Mount Osceola Southwest Slide 7/21/2020

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Jan 1, 2005
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We’ve been doing variety of online research and preliminary explorations with view to making an excursion into ravine below southwest spur ridge of Mount Osceola to visit the V-shaped slide shown below in this photo taken from Waterville Valley. We succeeded in scheduling a day with good weather and when we were free and available. Back country skier Dan (and dog Friday) who is interested in skiing this slide made this a party of three.


The key to this trip was locating logging sled road revealed using LIDAR imagery and antique aerial photo imagery and finally by a couple of preliminary excursions to verify sled road on the ground. Aerial photo 1964 - note sled road leading to bottom of slide.


Usual method of going to slides involves following following the run-out brook requires much strenuous steep and thick side-hill bushwhacking in difficult terrain. Following a sled road is much easier. It may have grown in and have downed trees, but we find it far better. Steve recently followed similar sled roads to reach the slides in the adjacent Osceola Brook ravine a few weeks previous so we were expecting similar results here. We reached the sled road and followed it up the valley through prickly, but not too bad spruce forest. We were able to make good time were able to reach the base of the slide by 12:30 after starting our trip at 9:00AM from Tripoli Road just below Osceola Vista. The base of the slide is marked by massive wet and slippery slab which we bypassed by scrambling up a series of gullies. Dan starts up the first gulley.


Another view of the massive slab.


View of the slab as we popped out of bypass gulley. Views are starting to happen now!!!


View of big gravel deposit up above the massive slab. It was only 12:30 or so at this point. Having made great time we scramble up this gravel deposit to look for a suitable place to stop for lunch. Gravel deposit felt very unstable under foot so we walked very carefully so as not to cause rock slides.


Time to stop for long lunch break and enjoy the views. We found this somewhat stable and less steep place to stop for our lunch break. The stop to boys to inspect rotten stone appeared to be the source of the gravel deposit down below. We found much less gravel up above this point.


Slabs were pretty dry, but near the top of the slide the black moss began to reappear. Black moss was fairly dry and Dan and Steve stayed out on the slabs, but I preferred to retreat to the woods as we got closer to the top of the slide. I managed to get this snap shot of master of the slide Dan framed by the foliage of the 675 yard long slide from the top.


We originally planned on going only part way up the slide, but the excitement of exploration and discovery took hold and we decided to go all the way to top of the slide and attempt the bushwhack up to the hairpin turn on Mount Osceola Trail. The 700' distance and 300' elevation gain proved to be quite an ordeal taking us 1 hour and 18 minutes. We were exhausted by time we reached the hairpin turn of mount Osceola Trail, but in spite of this we decided we decided to go the extra 1/2 mile and 500' more elevation to visit summit for late afternoon rest and views at the summit. We lounged around for a good half hour enjoying views of lengthening shadows of the late day sun and eating our remaining trail food.

We left the summit at 6:00. Mount Osceola trail is one of the more rugged trails in the Whites. Due to our tired legs and rough trails, we expended good 2.5 hours to arrive at the trail head. It was substantially dark at this point. After another brief rest and we then made the 2.5 mile road walk down Tripoli Road to return to our vehicles at 10 PM to close an epic memorable day of Type 2 fun for this writer.
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