Friday, January 7, 2022

East Fork, Tripyramid North Slide: 1/6/22

With hardpacked, lumpy trails the rule after a thaw and freeze, I wanted to enjoy some off-trail snowshoeing leading to a view. The Livermore Trail once again brought me out to the west side of Tripyramid, where I found good snowshoeing in Avalanche Ravine and halfway up the East Fork of Triyramid's North Slide. I had started up the East Fork on a trip before Christmas, but the snow was too light and powdery atop the ice on the slide track. On today's trek I found deeper and denser snow, making travel easier on the slide.

The first 2.2 miles of Livermore Trail had been groomed, providing a softly packed if thin surface that was good for fast snowshoeing. Beyond the groomed section, there was a very hardpacked old snowshoe track that had been mildly chopped by boot traffic. I made my usual quick stop at White Cascade, where the ice was closing in.


After the south junction with Mt. Tripyramid Trail, Livermore Trail became very lumpy. Off came the snowshoes for a mile of barebooting. At the north junction with Mt. Tripyramid Trail I strapped the snowshoes back on and headed up an old logging road, retracing part of my pre-Christmas ramble. Beech nuts were scattered on the snow.

Hardwoods rule in here.

Snowshoeing up the floor of Avalanche Ravine.

Despite the thaw, a decent amount of snow in here.

Approaching the base of the East Fork: an inviting corridor waiting to be snowshoed.



Ice ripples on the lower-angle, lower part of the slide.

Getting steeper.

An icy maw guards a steep ledge step. Time to take to the woods beside the slide.

Looking back.

Emerging at my destination, the first wide-open area on the slide, at ~3230 ft.. The East Fork fell in 1885 along with the main North Slide just to the west, with a strip of trees separating them. Since then vegetation has reclaimed most of the East Fork's track.


Stormy sky over Mt. Tecumseh and Mt. Osceola.

The top of the open slab. The next large open patch is 250 ft. higher.


Peering down the slide, which is quite steep up here.

Ghostly Osceolas.

Late day sun illuminates Scaur Peak and its SW ridge.


Heading down. It took an hour to break trail up here, and less than half that to get back to the base.

Side view.

Thick patch.

Great 'shoeing on the lower slide.

Avalanche Ravine sunset.

Closing the loop where I headed off-trail several hours earlier.

Homeward bound on Livermore Trail. The only person I saw all day was a fat biker heading in after dark.

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