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Old 05-06-2012, 09:26 AM   #1
Crepuscular
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Bennies Brook Slide May 5, 2012

We packed in to our lean to @ JBL by about 3:30, Jeanette got settled in to read and my good friend from growing up Kieran and I started making our way down the south side trail. I used my GPS to confirm which brook was which but it was pretty obvious when we got there.

This was a very impressive display of the power of the forces of earth. We started making our way up the obvious slide path, taking the easiest route, often switching from side to side over the water. As we got higher, the slide opened up and at times felt like we were walking slowly up the highway other than the equally compelling feeling that we were the last people on earth after the apocalypse.

It seems like a very dramatic shift from the first moderate pitch to second steeper one. At several different junctures you could see all the way up the slide and as we got further up, all the way down. Even from far away there seemed to be a very natural "escape" out of the top of the slide to the left so we kept that in mind the whole time and we kept a rough trajectory for it.

At the fork of the slide there is a really cool, man I don' t even know how to describe it, bowl-like waterfall which provide a perfect center point for the 2 lines off the slides. Very aesthetically pleasing.

It definitely got steeper here. This section also had the most loose dirt and sand so required the most stabilization and care of the hike. Nothing felt dangerous or undoable so we continued making our way up, still choosing the most efficient and safe lines. The natural bail-out spot proved to be just what it appeared to be. It was obviously used and used heavily. There were many meanders and the woods looked pretty beat up. I wonder if it might be worth it to establish some sort of minimal maintenance herd path and cairn to channel people up one line here?

Anyway, we were in the dip between the teeth in no time and scaling that last tricky section up to the LWJ summit. Great views with ever-changing and increasingly ominous clouds constantly changing the views. We soaked it in and rest, Kieran recovering from his first hike of the season and a rolled angle. I was getting a bit antsy though as it was now 6:30 and I had hoped to meet the rest of our party at the interior register at 8:30.

Kieran's ankle definitely stiffened up and my antsies grew to concernsies as he slowly started to limp painfully down the trail. At this point, the rain decided it was done holding off all day and had a nice little shower, starting gradually at first until it was quite steady for about 20 minutes. The shower from inside my raincoat sounded like rain on a tent and was actually kind of nice. K's spirits pick up though as his ankle loosened up a bit which made me feel better (no heli out for us thank god).

The rain had turned an already wet trail into a shallow brook as we made our way down. This one, more so because of the conditions, dragged on as the night closed in. Our headlamps illuminated the mist and made for a spooky scene. It was pretty obvious we weren't going to make it to meet our friends so I became very focused on making sure we didn't loose the trail or further injure.

At around 9 we reached the lean to spent but happy to be safe and soon to be warm. The rest of our party was safe and happy in the lean to, Jeanette blissed out from a relaxing night reading in the lean to. We shared some whiskey and some Kava (Kieran takes a yearly pilgrimage to Hawaii) and settled in to take a long sleep before UWJ, Armstrong and Gothics cinco de mayo hike.

I'll post pics in a few....

Great experience for my first slide climb. Def excited to try a few more, especially the great slide on Grace.
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Last edited by Crepuscular; 05-07-2012 at 04:36 PM. Reason: getting dumber by the day.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:19 PM   #2
Crepuscular
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Also, I found an Atlas brand trekking pole 80% of the way up the slide if you lost one this winter.
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Crepuscular Rays: Dissolve into evergreens

You won't find reasonable men on the tops of tall mountains.
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Last edited by Crepuscular; 05-07-2012 at 04:34 PM. Reason: bad link removed
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:32 AM   #3
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Your link landed me in some infested info-sucking Yahoo/Google cluster &%$@ but I know what it looks like. Beautiful slide that!

About a summit route that does minimal damage—I thought ascending along the bottom of a wall toward the summit (after exiting left at the top of the slide, go right instead of left) was a good solution because it's choke points are forced moves and it will therefore quickly become a unitary route, one whose footprint won't be visible from the Trail until the summit.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:57 AM   #4
PA Ridgerunner
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Your link landed me in some infested info-sucking Yahoo/Google cluster &%$@
...
Well said!
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:21 PM   #5
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Same problem. It also locked up my browser.
but thanks for the TR, hope to do this in the Fall.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:31 PM   #6
Crepuscular
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Oh god! Sorry everybody, it works for me for some reason. Try this?
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Crepuscular Rays: Dissolve into evergreens

You won't find reasonable men on the tops of tall mountains.
--Hunter S. Thompson
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:34 PM   #7
mirabela
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Nice pics. Kinda wet up there, huh.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:27 PM   #8
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Oh god! Sorry everybody, it works for me for some reason. Try this?
This link worked for me. I think you ought to post more pictures next time. . . .
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:48 PM   #9
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Thanks! That link worked just right.
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