Friday, August 30, 2019

Osceola West Branch Slide: 8/29/19

This bushwhack exploration to a small slide on the SW side of Mt. Osceola was short enough that it seemed feasible for a mid-afternoon start on a gorgeous late summer day.

Heading off into the woods from a suitable spot along the Mount Osceola Trail to dip into the ravine to the east.

This wild, tangled, nameless brook is a long tributary of the West Branch of the Mad River. The Mount Osceola Trail crosses its headwater high on the mountain.

A steep climb out of the brook ravine.

I crossed a couple of old tote roads, probably from the 1930s when this area was logged by the Parker-Young Company, working out of Waterville Valley.

The climbing remained fairly steep.

For some reason the Osceola woods are particularly wild-looking.

Emerging at the base of the lower open part of the slide at ~3150 ft. A review of old aerial photos suggests that this slide fell during the Hurricane of 1938.

This is a small, comfortable slide, with dry grippy granite.

The main feature of the view is an unusual look at sharp-peaked Mt. Tecumseh and the broad crest of West Tecumseh.

Nice spot to hang out.

I continued up the slide, climbing over several smaller open patches with dense scrub between.

A little wider view with Carr Mountain and Mt. Kineo in the distance.

A fun little scramble.

Growing in.

The topmost slab, at ca. 3450 ft., was slick and unsafe, so I circled around through the woods to its upper edge.

A more southerly perspective here, including the Green Peak ski slopes and Sandwich Dome.

Back down on the lower section the shadows were getting kind of long, time to find a way home.

These slabs were fun to walk down.

I followed the slide runout til it got too gnarly. Back to the prickly woods.

Pick-up sticks.

This old tote road looked like it might be used a bit by the local residents.


I was happy to reach the brook and the climb back to the trail with some daylight left.

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