Slesse Crossover Trailwork - help wanted

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Optimally-Primed
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Slesse Crossover Trailwork - help wanted

Post by Optimally-Primed » Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:20 pm

Hey climbing community,

I'm headed up to Slesse this Saturday to begin work on a CrossOver Pass Descent trail. After topping out on Slesse, climbers are faced with a long descent down the back side, followed by 25km of logging roads to travel back to the cars. The vision for a Crossover Descent trail is a much more direct route back to the cars from the summit.

This weekend's work will be focused on the bushiest 300m... the bit that connects to the main Slesse trail near the lookout. Is anyone interested in joining me and my wife this Saturday? The plan is to be at the Tim Hortons in Chilliwack at 8:00am, and go from there.

Bring any tree saws/chainsaw/clippers you have... and be prepared for some liquid sunshine! It's gonna be great fun.

If interested, please reply here or send me a message.

Jeremy

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Post by Optimally-Primed » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:51 pm

ah... the sound of silence!

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Post by Optimally-Primed » Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:16 pm

We were able to hack 200m of trail through the first half of the bush. I'm planning a return in late July, hopefully with some help this time.

I put up a notice on Cascade Climber. Maybe some friendly Americans will come out, if the Canadians are too busy ranting at eachother on the Squamish Climbing Forum.

Here's the route.

Image

clc
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Post by clc » Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:44 pm

I live on Vancouver isladn and cannot make but. Its that a common way that people descend. My friend and I intended to descend that way then quickly run back up the trail to get our camping gear. Would it be possible to cut straight back across to the prop camp? It rained and we didn't go anywhere? How is the river crossing at the start?

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Post by Dru » Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:21 pm

Optimally-Primed wrote: Maybe some friendly Americans will come out, if the Canadians are too busy ranting at eachother on the Squamish Climbing Forum.
In the recent election, a losing candidate opined that the low voter turnout was the fault of the uneducated, uncaring electorate. He apparently didn't consider the low turnout to be any sort of indictment of the uninspiring nature of his and others candidacy or campaigns.

Something of the same nature may be happening here. You have proclaimed that a trail is needed here and now you're complaining that the apathetic Canadians won't help you build a trail. But maybe the apathetic response could be the result of many people figuring that a trail here is a pretty low priority?

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Post by Optimally-Primed » Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Its that a common way that people descend. My friend and I intended to descend that way then quickly run back up the trail to get our camping gear. Would it be possible to cut straight back across to the prop camp? It rained and we didn't go anywhere? How is the river crossing at the start?
Crossover Pass is not the common way people descend. Most people go down the backside then hike/bike/drive 25km back to the car park.

It would not be possible (in a hiking or scrambling sense) to cut straight back to the Propeller Cairn. Camping will be possible at the junction where the Crossover Pass descent meets the main trail. There's a big open area there and water 3 minutes away.

The creek crossing at the end of the Crossover Descent trail (near the main trail) is 10m wide and ankle to shin deep. At that point, I'm guessing that most folk will just walk right through in their shoes. But it'd be easy to take them off.

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Post by J Mace » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:48 pm

Ya low priority for sure, The bush is pretty chill by coastal standards. I'd b more keen in building a bridge across devastator creek-save the 3.5 days it took me to walk out via lilooet river and polychrome ridge after wahoo.

Although I would have to be convinced it would survive the spring run off

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Post by Optimally-Primed » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:00 pm

Cynics need not reply.

J Mace, good luck with your bridge over Devastator Creek.

Dru, you used to be so nice...

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Post by Dru » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:28 pm

I am still nice*, but I don't think a trail from the Memorial towards Crossover Pass is either needed or desirable.

1)It would be used mostly by people descending from Slesse (the odd person going up to the east side of Crossover Pk) and if you have the mad skillz to get up Slesse you should not find the last part of this descent to be a challenge.

2) People have been going up and down here regularly for 30-odd years without a formalized trail.

3) It is quite feasible to go from the ridgeline to the Memorial without major bushwacking by simply choosing a judicious approach. I admit it's easier to do so if you start at the bottom and head up but you can always take the approach Kevin Mc recommended to me and take a digital photo of the descent from the climb and use this to plan your travelling.

4) Trails require ongoing maintenance. The trail to the Memorial gets a yearly manicure from a squad of over a dozen VOA volunteers. Are you willing to commit to this or are you going to build a trail only to have it vanish in a year?

