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Old 05-16-2011, 08:13 AM   #1
mudrat
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Brothers' NE Slide 5/15/11: Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

Just a quick and dirty trip report here...

Duration: 3:15 hrs.; 7:45 am – 11:00 am pm
Summits: Brother 1
Route: Garden, Trail to brothers until first stream crossing. Bushwhack right side until Slide Brook, Follow series of forks from slide brook beginning at 1,950’. Slide bottom at 2,230’. Exit via ledges on southern side. Trail from Brother 1 back to Garden TH.
Total Mileage/Vertical Ascent: 3.0/1,620'
Trail Conditions: Rain/Mist
Temperature: 50’s
Partner: Rico
Diet: 1 powerbar, litre water
Clothing: Long sleeve synthetic shirt, rain gear, Merrill watershoes

PICTURES HERE.
___

So, I’m working a the Deer Brook Lean-to rescue a few weeks ago with Rico and a plethora of others and Rico mentions seeing a possible new slide on the northeastern side of the Brothers. I could feel myself shaking with post winter anticipation. *** Does anyone know when this slide occurred? ***

The two prior weeks leading to may 15, 2011 were host to inches of rain and record flooding in NY and VT. The week leading prior however contained days of stunning beauty. Rico and I planned a hike of the slide and I hoped for the Adirondack blue skies that I could occasionally see during the week from my office.

Flood warnings for the 15th and 16th began as the beautiful skies ended on Friday. We were undeterred and figured it couldn’t be any worse than last year’s ascent of Giants east face in the rain. On the positive side, it was within a mile of the Garden trailhead and an easy bushwhack through hardwood forests to the base.

Rico reported the bridge over slide brook on the way to Little Porter was barely usable with missing planks and on of the supporting beams less than an inch form plunging into the brook. The water was high this weekend as well. We opted to follow the trail to the Brothers to the first stream and bushwhack toward slide brook which we could hear over a small ridge. It was a pristine whack through a hardwood forest and used little energy.

The first tributary at about 1,950’ marked a decisive turn away from Slide Brook and upward to the southwest. Within feet, we encountered anther tributary and another and another…ad nausea. The wet weather filled even the most minor drainages with water. We lost count, but I saw what I believed to be the first Brother ahead and to the left so visual navigation became the key. The rain held off as we enjoyed our usual humor and the unusually loose bushwhack. Eventually, we came to a more considerable drainage and soon encountered the obvious slide bottom at about 2,230’.

Other than the lack of any satellite imagery for this slide, other signs of its newness included fresh streams over the forest duff, unconsolidated sediment, a plethora of sheared trees (some just budding) and un-aged wood and root systems. As we climbed, the slabs were delightfully free of algae as we expected. Every step was one of sure traction.

We were in no hurry, though the light rain began as we stepped on the slide, first as a mist, but not bad enough to deter photography. The bottom was intermittently cluttered with debris, rubble, mud and woody destruction. Little changed as we climbed but a bit more open slab and a couple fun ledges broke the terrain. The first contained a small dike, down which, poured the fresh runoff. The cool water was surprisingly comfortable on my feet given the 50 degree conditions. A bit higher as we neared the halfway point and another more rounded ledge.

We took a detour to the bottom of the cliff/ledges of the second Brother. It was only a couple hundred feet bushwhack from the slide path. Deer scat littered the sphagnum. After satisfying our curiosity, we came back to the slide in an area of renewed rubble. Much was of large proportion. The newness of the whole scene was intriguing. Fresh fractures and unweathered stone created uncountable diversions. Occasional areas of unconsolidated rubble moved a couple times underfoot, but cautious steps made for safe travel.

The upper half was the high point of the slide. The trigger point, still unseen at this point, obviously began near the top of the col. The right-hand side is ledge and cliff while the left contains a bit more vegetation, but at a steep grade. The effect was a funneling of the debris through a narrower channel than below the cliffs. A picturesque boulder, apparently balancing on a ledge made for dramatic pictures. Atop, one could see that it was firmly rooted and not balancing at all, however. As we entered the “channel” and neared the obvious col, several sets of rolling ledges appeared in the mist on the left.

