Thursday, February 13, 2020

Northwest Slide, Mt. Passaconaway: 2/12/20

A snowshoe bushwhack with Mark K. and Dennis P. (peakbagger on Views from the Top) to a huge snowy slab on the NW flank of Mt. Passaconaway.

The slab and slide can be seen from the outlook on North Hancock.

And from North Tripyramid.

Dennis and Mark make one the four crossings of Downes Brook, which all had good snow bridges. We missed Ray "Jazzbo" Caron, who was planning to join us, but medical appointments intervened. We wish him well with his upcoming treatments.

The fourth crossing.

Into the Wilderness.

Snowshoeing conditions were excellent on Downes Brook Trail, with 3-6" of new powder atop the old track.

The brook that drains the Downes Brook (Passaconaway) Slide.

Heading up to the wide lower slabs of that slide.

This is a cascade in summer.

Ascending the slabs.


Stippled snowfield.

From the slabs we traversed westward across the slope to the drainage of the Northwest Slide.

Happy snowshoer.

Open woods.

There was a crevassed brook to cross.

Inviting corridor.

The lofty crest of Passaconaway looms through the trees.

The slide track/brook that drains the Northwest Slide was an open highway leading up the ravine.

Nice glade on a plateau below the slide.

The slide in sight ahead.

Mark, still recovering from knee surgery, hung out at the base of the steep climb to the big slab as Dennis and I continued up.

There's some snow up here.

Dennis and I rotated breaking trail up the steep slope.

We circled out to the west edge of the slab, which is 200 feet wide and very steep. Yikes!

Peering down to the base.

The upper end of the slab, with Mt. Passaconaway above. For safety's sake, we kept to the scrubby edge

From here, a view to Mt. Carrigain, Carrigain Notch and the Nancy Range.

I continued up along the side of the slab, passing this apparent old tote road that I had noticed on a summer visit here.

I circled up, around and down to a gentle lip at the top of the slab, with a wide view.

Moving across, North and Middle Tripyramid came into view, behind the shadowed flank of the Fool Killer.

The slide continues above as a snowy swath. In summer these are dangerously slick slabs.

I went up to the next steep rise, but it was turnaround time.

Looking back down to the lip.

The mighty Carrigain.

Zoom on Tripyramid and Fool Killer.

Cornice along the edge of the slab.

Heading back down the slide track.

Good snow load on this blowdown.

Potash Mountain from the Downes Brook (Passaconaway) Slide.

Mark, who headed down ahead of us, wanted to make sure we didn't get lost on the descent.

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