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MattC
08-14-2005, 06:09 PM
I'm looking for suggestions on doing these two as a dayhike. The options would be as follows:

Option 1) Take the Opalescent River Trail from Upper Works to the Twin Brooks leanto site, then take the old trail/herd path to the Cliff slide, summit Cliff, descend on the herd path, do an in-and-out on the Redfield herd path, then back to Upper Works the way we came

Option 2) Take the Calamity Brook Trail past Flowed Lands to the Uphill Brook leanto, in-and-out on herd paths to both summits, back to Upper Works the way we came

Option 3) Combine the two for a loop, w/ a car spotted at the Calamity Brook Trailhead, use the option 1 approach so as to be able to climb the Cliff slide, but go back around Flowed Lands on the Calamity Brook Trail

Option 4) Use the Hanging Spear Falls section of the Opalescent River Trail as part of a loop, w/ the approach from either option 1 or 2. The least likely option

I have been studying a bit w/ the ADK guide, the McMartin guide and Adirondack Journey, but even w/ all three can't figure exact mileages for any of these routes. I do know that it's 7.5 miles to the Uphill Brook leanto from Upper Works, probably about the same to the Cliff Slide. I imagine this is a 20 mile hike any way you slice it up.

Any ideas?

Matt

JimB
08-14-2005, 06:45 PM
Matt, if you start from Upper Works and plan to do both of these peaks it makes for a long day even if you do it the easiest way. IMHO you should take the Calamity Brook trail through Flowed Lands up to Uphill Leanto. At that point both herd paths will be before you and flip a coin to do one then the other :) . Then retrace your path back out to Upper Works. It is a long day and the last bit out to UW can drag on. Option1, the old twin brooks trail is not maintained and could take days of bushwackin' to get to the Cliff/Uphill area. Option2,what I said :) . Option3,see above, and Option4, it is quite a bit farther going from FL to UW via Hanging Spear trail and it is not very scenic either. Someone may pipe in with option5 which would be to start from the LOJ but I know you are coming from the south so UW is closer. It is a long day. Good luck and Have fun, JimB.

Steve-o
08-14-2005, 07:02 PM
I think your best bet is option 2.
This would be the easiest way.

Two weeks ago I backpacked in to the twin brook leanto site and camped, hoping to bushwack up the upper twinbrook to the cliff slide. It did'nt happen.
After scouting around for the trail for a while on the private property, we could not find it. We probably could of and I think we were close, but we were very close to someone's back yard and there was a chinsaw buzzing and dogs barking.
So we packed up our camp and headed up the oppalecent river trail to flowedlands. This trail was kind of nice, it was very overgrown in places but, we had no problems,even with a full pack.( hanging spear falls was nice)
The bushwack up upper twin brook I would definitly not do as a day hike.
I think that would be a nightmare.

Have fun! Get ready to put some miles in.

Steve

MattC
08-14-2005, 07:47 PM
Thanks for the input guys. The only real reason for taking the Twin Brook herd path would be to climb the Cliff slide. I was already thinking twice about this route and you guys have convinced me that the Calamity Brook option is a better idea. I don't mind a long day as long as I'm adequately hydrated. Myself an my planned partner for this hike can both move pretty fast when we need to.

Matt

AntlerPeak
08-14-2005, 08:43 PM
Thanks for the input guys. The only real reason for taking the Twin Brook herd path would be to climb the Cliff slide. I was already thinking twice about this route and you guys have convinced me that the Calamity Brook option is a better idea.
Matt

Matt my answer to your riddle is on the ADK site and not different than what you see here. However, you say your interest is in the slide on Cliff. That should not be too hard to find The slide was about 1/4 mile below the height of land on the old Twin Brook Trail. Perhaps a half mile or so below the Uphill Lean-to. The old trail was a muddy eroded highway even if it had been closed off it could not have recovered to a point where there is no evidence of it. At the old TW lean-to site the trail was narrow and easily covered over. I'd guess you could find it if you knew the old trail. But you would not want to use it as it was bad most of the way.

The slide was a good route and as you near the top there was a herd path exiting to the right to avoid cliffs. Once on the ridge it was a good walk to the summit, perhaps a quarter mile or longer. Open and a good path it joined the traditional route but I can't say with precision exactly where along the ridge they joined. From the top of the slide it was a left turn to the summit. As the slide was north of the summit.

bubba
08-14-2005, 09:56 PM
What JimB said...

Rivet
08-14-2005, 10:03 PM
Do Cliff first.

MattC
08-14-2005, 10:25 PM
Do Cliff first.

Why?

Matt

BorealChickadee
08-14-2005, 10:57 PM
Rivet- I read your blog about Cliff and Redfield so I'm interested in the same question as Matt. But I've got another question also:on your Seward, Donaldson Emmons hike did you descend Seward or go back down the Calkins Brook trail? Just trying to connect hiking time with routes taken.Thanks!

spaddock
08-15-2005, 08:09 AM
Why?

Probably because Cliff will wear you out more. We did Cliff a few weeks ago and had a blast. It is slow going though, took us about 2.5-3 hours to go up and down it and it's only about .7 miles from the lean-to.

We hiked it as a day hike from Upper Works. We started at 6:15am and had we not been enjoying long breaks all day we could have done Redfield as well. (I had already done Redfield in the Winter anyways)

We found a trail that went around flowed lands right at the base (unmarked but easy to follow). Then we just had to ford a tiny stream (boots and socks off roll up the pants) and it saved a lot of little rocky up and down stuff. Should have taken it back too.