It was to be the most challenging portion of the climb especially in the rain, now a bit more steady and to the point where it was consistently spotting the lens of my camera. The ledges were a contrast of water cleaned freshly exposed slab and patches of mud and debris. Small cracks aided the steep climb. As usual, Rico and I took different routes. Leaning against the rock in the runoff sent a rivulet down my rain jacket to my armpit. If hadn't already been awake, that would have done it.

I could also see the release point for the entire charade. Large boulders released and cascaded down (north) to the col where they were redirected and cascaded in a nearly straight lines to the northeast. The torn moss and new mud in various areas on the ledges were a dead giveaway.

Climbing off the ledges into the forest above was trickier yet. My longer legs aided me and a couple well rooted trees enabled me to muscle y way up. Rico, the hobbit, had a harder time overcoming the ledge. I sat above ready to aid if needed but thoroughly enjoying myself as he maneuvered his way up…using his face in the sphagnum to further his traction. Certain maneuvers looked almost...profane

At the top, about 700’ vertical feet higher and mile ground distance, the climb transitioned to a gentle walk over a myriad of beautiful mosses until we reached the top of the first Brother and trail a couple minutes later. We sat atop the first Brother in the rain watching the white clouds drift while imagining the splendid view of the Lower Range. From car to the top took only a couple hours and it was a nice climb without setting an entire day aside…and even in the rain!
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Last edited by mudrat; 05-19-2011 at 04:09 PM. Reason: add pics
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:58 AM   #2
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:44 AM   #3
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Nice! The woods in the Slide Brook valley are unusually open, and make for great bushwhacking. Years ago we climbed a "so - so" ice climb on "the cliff/ledge of the second brother." It was fun, but brushy, and not really worth the walk just for the climbing. Was the cliff you visited sort of dome shaped, with a brushy slope below it? If so, that's the location of the ice climb, and it will help me find the slide for a future visit.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:55 AM   #4
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Nice! The woods in the Slide Brook valley are unusually open, and make for great bushwhacking. Years ago we climbed a "so - so" ice climb on "the cliff/ledge of the second brother." It was fun, but brushy, and not really worth the walk just for the climbing. Was the cliff you visited sort of dome shaped, with a brushy slope below it? If so, that's the location of the ice climb, and it will help me find the slide for a future visit.
Yup. That's the area. I'll have pics up sometime this week or weekend. The midpoint of the slide led to the base of the cliff/rounded ledges. The base was open but brushy with birch and some spruce...nothing tight. The ledges wrapped around to the col where they got a bit steeper.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:55 AM   #5
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What I want to know is, did you meet up with Emmy-Lou Harris and friends?
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:00 PM   #6
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What I want to know is, did you meet up with Emmy-Lou Harris and friends?
No, but hiking with Rich and his alter-egos (Rico, WAlkswithBlackflies and Batman Bin Superman) felt like being with "friends"! Too bad Lester wasn't along...
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:31 PM   #7
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HERE's THE PICS
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:58 PM   #8
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Good TR Kevin. The only things I can add:

I had camped in the hemlock forest on the far side of the Slide Brook bridge (worth checking out in its own right). The bridge is only "attached" to it's foundation by about 1/4". Crossing it was the riskiest thing I did all day.

There are two HUGE boulders at the bottom of the slide; and are obviously the reason for the existance of the slide.

The slide points directly to a camp/house at the bottom of the valley. Can you imagine looking out your window and seeing those boulders release... destroying everything in their path on the way into your living room?

You forgot "Spiderfool", though he only showed up on the second to last pitch. And it's "Batman Bin Supraman"... get the spelling correct please.

The slide would likely make a very nice winter ski.

Falling boulders have a unique smell.

"Cracks" are visible in the ground above the top of the release point. The ground on slide-side of the cracks is not stable.