5) If you do have the time to do some trail maintenance that will help out climbers, I would recommend the Br. 610 approach to Springbok Arete etc.. Although this got some volunteer brushing last year, it follows quite a lot of aldered logging road that requires much more maintenance on an annual basis. It has been steadily getting worse for the last 5-6 years. By September last year, despite the incomplete cleaning a couple of months previously it was quite the alder thrash, with sections of knee crawling. Unlike Crossover Pass, this approach is eventually going to become completely impassible unless it recieves a fair bit of work.

*Actually there have always been a lot of people who would dispute this.

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Post by t2climb » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:45 pm

O-P you have it backwards......Dru used to be NOT-nice. In the past decade he has become incredibly nice. It is much easier to see this nice-ness when taken in context :}

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Post by Optimally-Primed » Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:57 am

Dru, you seem to be arguing against yourself. On the one hand, you say that a Crossover Descent will require maintenance and that's a major strike against. I 90% disagree, to start. Only the lowest 10% of the trail will grow over. The rest is under an oldgrowth canopy. So maybe 400m of trail will need maintenance. I wonder if the maintainers of the Slesse Memorial Trail will take it under their belt. Maybe not... if not, then yes, the community will have to step forward.

But then you recommend a full-on bushfest of a road in the Anderson group... kilometers of bush. Wouldn't this require maintenance too... in fact more maintenance?

So is maintenance a detractor or not? Get your story straight.

Wait a minute... who even cares about Wahoo Tower and Springbok Arete? Yes, a few people do. But neither are in the same category of popularity compared to Slesse.

You suppose that some form of Crossover Descent is already feasible. If it is so feasible (and even detailed in the Alpine Select), then why are so few people using it? I did it last September after climbing the North Rib (we approached via the Crossover Route). I personally knew of no one else who had done it. Everyone I had talked to went the backside way down. And I can see why.

Look, I've received responses from 4 folks who resonate with the project. If you don't then go cut down alder in Anderson Creek or build a bridge over Devastator Creek. Knock your socks off. If you ask for help on this site, I'll be sure to extend you the courtesy of not coming onto your post and belittling your project.

You can thank me next time you descend Slesse and see the easy-to-follow, bush-free descent over Crossover... and think about the 25km of logging roads that you will now not travel. Or not.

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Post by t2climb » Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:26 am

Wow! A Huge 4 replies. Dude, you need to chill. Good luck finding some suckas to waste there time with your attitude.

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Post by jefffski » Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:34 am

optimally prime does an amazing amount of good work. thank you.

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Post by dberdinka » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:24 am

Just to throw it out there. I actually like the southside descent of Slesse I actually thinks it's kinda fun. Let me explain.

Everytime I've stood on the summit of Slesse the sun has been well on its way towards the horizon. You've already had a great, long, memorable day and now you could can look way, way down into that valley and know nothings going to stop you now including darkness. And so you go, hopefully with a few vicodin in your system to limit the pain in your knees. Before you know it your walking down the logging road looking for the bike you stashed in the bushes. And that final bike ride is not so bad, pitch dark, no cars, plenty of time to reflect on the climb as you finish a long push.

Having been up the lower part of the Crossover descent, even with a brushed out trail in basin bottom I can't imagine deciding to do the Crossover Descent in all it's complexity knowing that darkness is going to catch me halfway down. But maybe I'm just not adventurous enough.

But good luck, I applaud your community project. I think it's sweet you have a wife who brushes out climbers paths with you.

And J Mace get on that Devastator Creek Bridge. I wanna climb Wahoo Tower!

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Post by Optimally-Primed » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:17 pm

Thanks Jeffski.

dberdinka, point taken. I can see why you might prefer the longer but more predictable descent to the more complex but shorter Crossover variety. Here are two considerations to think about though...

1. The "normal" descent puts you at a logging road, which is overgrown with slide alder at first and open after that. But there is a gate at the mainline, necessitating about 12km of walking regardless of whether your plans include stashing a bike. From there you can drive (with a second car) or bike back to the trailhead, some 13km away (or so). The locked gate makes the bike shorter and the walk longer. Was it like that the last time you were there? Does it shift the scale at all?

2. If Crossover Descent were well-marked all the way, it would be far less confusing, and easier to follow. My intent is to make it do-able so long as you have 50m of visibility. But you would need 2h of light to get through the Alpine part. From the end of the Alpine, the rest will be followable in complete darkness. So the historic descent will still see some use.

When I climb the NE Butress, I'm usually at the summit by noon or 1pm. But I don't get back to the car until 10pm using the regular route. The idea is to be back by 5pm and home for dinner...

Thanks for your applaud. I am fortunate to have such a helpful wife, who is willing to go along with many of my adventurous cleaning projects.

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