I did a cool hike this Columbus Day weekend over in the 'Dacks with
Erik, a former Cochran's racer and recent Dartmouth grad, and Philip,
a fellow member of the Burlington Choral Society and the Burlington
Cocktail Society.  It was Philip's first backpacking trip, in fact it
was his first big hike--and he's a bit older than me.

Saturday night we camped at South Meadow over near Adirondak Loj and
Sunday morning we hiked Wright (4580'), Algonquin (5114'), and
Iroquois (4840').  If you know those peaks you can imagine that the
views just don't get any better--unless we'd been on Haystack on the
same day--it was perfect weather.  Algonquin was a bit crowded, but
that is to be expected.

From Iroquois, we bushwhacked down to the Shepherd's Tooth, a small
nubble on the southside of Iroquois with a long, storied history,
joined by a woman and her teenage niece or friend that we met on the
summit of Iroquois.  They had been told that that was an easy,
interesting alternate route down to Lake Colden.  They also lent us
one of their maps for the next day's adventure.  All four of mine were
safe'n'sound on the front seat of Philip's car.

The going from Shepherd's Tooth down to Iroquois Pass, or Algonquin
depending on who you ask, was interesting, ledgey, and cliffy.
Descending precarious ledges while bushwhacking can be exciting stuff.
 While in places we seemed to be on a path, for the most part it was
hard to distinguish any.  At Iroquois Pass we parted ways with the two
women and headed down towards Indian Pass Brook.  What a beautiful
area, and solitary, too.

There's an awsome old dam and meadow at the junction with the trail up
to Wallface Ponds.  We sat there and enjoyed the view up towards
Indian Pass and Wallface in the late afternoon sun while we grabbed a
bite.  After the bite, we hiked up to Wallface Ponds.  We camped at
the end of the DEC marked trail, right on the largest of the ponds.
Not surprisingly, we had the region to ourselves.  It was very cool.
If you're not familiar with the area, Wallface Ponds is a cluster of
about half a dozen, high alpine ponds, at a little over 3,000',
nestled in amongst several 3,700-4000' mountains.  It is one of the
more remote and less traveled areas of the High Peaks.

Monday's primary target was MacNaughton, which is either 4,000' or
3,983' depending on wich map you use, making it higher than the lowest
four of the 46 High Peaks, which were originally thought to have all
been 4,000'.  Still, MacNaughton is listed as #47 and is not required
for membership in the Adk 46ers.  After breakfast and breaking camp,
we followed the herd path from the end of the marked trail past the
other ponds, which was pretty easy to follow, but petered out at
MacNaughton's lower flank.  From their we bushwhacked up to the summit
ridge and ended up hitting all of the peaks on the ridge before
finally finding the summit sign on the northwestern most peak, just
before we were about to give up hope of finding it.  Though it was a
true bushwhack up and down MacNaughton, the path on the summit ridge
is relatively well defined, though it has its confusing moments.  From
the middle peak, we had stunning views of the Santanoni and Seward

It was almost 2 PM by the time we returned to Wallface Ponds.  Our
plan had been to bushwhack up Wallface and descend along the top of
its cliffs, but it was late enough and the bushwhack up the West side
of Wallface is supposed to be pretty tough--lots of blowdown and thick
vegetation--so we decided to enjoy the leisurely seven mile stroll
back to Adirondak Loj.  On our descent back to Indian Pass Brook we
ran into a couple hiking in the opposite direction, they were the
first people we had seen in about 22 hours.  Solitude is a good thing.

Reebs awaited us at our car and that was followed by dinner at the
Noon Mark Diner in Keene Valley (the food is mediocre as diner fare
goes, but the pie is good).

--Matt K.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
SkiVt-L is brought to you by the University of Vermont.

To unsubscribe, visit