View Full Version : Mount Marshall Plane Crash Site

Doc McPeak
07-13-2004, 01:49 PM
Does anyone have any good scoops on this?

We tried a pair of slightly conflicting word-o-mouth directions and used up our one hour time allotment for searching with no success yesterday.

Any beta, photos, or funny stories welcome.

Also... this may have been the path, or some other location route... but, we noticed a well worn path (plenty of recent activity) heading the Marshall way right at the sign (trail arrow-this way sign) just before the wet section with the planks on the eastern edge of the col.

We followed this path for a 1/4 mile and climbed 150 feet back up the side of Marshall when we called off the quest. It appeared to keep ascending, and we had been told the crash site was just off the Iroquois Pass (or Cold Brook Pass) trail. If our info was right, we were off on a wild goose chase...

Maybe this was the right trail, and we didn't go far enough?

Or perhaps a route up Marshall that bypasses the short climb up McIntyre Mountain following the usual herd path?

If anyone has been there (and took notes and made a map) I'd like to hear the tale.

Mike Gilhooly
07-13-2004, 02:04 PM
The crash site is behind a very large square rock, that is just before reaching the col from the east(lake Colden side). I noticed an area before the large rock that looked like the start of a path towards Marshall. This area is not the start of the path to Marshall, but I'm sure many have struggled through to the Marshall summit. Go past this area to just before the height of land in the col. to find the wreck. The herd path to Marshall from this col is a breif desent towards Indian Pass, on the left is the site of a previous cairn. This path is clear and easy to follow. There is a small cliff to get up and over along the way. This path goes up and over 2 bumps before hitting the summit.

Back to the large rock. The crash is about 100ft off the trail, behind the rock. It's cool, you can sit in the wreck and wonder how the heck that guy got it in there without a total distruction. I'd like to know how they carried the engine out of there too?

Hope this helps,

Mike G.

Doc McPeak
07-13-2004, 03:18 PM
Thanks Mike. A few more questions...

We descended from Marshall to the col, then walked about ten minutes along the ridge before it started dipping back toward Lake Colden. This is where the trail arrow sign is, and just after walking the planks. How far from the Marshall path (there is only one distinct path now, aside from the other one I discovered) would you say the site is. And how big is the square rock? 4 feet high, 8? 10? Right on the trail, or off in the woods... 10 feet in, 20 feet in? And do you remember where in relation to the planks the big rock is? Do you climb much once off the trail? Where did you get your info? Fluke? Text?

A lot of questions, I know. But we had similar scoops as we started searching yesterday (look for a big rock). There are MANY big rocks (though square helps narrow it down) and everybody's idea of big is a little different. We were also looking for a path to it, which we were told there was a distinct one to follow.

Thanks for helping narrow down our info! If you remember any of the above details, let me know. Did you snap any pics?


07-13-2004, 04:00 PM
I found this wreck when I was trying to find the herdpath from Iroquis Pass to the summit of Marshall. I had come up from Colden and hit the flat height of land. I started to look for an obvious herdpath to my left, as described by B. MacMartin in her through book. I found a somewhat distinct herdpath that led to this mournful site (the bodies were not recovered for about a year- so they lay missing, their loved ones wondering- all that time). I did not know that it was there. As already stated, it was about 100 feet off the trail. It's been there about 30 years, and I would assume alot of the damage to the forest has been ameilorated since then.

Look for a huge refrigerator sized and shaped boulder on the left. The herdpath to Marshall is a short distance past there, almost before you begin to descend to Indian Pass.

Finding this wreck certainly coloured that trip for me. I also found the herdpath to Marshall somewhat challenging as it was overgrown.


07-13-2004, 04:13 PM
I didn't think that anyone died in that wreck, that both the pilot and the passenger walked away. If you look at the wreck, there was very little damage (for a plane crash) to the plane other than the right wing being snapped off. The Civil Air patrol had also marked the plane with yellow paint, so future air search's knew that the wreck had already been indentified.


Brian H.

Mike Gilhooly
07-14-2004, 05:08 AM

I think you may have left the marked trail too early. I think the large rock( 15-20 ft high ) is about 1/4 mile past this slashed area with false herd paths. The large rock is on the (left) of the marked trail. if you go to the right of the rock and behind about 100 ft, you can't miss the fully intact fuslage with assorted peices/parts.

I was up there doing a trail sweep in late may, on a very wet day. I was lucky, I had Pete and JR to show me all the interesting stuff on that route. We ate lunch at the wreck, but I didn't snap any photos. I was wet and cold. I figured I'd get photos on my 2 trips a year to sweep out the 46er designated herd path. We were up there the same day Mavs made his heroic attempt with his family from the Loj. Water, Water everywhere. BTW Mavs, A week after your attempt, I was in from the Loj to Indian Pass and the trail was fast and open. What a huge difference a week makes. Actually in the afternoon of the Marshall hike, the water had receded quite a bit in just a few hours. Timeing counts a bit in the hills.

I hope this helps a bit more. A small suggestion is to make sure you climb all the way up to just before the top of the col, for the wreck, and just after the col for the path to Marshall.

Good Luck,

Mike G.

Doc McPeak
07-14-2004, 08:14 AM
Mike, thanks for more input. Perhaps we didn't head enough toward Lake Colden from the col. Sounds like Pete is the best source for directions. I'll e-mail him some time, or have Christine shake him down on a trail work day. Actually I'll probably be up working on something soon myself.

The trail is in great shape, and as beautiful as ever. The start cairn had been dismantled, and there is a large 20 foot tree in the trail (not across, but running in the trail) about fifteen feet up the path. A little confusing. We stopped and looked further down the marked trail thinking the start may have been re-routed. We re-built the cairn, and if we're back there we'll try to drag the tree out of the path. Unless taking down the cairn was intentional?

When I do get there, I'll take good notes (and gps for Mavs... maybe! I don't bring it much anymore... but Christine is charting the entire Adirondacks!)

07-14-2004, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by mavs00
Have some idea on the others. Plus there is bound to be others


Here is one that just recently happened near Putnam Pond, a popular camping area...

Two people died when a small plane crashed Saturday morning at the eastern edge of the Adirondacks.

Police said they would not release the victims' names until their identities are confirmed. An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday.

People golfing near the accident said they saw a circling plane drop out of sight and heard a loud explosion at 9 a.m.

Debris was strewn across the remote the Putnam Pond State Campground. The twin engine Piper Navajo started a fire on impact, Don Jaquish, assistant director of Essex County Emergency Services, told the Press-Republican of Plattsburgh.

Emergency crews extinguished fires around the crash and cordoned off the area by the afternoon. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Traffic Safety Board are investigating the cause of the accident.

Ticonderoga Police Chief Jeff Cook said the flight originated in Danbury, Conn., and was headed for the Ticonderoga airport, about 85 miles north of Albany.

07-21-2004, 04:31 PM
I looked up my journal entry for the Marshall via Iroquis Pass trip and I had written this

...small single engine plane, white with blue strip. Serial #N6483R
Civil Air Patrol. No engine.Written on side panel-

"Pilot Pete Simmons
+ Family 9/1/70
Crashed Aug. 10,1969"

I took this to mean that they were found in 1970, but crashed in '69. I was told that engines are removed routinely to determine cause of crash, and so that would explain why there was no engine in the wreck.:(