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Basin: Irene's New False Summit Slide: 9/18/11

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  • Basin: Irene's New False Summit Slide: 9/18/11


    A Few Thoughts
    I’d wanted to climb this slide from the moment I saw the first aerial come in on the net thanks to Drew Haas. Upon looking and without studying the profile of the upper slabs, I assumed some parts would be technical and others would be more conducive to friction climbing. I then mentioned my plans to a few friends. Mastergrasshopper was supposed to come along, but due to family matters couldn’t, so I formally dedicate this climb to him. He was nudging me toward making this the primary goal of the second day (I originally had it placed second to Saddleback’s northeastern slides). After reflecting on his words, I reworked my itinerary. Thanks, Glen…wish you’d been along on this with Mark and I!

    Pictures: CLICK HERE.

    The New Slide: Basin's NE Shoulder Slide
    This trip begins mid-day into the second day of exploring Irene’s new slides. Mark Lowell and I camped at Bushnell Falls Leanto #1 and subsequently bushwhacked up Chicken Coop Brook in hopes of ascending its slide as an expeditious route to the area. Instead, we stumbled upon and climbed an array of four or five NEW and expanded slides coming from various ledges on Basin’s northeast ridge. They funneled together in the valley to the slides where they joined Chicken Coop Brook…but that’s another report to be posted soon. We then descended Saddleback’s South Slide to the point where Basin’s slide rubble intersected and began the climb.

    The destruction from the joining of the two slides was like nothing I’ve seen. It’s scale was beyond that of any of the new Wolf Jaw slides that I spent the prior day descending and ascending in a connected route. Twenty feet of dirt, trees and boulders marked the way to the base of the old Basin ledge as the slide run-out snaked down toward the valley below after splitting off into two parallel paths. Our first pitch (about 3,350’ in elevation) was a hundred foot run of clean slab emanating from the bottom of the old face, its surface spotted with moss from years of exposure. Some was cleaned from the scouring fall of debris from above.

    The second pitch, the old face (about 3,500’ in elevation), was a convex surface over 500’ across…its upper reaches disappearing into the blue sky above. A small dike marked the bottom of the face. This appears as a straight line in satellite images. The right-hand side, marked by a jagged vertical ledge, was freshly exposed and provided a great surface with ample contour to climb. We didn’t want to tangle with main face with its moss and minimal contour so we skirted the vertical ledge and eventually hopped atop it until a sharp vertical cliff blocked our way. The steepest portion was near the edge and it tapered as it progressed toward the center. Meanwhile, the destruction that we walked amongst was now far below and sprawled out to the southeast. Intermittent slab showed through the dirt and debris on occasions. It was awesome to behold from our perch on the new section of face.

    Atop the ledge, the new section of exposed slab displayed a feature rich landscape. Dirt and debris littered it on occasion, but the climb was easy due to the clean stone, various cracks, ledges and pits in the anorthosite. It was flatter than below the cliff, though still well pitched. This decreased with elevation as we followed the track to the north-northwest. Mark manned one camera, and I the other as we each photographed items of interest…including each other.

    The combination of fresh anorthosite dotted with various trees was telling of the forces at work. I nostalgically thought back to a few weeks ago when, the day after Irene’s flooding scourged the area, I walked down 9N in Upper Jay. Friends’ houses were destroyed and 100’ trees with root-balls torn from the ground were scattered in and about the road. On the slide, however, no structures were destroyed except those of nature and new creations were un-skinned for all to explore. I remember walking along saying, “Wow…wow.”

    Basin’s slide was also different from those earlier in the day on the other side of the ridge or on Upper/Lower Wolfjaw….(also another forthcoming report). The breadth of the destruction on those slides seemed immense at the time. Basin’s slide dwarfed them. Imagine the sound when it came flowing down over the face and impacted the lesser sloped ground peeling it clean!

