In preparation for this hike, I had downloaded the 2009 GPS tracklog of our bushwhack up to the Shepherd's Tooth. It was this track we followed as we plunged into the bush at Cold Brook Pass.
The first part of the bushwhack was quite thick and difficult to pass. There were a couple of steeply sloping pitches; these were covered in a loose mossy soil that made footing quite unsure. In winter this had been cemented nicely under a layer of snow, but in the summer it was definitely trickier. Above this we traversed sideways along the slope for a ways, skirting the base of one of several cliff bands that guard the slopes above Cold Brook Pass. In the lee of this cliff band were a couple of open spots - a welcome respite from the tangled bush.
Not long after the cliff band we arrived at a shallow gully coming vertically down from above. In this gully we found what looked like the faintest indication of a herd path, and here we turned up (at some point I should probably see how far down the path goes from here - perhaps there's a better way down to the pass). We followed it up fairly successfully until we reached a small clearing filled with knee-high vegetation, at which point we lost any indication of the path. I recognized this spot from our 2009 climb.
With no definite path to follow, we decided to strike out directly for the top of the Shepherd's Tooth, which was now only perhaps a hundred yards away. One final steep and particularly thick band of bush and we emerged onto the open heather slopes of the Shepherd's Tooth. We steered clear of steep open cliffs on our left, and with handfuls of heather providing good handholds, hauled ourselves up to the open rock atop the Tooth. Ty said he was a bit nervous about this last bit, but he courageously climbed through it in sure-footed fashion.
Julie and Mike on the Tooth
Happy to be finished with the bushwhacking - and to be on top of a wonderful and rarely-visited corner of the Adirondacks, we stopped for a late lunch. We didn't have the clearest of atmospheric conditions - there was considerable haze in the air - but the views of the near and far mountain scenery, which included Wallface, Flowed Lands, Mount Marshall, and Mount Colden, were superb.
Julie and Mike on the Tooth
Unlike the route up from Cold Brook Pass, there is a fairly well-defined herdpath from the Tooth to the open summit of Iroquois. In fact, there appears to be two herd paths, because the one we located and followed from the Tooth to the treeline on Iroquois turned out to be different from the one I followed back in 2009.
From the Tooth to Iroquois
Once on the open alpine terrain, it was a simple matter to pick a reasonable route up open slabs of bedrock to Iroquois' summit. There were excellent views down to the crag of the Shepherd's Tooth, now well below us.