Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Icicle Road Update - The Unearthed Boulders

The Forest Service has given an estimated opening date of “roughly” one month for the upper Icicle Canyon. Here is the most recent update from the USFS on the road's progress. I visited the washout last weekend and wandered around gawking at the scale of the slide, the destruction it caused, and the sheer power of mud moving downhill. The slide deposited dog-sized, crash-pad-sized, car-sized, shed-sized, and house-sized boulders along its path!

The View up the LandslideThe View down the LandslideIcicle Road The Landslide’s Path

From the boulderer’s perspective, the most exciting aspect of the landslide is the fact that it loosed two gigantic boulders from the hillside in its aberrant journey towards lower ground. When I first saw these boulders, they were caked in at least two inches of mud, but they looked to be extremely promising. The two boulders leaned against each other to form a cave, their surfaces smooth and grey, unaffected by the canyon’s recurrent forest fires.

New Boulders!Monkey InvestigationCassie is Psyched

The Leavenworth locals were not going to pass up the opportunity to develop these new boulders. The new areas that people find these days are “new” in the sense that they are new to us, but the boulders are hundreds if not thousands of years old. These boulders, on the other hand, are literally brand-new, recently shed from the earth’s crust. Scott Mitchell and John Deliduka rigged an ingenious gravity-fed hose system early last week to wash the boulders off. They returned several days later with John’s son Andrew and put up a handful of problems. I am psyched to check out the area this weekend and be one of the first humans to lay hands on these new granite blocks! Here are some fresh-off-the-camera pictures that Scott sent me this morning (all photos by Scott Mitchell):

Masterful Cleaning TechniquesScott on the Unearthed BoulderAndrew DelidukaScott on A Huge Undone Slab

No comments:

Post a Comment