    The bright sun illuminated Saddleback high above to the north. Photographing the slide, however, was challenging in the late afternoon light. The sun was just above the treeline so the tendency for lens flares to obscure the scene became annoying. Eventually, as the shadow drew closer to us and us to it, the color desaturated, but the task became easier without the sun refracting. Shooting to the eastern panorama was beautiful. Trees upon the slide’s edge became silhouettes against the bright backdrop of Pyramid and Gothics.

    As we approached the final pitch (about 4,100’ in elevation), the slope decreased to well below 30 degrees. Mark remarked at our renewed perspective of the final ledges, seemingly vertical from Saddleback’s summit. They were steep and carried enough handholds to climb without the feature that attracted his attention. A dominant diagonal fracture which probably funneled the water that triggered the event, led like a staircase about two hundred feet up to muddy trough at the top. We chose different routes until we began an alternate climb of the muddy rut between the ledges. Embedded rocks gave my feet the only purchase in the slippery mud as my hands braced from the side. I’d climb and Mark would wait below and to the side in case a rock broke free. Such was our ascent until the final few feet where the trough was only about six feet wide at 4,500’ in elevation. I exited to the north (right) and into the dense cripplebrush. A combination of the stiff, flexible and downright ornery spruce brought us to a crawl as we navigated the ledges and eventually made our way to the path around twenty minutes later.

    During the walk back to Bushnell Falls over Shorey’s Short Cut, I reflected on the day and couldn’t imagine a better end to two days of climbing Irene’s fresh slides.
    Last edited by mudrat; 11-28-2020, 09:37 AM.
    May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

  • #2
    Awesome!!! I was looking forward to these after talking to you two at the Loj; can't wait to hear the whole story. It was not a fun drive back to Vermont...
    “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” John Muir

    "Not the kind of "fun" you have to force yourself to remember you're supposed to be having, but the kind where you realize for the last half a day you've had this idiot grin on your face that you just can't seem to shake." -Mirabela


    • #3
      Awesome pictures Kevin, they give the feel of being there with you


      • #4

        Great photos... looks like a tough climb.
        Going where the wind don't blow so strange
        Maybe off on some high cold mountain range.
        Robert Hunter


        • #5
          Nice, thanks for posting. Some pretty steep stuff!!!
          I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
          -Maya Angelou


          • #6
            Wow, I knew, someone will be heading there sooner than later, after I saw pictures took last week from Pyramid Peak, the slide you did was just so tempting, I am glad you did it, probably another first in its actual form.

            8000m 0/14


            • #7
              very cool in a manner ....thanks..
              ADK 46-R #6750W
              CL-50 - #51
              CATSKILLS- 9/39
              NPT Complete 7-6-13

              Hiking photos


              • #8
                Those photos are just incredible! Thanks for sharing!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by nangaparbat View Post
                  Wow, I knew, someone will be heading there sooner than later,
                  IT's the September place to be!
                  Be quick - but don't hurry. -John Wooden

                  Middle age is having a choice between two temptations and choosing the one that'll get you home earlier. ~Dan Bennett


                  • #10
                    Holy Basin Slide batman!

                    Very inspiring. I can't wait to get back out there.

                    The raw experiences shown in this photo set totally supersede the pursuit and conquest of any peakbagging list.
                    Last edited by Neil; 09-20-2011, 03:31 PM.


                    • #11
                      Wowzers. That one looks like a doozie.
                      Winter hiking -- "It's so easy an eight year old can do it!"

                      - Photobug65


                      • #12
                        Awesome photos - that's the closest I will get to the slide Thanks for sharing.
                        An OLD man once said …There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of LIFE, getting back up is LIVING.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Neil View Post
                          Holy Basin Slide batman!

                          Very inspiring. I can't wait to get back out there.

                          The raw experiences shown in this photo set totally supersede the pursuit and conquest of any peakbagging list.
                          Agree 100%
                          8000m 0/14


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cory D View Post
                            Soooooooo, who got there first?


                            • #15
                              Great pictures! I don't think I will be traveling up that..........
                              ADK #6656 1/46W