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Info request for solo week in high peaks #33-46 for last week of August

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  • Info request for solo week in high peaks #33-46 for last week of August

    First peak was 33 years ago in college . Somehow, every hike for this planned week includes herd path, clearly saving the best trails for last???
    1)Will any of these brooks NOT be dependable water sources below 3,500’?
    Calkins Brook
    Santanoni and Panther Brook?
    Lower Twin Brook?
    Brook on Iroquois trail?
    Uphill Brook along path to Redfield?

    2 Can I finding forest open and dry enough for primitive camping early off approach “road” to Santanoni Loop? Where?
    3 Favorite tent site on west shore of Lake Colvin?
    4 Is Uphill Brook tenting bad enough on weekend that I should find nearby alternative? Specific areas to look nearby for primitive site?
    5 With mid-gators (OR flex), do I have good shot at avoiding water dumping in boot at: a) Donaldson and Emmons from Calkins Brook; b) Santanoni Loop (ex. couch bog or Panther); c) Allen from Upper Works; d) Cliff; e) Trails from Uphill Brook to Table Top? Any stream fording needed in these areas (ex. Allen)? Prefer to not bring 2nd boots.

    6 Any pointers for navigating reported herd path spaghetti bowl heading NE from Marshall Cold Brook Pass to do loop? Clockwise loop best? Recent TR sounded dicey there.

    7 Should I avoid hanging rinsed clothes near tent (bear attraction)? (I sweat and stink regardless of condition)

    7 Have bears torn at unoccupied tents that have clothes and gear, but no food?

    8 Bug status at tent sites mentioned? Last two August’s had zero bugs while this June was merciless. Can I eat in shorts, wash, and not get munched?
    8 Anybody have a copter to airlift my 12 lb 6-day Bear canister to Colvin ?

    Thanks a million!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • #2
    I'll give you my best answer now, because it sounds as if you are leaving soon; although there are many on this forum with better/newer answers. First of all, it sounds as if you're going to be in the Eastern High Peaks where the regulations have changed a lot in the last 33 years. Most important is that Bear cannisters (a specific type) are required. Also, camping is allowed only in designated campsites within the EHP. These rules will extend to the entire High Peaks in 2020.

    2. The approach road to Santanoni is all private, so no camping along it.
    3. There are several designated spots along Lake Colden (I assume that's what you meant).
    4. Uphill Leanto area is fairly popular; there are also sites at nearby Feldspar Leanto.
    5. Some of the creeks you need to cross may result in wet boots, so I would bring water shoes for those areas.
    6. You know that the Cold Brook trail is not maintained; be that as it may, many people do go through the blowdown there on their way to the herd path up to Marshall, so they can see the plane wreck!.
    7-8-8 No opinion/answers here.

    ADK 46r #8003; 6W
    2nd round: 16
    SL6r #596
    Catskill 3500 21/39; 11W


    • #3
      I haven't seen the brook up to Iroquois but all the others you listed were running the last few weeks no problem. I thought in particular it was awesome how Redfield path followed the brook so far up the mountain and was running great on a hot muggy day few weeks ago, I must have dunked my head or trucker hat 20 times from split with cliff until up high.
      I love camping at the primitive sites on the line south west from lake Colden (south of the opalescent) and have left my full pack and gear in tent while out for the day and didn't have a problem with bears last summer or this (bearcan always left out away from site). I think I have left clothes hanging under rain fly at night with no visitors
      I just did Marshall as a loop a few weeks ago up Herbert brook and down cold pass to lake Colden and while there was some blowdown I had no problem following it the whole time up, over, and down.
      Yes, there were biting bugs, all over, including on the opalescent, pants and jacket for dinner and breakfast if not scorching hot.
      35er #3133

      "The Kingdom of Heaven is not a place, but a state of mind."
      John Burroughs


      • #4
        RU sure unmarked primitive camping beyond 150’ zone is banned for 2019 in EHP? Not according toDEC site.

        Thx on #2 Santa private property a oops.

        I Hiked 22 peaks in 2017 & 18.
        Garcia canister always.

