Friday, November 12, 2021

Sunny November Days

After a busy summer and fall, I've been taking some extra time off during the quiet month of November. The second week of the month delivered several fine, sunny late fall days.



On the first sunny day of the week I finished up the drainage cleaning (17 of them) and did a fair amount of brushing on the lower mile of Passaconaway Cutoff.

Good rock waterbar.

 Got these two drainages flowing again.


 Cascade on west branch of Oliverian Brook.

On the way out I bushwhacked to a favorite beaver wetland for a massive view of Mt. Passaconaway.

The wild profile of Square Ledge.


Some slide bushwhacking beckoned on the warmest day of the week. I had been to the big Southwest Slide on Mt. Osceola in October, but had failed in an attempt to visit the older eastern fork of the slide. A return trip to this sunny side of the mountain was in order for some unfinished business.

Nice late fall hardwood walking on Waterville Valley X-C ski trails on the approach.

The impressive footwall of the Southwest Slide.

Looking up the slide under skies of blue.

View from the top of the footwall. This massive slide fell during Hurricane Carol in 1954.

The east fork of the slide has its own fearsome footwall. This is actually a separate slide, date unknown, but at least a century old as it is seen on postcards from the 1920s.

Not going to try to ascend that giant, steep, wet slab.

I navigated a steep and thick route up through the woods.

I emerged at the upper east corner of the lower and largest open rock slab area of the slide, a wild and desolate place. Sandwich Dome loomed hazily on the horizon.

Type II fun on an overgrown section of the slide track.

Looking up at the next open section of the old slide. The wetness of the slabs precluded ascent above here, and with short daylight hours it was time to cut back across to the main Southwest Slide.

I came out about two-thirds of the way up the big slide.

Looking up at the sunlit crest of Osceola.

Nice view out to Tripyramids, Sleepers and Whiteface.

North Tripyramid with late day sun on the North Slide.

Down-look. Stay off the wet slabs!

This impressive slide is still wide open after 67 years.



On the last nice day of the week, I returned to a favorite haunt on the west side of Mt. Tripyramid, and explored a series of old logging roads on a traverse from the south link of Mount Tripyramid Trail across to the North Slide. I went partway up the North Slide, then returned to Livermore Trail via the north link of Mount Tripyramid Trail.

Another pleasant stroll on the easygoing Livermore Trail.

Into the Wilderness at the crossing of Avalanche Brook.

I always stop to admire this scene on Slide Brook.

A short bushwhack brought me to a logging road paralleling Cold Brook. The roads in this area date back to a major operation in the 1940s and 1950s.

A rusting relic from those days.

A wide-open route through the hardwoods.

The ever-mossy Cold Brook.

Gnarled and knuckled.

Hardwood dreams.

I picked up one of the upper logging roads that traverses northward across the west flank of Tripyramid.

The road was open for a while, then I was pushing through young spruces most of the rest of the way.

A stout old maple at 2900 ft.

Ents peering out at Mt. Osceola.

A few years ago someone had made a camp at a junction with another old road.

I had traversed the uppermost part of this road last December, a route to the North Slide described in the 1955 AMC White Mountain Guide:

(From the Livermore Trail) “continue on the main logging road above the Forest Service road, which leads to the logging operations on the NW slopes of Tripyramid, and which climbs in zigzags. Select one of the highest corners on the L, and, leaving the road L, contour through the woods, without trail, reaching the N Slide in less than ¼ mi."

After a sidehill bushwhack from the road corner I came out on the slide at about 3000 ft.

I ascended a rocky gully section up to the first slabs.

I scrambled up through the first set of slabs. The rock was surprisingly dry and grippy, and there was virtually no ice in this section.

Looking back.

Looking up. I stopped here, at 3200 ft., as at my pace the remaining daylight was too short to climb all the way up and then exit 5.9 miles down from North Tripyramid. And I did not want to go higher up than I would be comfortable coming back down. The prevailing wisdom is don't descend the North Slide!

I found a spot to sit and have lunch with a view of Mt. Osceola.

Sun and shadows highlight the Painted Cliff on East Osceola.

While I was hanging out a pair of young fast hikers passed by on their way up the slide. they made it out before I did.

Partway along my slow, careful descent I stopped at another opening with Mt. Moosilauke seen beyond Osceola's Breadtray Ridge.

Narrow slabs heading farther down the slide.

From the bottom of the slide I wandered a bit up the floor of Avalanche Ravine.

The east fork of the North Slide had only a trickle of water running down the slabs.

The great old yellow birches that overlook the Mount Tripyramid Trail near the entrance to the ravine.

The trailside clearing at the second Avalanche Camp, used in the 1930s and 1940s.



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