Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Devil Slide 6 3.31.09

With the heavy snows in the mountains I knew getting over the passes would be dicey and with the heightened avy conditions I thought it best to stay low. I parked at the last yellow gate before the Wagner Bridge. The weather was frightful. It was blowing 30+mph with horizontal hail. I gave some thought about bagging the day. I waited 15 minutes and the weather calmed. I layered up and was off. I was hoping to walk the road until the 4 way intersection at around 1300'. The intent was to use the network of logging roads to reach the old Cascade Lookout. I had read a great report from Beave warning against heading North at the intersection. Apparently there is a major landslide on the Deep Creek Road that makes it impassable. I instead headed right and began climbing. There wasn't much snow so it went quickly. Just before 1800' I took the right junction and hit substantial snow. I also noticed that I could see the car in the distance. With the recent clearcut I banked the idea for the descent cutting off some serious mileage. The snow increased quickly so I put on snowshoes. The snow was deep and heavy greatly slowing progress. Since the going was so slow I decided to enter the forest where the snow was much more manageable. This worked great with the exception of realizing that I had forgotten my phone at home. This was a problem because I load my maps into the phone. So now I was flying with limited vision. After a few hundred feet of climb I reached another road. I followed to the right until I was dismayed to find a dead end. I retraced my steps to another junction where I headed North. The weather now had redoubled it's effort to make my day miserable. I could see high above me what appeared to be another road which I surmised could be helpful. I was confident that I could scale the steep clearcut but with the weather strengthening I decided that it wasn't prudent to continue. In retrospect I should just have waited another 15 minutes because the weather again improved. Since I could see Devil's Slide 6 to the West I decided to forgo my up route and just follow my new road to the Deep Creek Road. This went quickly and I soon found myself back at original 4-way intersection. Here I went West and soon crossed Deep Creek. Just after crossing Deep Creek there was a spur road heading North. At this intersection I jumped off road and made my way up the clearcut. The going was great for a clearcut making a quick ascent to the road above me. I followed the road and descended the saddle beneath DS 6. I was surprised to see a set of footprints in the deeper snow. From the saddle I again left the road for the clearcut and easily made it to the summit 2000' 560'P. The views were limited to the area bumps which I documented for future trips. For the descent I decided to follow the main road back to the valley below. The initial portion headed my direction but further down it switchbacked North which I had hoped to avoid. I left the road intending on using the clearcut to access the road that I was sure that was below me. Too bad for me that the road passed on the West side of Black Lake not the East Side that I thought I had remebered from an earlier trip. I soon realized that I was stymied so back up the clearcut I went. Thankfully I reached the road above me again. I reached another junction where I headed South. The road passes directly next to the lake where I spied some areas that would allow some fishing. The road deadends at the outlet stream. Thankfully I could see the continuation of the road on the other side so I forded the creek and was back on track. After climbing the road crests and heads back to the original 4 way intersection. I had to laugh to myself when I realized that during the day I had used all four branches of the intersection. I picked up the pace for the remainder and just beat the rain back to the car.

Approx 12 miles 2200' of climb 5:30 car to car

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