        I’ll have crocs. Trying to assess need for trail runners if boots likely repeatedly soaked. Didn’t happen on Esther or Sewards, but TRs make Santa’s, Allen, Cliff, and Lake Arnold trail sound like swamp crossings.

        Is herd path cut-through from Marshall to Cold Brook Pass trail so faint and crosses that I should avoid it (decent with map-compass and have GPS)?

        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


        • FlyFishingandBeer
          FlyFishingandBeer commented
          Editing a comment
          A couple of things:

          Land to the north of the road once you sign in for the Santas is state land. So anything to the right is fair game unless marked otherwise, with respect to the 150-foot rule. See map: I seem to recall there being some pretty good spots near the water crossings after you depart from the dirt road.

          "Stealth" camping is still permitted in the high peaks for this year only, again with respect to the 150-foot rule. Most people don't take the time to do it properly because 150 feet off a lot of trails puts you into some deep, thick stuff. Its worth it though, IMO.

        • stone611
          stone611 commented
          Editing a comment
          I did Marshall a couple weeks ago, counterclockwise. At the bottom of Cold Brook Pass (near Lake Colden) and at the top between CBP and Marshall summit, some herd paths are faint, but the plausible ones always led quickly to more consolidated trail. I think one trail I took petered out then I only had to backtrack a little bit to find the more obvious one. I don't have GPS, but I honestly didn't think it was hard finding the summit. If you're on a herd path up there and you see occasional ribbons tied on trees, that's the path I was on, it was pretty straightforward. (It would be a different story on a stormy/snowy day! But now is ideal)
          It was also nicely dry lately I noticed. The trips last year when I did Couchsachraga and Cliff, I took my time and found plenty of log support on those swampy areas, did not sink past my ankle at any point. If these dry conditions remain, I feel confident you'll have an easy time on those crossings without taking more precautions than you usually do.

      • #5
        Very helpful specifics!!!

        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


        • bikerhiker
          bikerhiker commented
          Editing a comment
          No problem. When I left Marshalls summit i didn't head straight from the summit sign over,I descended a bit down to a large cairn with an obvious herdpath headed towards cold brook and that's what I followed over, the flagged ribbons on that path sometimes strayed from the trodden path but I had no problem getting over to the pass (this herdpath actually varied from my plotted gps course from Marshall over to cold brook, but by checking my compass at the cairn after descending from marshall's summit and then again once or twice on the way over to cold brook it was clear it was headed the right way).

      • #6
        Regarding your number 5 and looking back at your original post and your comment #4, this summer's weekends I pretty much did what you are looking at doing except the Sewards, and I didn't wear gaiters once, I just dealt with the mud on my hikers and legs and washed off. The Santanoni loop, Allen, Lake Arnold trail, Cliff/Red....yeah they were all wet but weren't anywhere near as bad as I was expecting. Cliff/Couch/Panther in particular had swampy mud stretches, and with the rains we have had since I was on those trails, and the storms this week, might change that and make it worse than it was when I was through, but I imagine hopefully you will find they arent as swampy as they have been made to sound in the past. I had trekking poles every weekend and used them every time, maybe the tr's that made them sound super bad didn't have poles. Allen had bridges over the big crossings, and the other 2 or 3 brooks on the way there were easily rock-hoppable.
        Good luck with your 6-day bear can, just for the weekends my Garcia felt like 50lbs going in and 60lbs going out. Looks like the Lake Colden/Opalescant tent sites will be a good basecamp for you, so maybe you will just have to haul it in the one time the 5-6 miles and eat as much as you can those few days before you have to move it again. I chose the tent site far out on that one line for a few reasons including close to the opalescent, but also because i figured it to be away from the "party" area closer to the lean-to's and sites right near colden, ie far away from a larger population of people that surely includes some who eat at their tents or lean-to's drawing the bears to said lean-to's and tents. I haven't once encountered a bear out on the river during meals or at those tent sites further out, but did run into the big bruin on the trail by the camp site between avalanche lake and lake colden.
        35er #3133

        "The Kingdom of Heaven is not a place, but a state of mind."
        John Burroughs