The hike out back to UW definitely got to be a long slog, but aren't all long day hikes at the end?

-Shayne

Pig Pen
08-15-2005, 08:14 AM
One humble vote for going from the Loj. Why? Well actually, um well err... Lets just say the feel of porcelain is far superior to splinters early in the morning and also after a long day in the woods. This more than makes up for the extra mile or so if you know what I mean.

percious
08-15-2005, 09:36 AM
The old trail was a muddy eroded highway even if it had been closed off it could not have recovered to a point where there is no evidence of it. At the old TW lean-to site the trail was narrow and easily covered over. I'd guess you could find it if you knew the old trail. But you would not want to use it as it was bad most of the way.


Last year there was some discussion on this, and aparently the trail is faintly visible, and inundated with pricker bushes. This area has some serious Floyd-downs, so I would expect this approach to be pretty caotic. We did Cliff Via the winter route last september, and it was a maze of blowdowns. It took over 4 hours to go about 1.5 miles.

Here is some really good beta on that route.
http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=4671&highlight=cliff+twin

I would love to try it sometime!

-percious

Rivet
08-15-2005, 09:47 AM
Why?



There is a lot of climbing over and under things on Cliff. Some steep sections to scramble up, mucky sections, trickier to follow righ path, etc. So you want to do it while your fresh. (or as fresh as you can be after 7 miles of hiking just to get to the herd path).

The path to Redfield while longer with more ascent, is mostly clear and straight-forward.

Plus, I had already done Redfield. So, if I ran out of time, it didn't matter if I summited Redfield or not. I was just out for Cliffy.

Rivet
08-15-2005, 09:52 AM
But I've got another question also:on your Seward, Donaldson Emmons hike did you descend Seward or go back down the Calkins Brook trail? Just trying to connect hiking time with routes taken.Thanks!

We did a loop. Up Caulkins Brook herd path. Then ridge trail. Donaldson -> Emmons -> Donaldson -> Seward. Then back down herd path to Blueberry trail and out to car.

If I did it again, I would probably return the Caulkins Brook herd path. We did not enjoy the descent of Seward. I think we took the wrong path after the rock ledge - it was faint but could follow it. We were to the east of the brook coming down until the set of cairns where you cross from one side to the other.

TEO
08-15-2005, 11:55 AM
Probably because Cliff will wear you out more.

I usually prefer to get the easy ones out of the way first. If you do the hard one first, the easy ones will not seem so easy. Also, I like hiking the hard ones knowing that they are the last big efforts of the day, besides the hike out, of course. When I did Redfield/Cliff, I did it in said order (of course, I started from Uphill Brook leanto). But to each his/her own. Some people prefer to climb up mellow ascents and descend steeply, I prefer to climb steeply and descend mellowly.

I would caution anyone doing Cliff to pay very carefull attention while on the summit ridge path. It is the only path that I've ever lost. It was easy enough to refind, but did entail bushwhacking through dense blowdown.

AntlerPeak
08-15-2005, 12:42 PM
Last year there was some discussion on this, and aparently the trail is faintly visible, and inundated with pricker bushes. This area has some serious Floyd-downs, so I would expect this approach to be pretty caotic. We did Cliff Via the winter route last september, and it was a maze of blowdowns. It took over 4 hours to go about 1.5 miles.

Here is some really good beta on that route.
http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=4671&highlight=cliff+twin

I would love to try it sometime!

-percious

Very interesting thread the blowdown certainly complicates things. The slide was a good route and one's only hope would be to tackle it from the north. The other question is how did those guidebooks determine the old trail was so far from the Uphill lean-to? I had been in there many times and the lean-to is very close to the old trail. In fact you could see the shelter from that trail well before reaching the trail jct. There was a well defined path from TB tr to the lean-to as well.

Neil
08-15-2005, 01:22 PM
One humble vote for going from the Loj. Why? Well actually, um well err... Lets just say the feel of porcelain is far superior to splinters early in the morning and also after a long day in the woods. This more than makes up for the extra mile or so if you know what I mean.
Decisions, decisions.

Depending on where you're driving from, doing Redfield from the Loj can be a good bet. I've done R. from both ends and found the trip in via Lake Arnold to be very easy. We exited via Avalanche lake which added a mile but avoided the climb back up to L. Arnold.

ajtiv
08-15-2005, 07:48 PM
option 2 is the best
I backpacked in to Uphill leanto a couple weeks ago and did Redfield and Cliff the same day. It will be a long day. It took 3.5 hours to get to the LT and Redfield is pretty easy to climb in 1-2 hours Cliff took a solid two hours with a tremendous amount of blowdown to climb, crawl and walk around.
From Redfield you can bear right a tenth of a mile into the trail and pick up Cliff herd path above the majority of the mud. Cliff has two trails that lead to the summit. About 1/2 hour maybe a little less you are walking in drainage and there will be a cairn on the right side of drainage this is how I went up, or you can go straight.
Some how coming down I missed the turn to connect to this and came down straight on to this junction. Either path gets you there neither is longer or less difficult both have obstacles to contend with. some areas I needed to stop and study to follow the paths mostly at the bad blowdowns. They both have views but are not high on the list in comparison to the other high peaks.
Al