THE SCAUR & WATERVILLE FLUME: 10/27/14
The Forest Service has just opened a new trail, tentatively named Irene's Path or Irene's Way, between these two fine attractions in the Waterville Valley backcountry. It replaces the Flume Brook Trail, which was partly destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene. There are no signs or blazes yet, but it is easily followed. After Carol scouted this out on Saturday and gave me a report, I knew where I would be hiking on this chilly afternoon. It turned out to be a very interesting 6 1/2 mile round trip.
This sign marks the start of the Kettles Path off Livermore Trail. 0.9 mi. from the Livermore/Depot Camp trailhead.
Fine sidehill work on a major Kettles Path relocation, done in 2013 by volunteers of the Waterville Valley Athletic & Improvement Association (www.wvaia.org).
A big white pine along the Kettles Path.
Nice hardwoods on the Scaur Trail just above the Kettles Path junction; below this junction the Scaur Trail has been closed due to steepness and erosion.
Looking south to Sandwich Dome from the ledges of the Scaur. This has long been one of our favorite shorter hikes, just 2 miles one way with 650 feet of elevation gain.
View to Middle/South Tripyramid and the remote Lost Pass region.
Some rime frosting on Middle & South Tripyramid.
This ledge behind the outlook is a nice spot for a snooze in the sun.
The steep ledgy slot on the trail just behind the Scaur.
Irene's Path starts along the base of this rock face.
A ledge just to the right of the trail offers a view of Mt. Tecumseh.
The trail then passes this impressive rock.
Like the prow of an ocean liner.
The trail makes a nice meandering climb eastward along the ridge.
Another interesting rock formation.
After 0.6 mi. the trail starts to descend into the Flume Brook valley through dark, wild woods on the north side of the ridge.
The trail leads down through some very rough terrain. The amazing trail construction here was performed by the Off the Beaten Path crew led by Jed Talbot. See photos of them at work: https://www.facebook.com/trailwork
Partway down, the trail passes a unique vista of Mad River Notch.
This may be the best view anywhere of the Painted Cliff on East Osceola.
Two sets of cliffs on the SW side of Mt. Kancamagus. The ledges on the back/left were once called the K1 Cliff.
These lower cliffs offer bushwhackers some good views to the south.
The entrance to the Waterville Flume is blocked by a jumble of Irene debris.
The area is much more open than it used to be.
You can make your way down to the open brookbed below the Flume.
Here you get a view of the towering fractured wall on the north side of the Flume.
An interesting perspective on the two walls of the gorge.
By scrambling up and over some of the debris, you can get a clear look into the Flume with its pretty cascade. The former path that led up into the gorge along the right side has been obliterated.
The lower cascade in the Flume. There's another one up around the corner to the right, but it's much harder to get to now.
Crushed stone laid down along the trail by the Off the Beaten Path crew.
Another look at that Mad River Notch view.
A trailside boulder at sunset. Irene's Path is a great addition to the White Mountain trail system!