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Marshall by the Scenic Route, 2/3

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  • Marshall by the Scenic Route, 2/3

    "Scenic" in a title usually has a hidden meaning, such as longer or harder. But this time, no kidding, it IS a scenic route, if you don't mind walking on water. I started at the Loj, went over Avalanche Pass, then walked down Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden to the Herbert Brook junction. Herbert Brook to Marshall is always nice but the highlight of the trip was walking over the lakes on a beautiful sunny day. I try to do this trip each year and it easily qualifies for my top ten best winter hikes.

    I waited several days after the latest thaw but just had to go today because it was the perfect weather day. I was concerned about thin ice (or no ice) in two places: the outlet of Avalanche Lake near the bridge and the marshy inlet to Lake Colden on the ski trail. On the east side of the Avalanche Lake outlet, I stepped on a shell of thin ice which collapsed, so I backtracked and crossed the bridge. The ski trail follows the Avalanche Lake outlet brook into Lake Colden, starting at the trail register. It crosses the brook twice, once on a good bridge, and is on higher ground till it enters the marsh near the lake. I paralleled the brook in the marsh and broke through an ice shell in one spot but just got my boot muddy. From there on it was good ice and smooth sailing down Lake Colden. Mine were the only tracks. The views of the MacIntyres, Avalanche Pass, and Mt Colden were fantastic--this alone is worth the price of admission. I made landfall near the Beaver Point lean-to (avoiding the area around the dam) and picked up the trail to the Herbert Brook junction.

    The climb up Marshall was very nice, but I couldn't get excited about it and was thinking about the return trip up the lakes. It is so beautiful. I was not disappointed--this is a great hike.

    For those interested in numbers, this hike was 8.0 miles one way from the Loj versus 6.9 (FL crossing) or 7.1 miles via the Calamity Brook trail. I'd take the extra mile any day.

  • #2
    it was a great day to be out...nice trip....


    • #3
      I absolutely love taking the walk across Avalanche lake and Colden in winter. on a blue bird day it is breathtaking.
      Thanks for reminding me.
      "Climbing is about freedom. There's no prize money; there are no gold medals. The mountains are all about going there to do what you want to do. That's why I'll never tell anyone else how to climb. All I can say is, This is how I prefer to do it."
      Ed Viesturs


      • #4
        Nice TR...I absolutely agree - the walk across Av Lake and Colden is nothing short of magical!!!
        An OLD man once said …There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of LIFE, getting back up is LIVING.


        • #5
          Couldn't agree more Joe, walking across the lakes on a bluebird day is a not-to-be-missed winter hike.