One of the last steep bits
The terrain got steeper and suddenly, the tracks I was following ended. I guess who ever had made them had decided to turn around! I made my way up through the least dense terrain, getting a little off route in the process and ending up on top of a small knob to the south east of Marshall's real summit. A little bit of down, and a bit of stiff bushwacking got us back on track. We reached the summit at about 1:30 pm. A little bit of a late summit today! (usually we are at the top before noon). Weather conditions still absolutely perfect, and the view of the high peaks, even though this peak is treed, were stunning.
Andrew and Jenn on Marshall
Smiliin' connell on summit
Next came what I knew was going to be the tough part - the bushwack over from Marshall's summit to Iroquois pass. I had done this two years before on my initial ascent of Marshall, and I remember that there was one particularly nasty bit of bushwacking involved. Well... if we were going to do the loop, we had better get at it, and with the afternoon getting on, there was no time to waste.
The middle section of the bushwack was as I remembered it, except maybe a little worse. It was the most impenetrable stuff you could imagine, and on top of that, covered in fresh, wet snow. You had to practically put your entire body weight against an intertwined mass of small trees and brush, and even then you would just barely be able to push through. Doing it with your eyes mostly closed was also a required skill, since to have your eyes wide open would mean a branch in the eye every few seconds. Exhausting and very frustrating. Jenn, especially, was happy and dandy about this section!
Finally, finally, we make it down into the notch just below Iroquois, where we intersect the Iroquois pass trail. We spend a few minutes collecting our thoughts, shaking off the snow and shaking out the wet gear. Hopefully things would go better from here on out.
No one had been on the Iroquois pass trail recently, except for a few-days old set of posthole tracks (use snowhoes please!!) which made the snowshoeing uneven and awkward. Still, we made it down to the junction with the Indian Pass trail in reasonable time.
Andrew at Indian Pass trail
We were now about to head along a section of trail that I had never done before: Indian Pass. I'd heard about Wallface, the big cliff of the east, and was kind of looking forward to seeing it.
The trail rose steeply for about 250 or 300 feet in elevation up to the pass. The cliff was indeed quite big, although unfortunately for us the angle of light was unfavourable at this late time of day. Still, the size of the trees at the very top of the cliff gave a good idea of how high the cliff was.