FRANCONIA NOTCH SLIDE: 9/20/13
During a string of gorgeous fall-like days, I undertook a morning bushwhack to the lower open part of an old slide in Franconia Notch on the steep western flank of Mt. Lafayette. This slide area fell in 1948 and again in 1959, both times burying the road through the Notch. Photos taken right after the slides fell show an amazing swath of destruction on the mountainside. It took crews days to open the road after each slide. Luckily, no one was injured by the slides.
After weaving up through the woods for a while, I came across an old secondary track of the slide.
Continuing up and across the steep slope, I came upon part of the main slide track. I saw a couple of footprints here, and as it turned out, inveterate explorer/photographer Chris Whiton had been up here two days before.
Here there was a great view of the Cannon cliffs and talus slopes.
Steep and slidey terrain.
The Black Dike and Whitney-Gilman Ridge.
Climbers making their way up the big wall.
Looking north through the Notch over Profile and Echo Lakes, with Vermont on the horizon.
Echo Lake, Bald Mountain and Artist's Bluff.
I climbed a little farther up the slide, but didn't have time to get to its upper reaches.
This mini-branch of the slide was too wet and greasy to climb.
I worked my way down to a spectacular ledge perch above the precipitous lower part of the slide.
Room enough to kick back and gaze at the Cannon Cliffs, front and center.
A wider shot, with South Kinsman on the far L.
From another perch higher on the slide, a look up at Eagle Cliff to the north.
Summit of Eagle Cliff.
Before heading home, I paid a brief visit to Profile Lake.
The slide seen from the shore of Profile Lake. Much of it has been revegetated over the last half-century. Who knows when/if it will slide again?