I have a theory regarding the "calcium deposits" seen in some of the rocks: they are actually areas where the native americans used caulk to hold the rocks together. This is likely the reason they recently failed.
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:04 PM   #9
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Good TR Kevin. The only things I can add:

I had camped in the hemlock forest on the far side of the Slide Brook bridge (worth checking out in its own right). The bridge is only "attached" to it's foundation by about 1/4". Crossing it was the riskiest thing I did all day.

There are two HUGE boulders at the bottom of the slide; and are obviously the reason for the existance of the slide.

The slide points directly to a camp/house at the bottom of the valley. Can you imagine looking out your window and seeing those boulders release... destroying everything in their path on the way into your living room?

You forgot "Spiderfool", though he only showed up on the second to last pitch. And it's "Batman Bin Supraman"... get the spelling correct please.

The slide would likely make a very nice winter ski.
Yeah thought about spiderfool after the fact. Supraman...sorry he's a new manifestation, but he's supraimposed on my psyche now...and the trail register sign-in sheet.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:30 PM   #10
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Cool. I've only been there in winter, but the sloping cliff in the background in pic 32 looks like the one where we did our ice climbing. There may be more climbing potential in the area since this event!

I also think that rockfall triggered this one. I had the same impression immediately upon looking at the pics.

Skiing! This new gully will hold a lot of snow. When we went in to climb the ice the first time, we accessed the area by climbing the first brother, and then turning right at the col and butt sliding down the streambed where the slide is now. There was a ton of snow in the streambed; more than in the surrounding woods.

Thanks for the report and the pics!
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:50 PM   #11
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You guys are bad!! You found it, so what are you going to name it?

Picture 11 is so cool, as well as the one of Waldo! Thanks guys!

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Old 05-16-2011, 03:13 PM   #12
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You guys are bad!! You found it, so what are you going to name it?

Picture 11 is so cool, as well as the one of Waldo! Thanks guys!
Pic 11, yeah rico commented on the force and angle required to do that. Too bad it was 30' long or i'd have taken that home and polished up

What..."Brothers' NE Slide" to bland? Is, "The Brotherhood Slide", better?
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:14 PM   #13
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I was thinking about being generic and just calling it the Brothers slide. The route would be O' Brother Where Art Thou?, which is fitting considering that finding it requires taking a left turn at the 2nd stream crossing, then left at the 4th stream crossing, then right at the 3rd crossing, then left at the 5th, then right at the first, then left at the 2nd.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:32 PM   #14
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Wow! Looks like a great trip!
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:36 PM   #15
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I was thinking about being generic and just calling it the Brothers slide. The route would be O' Brother Where Art Thou?, which is fitting considering that finding it requires taking a left turn at the 2nd stream crossing, then left at the 4th stream crossing, then right at the 3rd crossing, then left at the 5th, then right at the first, then left at the 2nd.
It was a left at the first fork, right at the second - 8th followed by the double roundabout. The Brothers' Slide has the same significance as the Brotherhood Slide. ...and I suppose "Armageddon's Path of Utter Destruction" might be a bit on the overkill side, eh?
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:36 PM   #16
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Wow! Looks like a great trip!
It really was for a quickie!
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:14 PM   #17
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It was a left at the first fork, right at the second - 8th followed by the double roundabout.
8 is right out.
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:20 PM   #18
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8 is right out.
Once the number 9, being the number of the streams counted based on precipitation, be reached, then lobbest thou the Holy Hand Grenade in the direction of thine foe, who, being naughty in my sight and even blocked by blowdown and anorthosite bits, shall snuff it."
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:33 PM   #19
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The Brothers' Slide has the same significance as the Brotherhood Slide. ...and I suppose "Armageddon's Path of Utter Destruction" might be a bit on the overkill side, eh?
The Brother's Slide sounds like a Duane Allman 'best-of' CD.

Armageddon's Path of Utter Destruction has some potential, if anything, it will keep the less adventurous 'sliders' away .
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:27 PM   #20
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Armageddon's Path of Utter Destruction has some potential, if anything, it will keep the less adventurous 'sliders' away .
Just in time for May 21st!
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