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Malachai Constant
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Joined: 13 Jan 2002
Posts: 13850 | TRs
Location: Back Again Like A Bad Penny
Malachai Constant
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PostTue Nov 06, 2018 7:44 pm 
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Went up old trail there today great conditioning hike cloudy but dry. What concerns me is upper new trail has already eroded to a canyon of choss. The Inca steps from the junction of new and old trail are in good shape but above the old junction with talus v mud trail it is pretty trashed to the top. This was probably predictable as Trail was built too steep and weathe and traffic has eroded it into a messy gully most off the steps are gone, not much different from old trail. Beware the hubris.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 6403 | TRs
Location: Stuck in the middle
puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks
PostTue Nov 06, 2018 10:17 pm 
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As far as I know, converting the gully to rock steps above the talus field was only completed part of the way up. Are you saying the lower part that crews worked on are washed out? The part above that was already a mess all summer.

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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Malachai Constant
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Member


Joined: 13 Jan 2002
Posts: 13850 | TRs
Location: Back Again Like A Bad Penny
Malachai Constant
Member
PostTue Nov 06, 2018 10:47 pm 
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There are washed out steps all above the place where the trail meets the old route through the woods. The lower part where the steps were constructed through the talus are fine. We were up there in the spring and the upper trail was much better then. Above the false summit it seems about the same.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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cascadeclimber
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Joined: 04 Sep 2006
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cascadeclimber
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PostWed Nov 07, 2018 8:15 am 
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Not every trail needs to be perfect. Footfalls cause erosion. Everything done up there in the last five years has increased footfalls. Folks looking for a perfect, consistent tread can find that on many, many other I-90 trails.

Notably, the only scar visible from the freeway is the switchbacks built through the boulders. So much for leave no trace and protecting the environment.

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If not now, when?
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 6403 | TRs
Location: Stuck in the middle
puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks
PostThu Nov 08, 2018 1:41 pm 
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Thanks MC. I don't get up there that often and wasn't involved at all with the trail crews, but I have been hoping they would finish the rock steps at least up to the false summit to prevent the trench from getting deeper every year. I'll check it out next spring when I might go up again.

CC, I dispute that the DNR was creating new traffic. I think they are reacting to it. From what I can tell the traffic on the Mailbox trail started increasing dramatically after it was included in some popular hiking guides. The language used to describe the steep old trail challenged people to do it. The advent of wide spread social media just accelerated this "test yourself" meme. Being very close to I-90 and accessible in all seasons didn't hurt.

Bringing up visual LNT as a criticism in the I-90 corridor seems like a straw man. There's visual evidence of disruption on both sides of the valley most of the way to the pass, not to mention the wide river of concrete carrying trucks and cars with the noise they generate 24 hours day. The trail through the talus will hold up way better than the old one through the old trees on the north side. But that was one of my favorite parts of the trail because of the old trees.

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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catsp
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Joined: 15 Jun 2017
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catsp
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PostThu Nov 08, 2018 2:24 pm 
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Last time up I noticed there were a lot of loose rocks in the area I believe you're describing. But I didn't think they were rocks that had become exposed as a result of erosion. It seemed to me that some person or group had tossed rocks into that part of the trail, probably as some sort of stop gap measure to slow down the erosion.
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