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WARNING!!! Alternate bushwacking trail to Marshall broken

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  • WARNING!!! Alternate bushwacking trail to Marshall broken

    If you are planning to hike Marshall anytime soon, please be aware that today (01/28/12) we broke an alternate bushwacking trail all the way to the summit. The trail is very difficult, it goes through 4 ft of snow, countless sprucetraps and has numerous dead ends. It appears that the GPS we used for directions had this bushwacking route loaded in.

    In order to make sure you are on the correct trail, keep in mind that the correct trail leaves the brook on the right hand side (as you go up).
    So, if you are on the left hand side of the brook and start heading away from the brook (west), you are on the wrong trail (even if it appears very well defined). Go back to the brook and look for the trail on the right hand side. That is the correct one. The trail zigzags from the left to the right on the middle section of the brook. The last time you cross the brook should be from left to right (as you go up).

    Hope this helps.

  • #2
    That's the way we went the last time!!

    The herd path crosses the brook the final time from left to right (as you ascend) just above a large erratic in the middle of the brook. There is a very small cairn on a large rock in the brook but it is easily obscured with snow and the hp is hard to see on the opposite bank as it squeezes between some rocks.
    Keep close to Nature's heart...and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
    -John Muir

    ADK 46-R 7090W
    Saranac Lake 6er (3x) 11U, UW
    Catskill 3500 2265; 921W

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    • #3
      Bogdan,

      What time did you guys make it to the summit? Nice hiking with you yesterday. Though I must say I think we did more standing around than hiking on Marshall haha. Glad to see that everyone made it out safely.
      -veggielasagna

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      • #4
        It was nice hiking with you guys yesterday, even though we were hiking in figure 8s . Props to you guys for summiting! Veggie lasagna and I got to our cars just as it was getting dark. How is condition of the proper herd path? I think I need to get back there soon .
        31/46 High Peaks
        30/46 Winter Peaks
        115/2,983,456 mountain bike trails

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        • #5
          Last year Glen and I followed Rik's trail that went right in the brook all the way up to the vly. I have a hunch that route is somewhat damp currently.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bogdan View Post

            So, if you are on the left hand side of the brook and start heading away from the brook (west), you are on the wrong trail (even if it appears very well defined).
            Seems like a common issue as I have also been lulled into that too!
            Alpine1 and I followed it last year, but eventually figured it could not be right and back tracked finding the brook crossing path to the right looking less defined than the wrong path on the left.

            Congratulations on reaching the summit! You surely earned the "W" on that one!
            Think outside...no box required !

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            • #7
              Originally posted by veggielasagna View Post
              Bogdan,

              What time did you guys make it to the summit? Nice hiking with you yesterday. Though I must say I think we did more standing around than hiking on Marshall haha. Glad to see that everyone made it out safely.
              It was nice hiking with you, too. We reached the summit at 3:00. It took an extra hour to bushwack down that col and up to the summit.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by bubba74 View Post
                It was nice hiking with you guys yesterday, even though we were hiking in figure 8s . Props to you guys for summiting! Veggie lasagna and I got to our cars just as it was getting dark. How is condition of the proper herd path? I think I need to get back there soon .
                It was nice hiking with you, too. The proper herd path is a breeze.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bogdan View Post
                  It was nice hiking with you, too. We reached the summit at 3:00. It took an extra hour to bushwack down that col and up to the summit.
                  Nice, congrats! You earned that one for sure. Considering the pace we were going that is very good time. See you out there.
                  -veggielasagna

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                  • #10
                    Hey I think we went that way too over Thanksgiving weekend 2009. We stopped to adjust packs and then headed left across the brook and bushwacked most of the way up. Found a much nicer trail on the way down, and realized we should have gone right where we fussed with our gear.

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                    • #11
                      I saw your trail when I was there on 1/4/12. Lots of people have followed in your footsteps. It reminds me of my first time up Marshall years ago when there were lots of faint paths but few lead to the canister. I was disappointed last summer to see flagging and a groomed path along the brook. I was terrified Saturday to see that people had cut blazes into the trees. I'm glad I did my first round of 46 when herdpaths were full of blowdown and a compass was your best friend.

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                      • #12
                        I revisited Marshall yesterday and noted the blazes on the trees as well. I do not recall seeing them last week, but then again, I was off trail most of the day

                        It was also clear that many people had followed our crazy path throughout the week. But, for the most part it is pretty straightforward until it snows again as the "real" trail is well compacted and for the most part is on the right side of the brook, especially higher up.

                        At one point yesterday I admittedly did rely on my GPS to confirm my instinct about the path. It looked like someone had laid branches across the path thus diverting traffic to the wrong path. Perhaps the branches just fell there, but I pushed them aside and continued up as it was clearly the "true" herd path. After that there were no questions, pretty straight forward.
                        -veggielasagna

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                        • #13
                          Hi Bogdan, We got sucked into the nice broken trail that you mentioned going left and away from the brook. It was tough and carrying snow shoes made it tougher but we made it to the top. We took the "true" herd path down and we saw where we went wrong. In the winter you just take the broken path. It hasn't snowed enough to wipe out you path, that we just freshened up.

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                          • #14
                            I took the wrong trail that led to countless spruce traps and post holing a couple weeks ago. I never made the summit and will make another attempt in late February. I will consult a map versus following a strange footpath next time.

                            -M
                            ADK 46/46 20W
                            Catskills 39/39 27W
                            NE115 103/115

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GeoDAKer View Post
                              I will consult a map versus following a strange footpath next time.

                              -M
                              Interesting concept...
                              This post is for entertainment purposes only.

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