bradley Pond Trail. However, it was in spring on a very deep snow pack. In non-winter conditions you can expect slow going between the slides. I have heard that dropping off to the east side of the ridge and side-hilling isn't as bad as remaining on top.
            From a non-winter trip up the S branch of the Twin I recall that from the slide headwall to the ridge it was very steep with a lot of hidden holes. descending back down was treacherous and required extreme care.

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            • #7
              something i guess i have been assuming based on a bit of research: this is the macintyre west tract, added to state property within the last 3-10yrs, that is legal hiking access both on that santa rd to its end as well as the bushwhack around to ermine brook? and there may still be remnants of camps, and also signs possibly remaining that say the likes of "no trespassing" or "turn around", but it is actually ok to pass through there?
              the one ominous recurring theme i see doing research on this one: hellacious whack from top of slide along ridge to summit, and i have noticed the notes about dropping down from the ridge to obtain easier passage. im hoping macnaughton from its west, and rocky mtn in the catskills from numerous directions, have been adequate leadups to the level of violence to be encountered in that area.
              "...don't assume you can't do it...we all make mistakes and sometimes fail. Keep working and learning, and be committed to improving fitness, and there is no limit to what you can do." Joe Bogardus
              "I believe it is in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown. The only true failure would be not to explore at all." Ernest Shackleton

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              • #8
                I know this is an older post but just wanted to comment: Yes, the MacIntyre West Tract is open to the public and has been for a few years. Even while the camps were still standing the public was permitted to hike through once the state took possession of the property- you just couldn't approach any of the camps themselves (there was a boundary marked around each camp building, not very large, for the public to stay out of). However, the final removal of the camps was completed a year or two ago so even this aspect of the transition is no longer relevant.

                You can still find "No Trespassing" signs along the periphery of the tract but they are no longer relevant (just carry a GPS and be really, really sure of where you are as there is still actual private property in the vicinity).

                (Interesting aside: In my explorations in this area this year, I came across a few posted signs from the "Sandford Lake Club" on the west side of Henderson Lake, which hasn't existed for I believe at least a decade now. And while bushwhacking along the Opalescent River near the start of the Allen Herd Path, I came across a posted sign for the Tahawus Club... which I believe hasn't owned or leased land in that vicinity for the better part of a century.)

                However, you should also be aware that the old roads on the MacIntyre West Tract (in addition to the MacIntyre East and Boreas Tracts) have been "naturalized." These old roads are anything but easy to traverse at present- they are covered with fallen trees, and have been alternatively trenched and mounded. It's easier even to just bushwhack alongside the road in spots than it is to try to follow the old road bed itself. So don't expect easy/quick access through the tract by following any of the old roads.

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                • #9
                  Terrific info, thanks DS.
                  Though i have seen a bunch said about them i have yet to travel on one of these re-wilded roads, from the maps for this area it looks like that could be a considerable distance on that type of road between the trail junction and hooking up with ermine brook going down and around to the southwest of the range.
                  I did not do this slide this year, and after seeing a recent report on the slide facebook page regarding the refreshed(?) slide over by the express herdpath on santa's east side im thinking next summer i will probably make a weekend out of both, with ermine brook one day and then the refreshed/newer slide and the range peaks the other day.
                  "...don't assume you can't do it...we all make mistakes and sometimes fail. Keep working and learning, and be committed to improving fitness, and there is no limit to what you can do." Joe Bogardus
                  "I believe it is in our nature to explore, to reach out into the unknown. The only true failure would be not to explore at all." Ernest Shackleton

                  Comment

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