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HikerJohn
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PostFri Dec 20, 2019 9:47 pm 
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There was a pretty significant landslide today, near the CCC Trailhead.
Road is mostly covered but the slippage continues, so the road may be totally washed out.
https://gismaps.kingcounty.gov/mycommute/default.aspx?clid=1530

So, guessing MFK trails are going to be inaccessible for a while...
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RandyHiker
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PostFri Dec 20, 2019 10:38 pm 
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Dang Garfield ledges recently opened.
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 2:48 pm 
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I hope no one was stuck on the up-road side of that slide!  Good thing no cars were parked at that trailhead.  We've had record amounts of rain at our house the past two days--and the Middle Fork gets a LOT more rain than we do.
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puzzlr
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 4:48 pm 
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I tried to drive up the valley on Friday morning, 12/20 coinciding with over 4" of rain since it started the day before. I wanted to check out the creek crossings on the gravel road, but didn't make it that far. There is a small landslide blocking the road just before the box culverts at about MP 10. It's the same place a few rocks and dirt slumped down on 10/21, but this is bigger. I walked through the 2-3" of water sheeting across the road. The chip seal surface was spongy even under just my body weight which probably indicates water is running under the road surface. If so, just clearing the landslide debris may not be enough to reopen the road. The box culverts beyond are fine because they are getting only a portion of the creek flow now. On my way out I saw three King County DOT trucks heading up valley.

There is still a lot of rain to fall so it may get worse. While I was there I heard rocks tumbling down and one tree above the bank fell down. All of this is caused by a rerouting of a significant portion of Bessemer Creek (my name for the creek through the box culverts) during the 10/21-22 rain storm. I hiked up the creek after that storm and river boulders had piled up to divert part of the creek out of the normal channel. This will continue to have effects every time there is a big rain event. There are at least three significant new water channels forming where it didn't normally come down.

This photo is from November 2, 2019 when I went up the creek to see where the water in the 10/21 event was coming from. The creek bed filled up with rocks and spilled over the bank. There's no channel there so it spread out all over finding new channels to flow in. That water saturates the hillside and contributes to all the slumping happening now.

Nov 2, creek finds new path off to the right
Nov 2, creek finds new path off to the right

Photos and video from ~10:30am on Friday 12/20/2019

Slump area, down another couple of inches
Slump area, down another couple of inches
Slump area, down another couple of inches
Slump area, down another couple of inches
Water flowing down CCC trail and a new channel to the left. Someone dragged the fallen log our of the way.
Water flowing down CCC trail and a new channel to the left. Someone dragged the fallen log our of the way.
The rocky bank had a few rocks fall on 10/21, but now the entire bank slumped down onto the road.
The rocky bank had a few rocks fall on 10/21, but now the entire bank slumped down onto the road.
Water sheeting over the chip seal road and washing away the bank below
Water sheeting over the chip seal road and washing away the bank below
Landslide from the upstream side
Landslide from the upstream side
A new channel coming down between the rocky bank and the box culverts
A new channel coming down between the rocky bank and the box culverts
Oxbow trail overlook
Oxbow trail overlook

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Mid Fork Rocks • flickr
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Bernardo
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 5:34 pm 
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Thanks for the video Puzzlr.  So is the solution to reopen the blocked channel?
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RichP
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 5:45 pm 
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Great video, puzzlr.  up.gif
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zephyr
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 5:58 pm 
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That's some great reporting and documentation, puzzlr.  Thanks.

Wow.  What a shame--all that work and effort just buried under water and debris.  The Middle Fork just doesn't want to be tamed it seems.  I wonder how long it will take to get the road open again.  ~z

HikerJohn wrote:
There was a pretty significant landslide today, near the CCC Trailhead.
Road is mostly covered but the slippage continues, so the road may be totally washed out.

Note:  In my original post on this thread, I neglected to mention HikerJohn's involvement in this discussion.  'Sorry about that, HJ.  Thank you HikerJohn for originally alerting us.  ~z
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MtnGoat
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 6:26 pm 
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Hopefully not subject to the same processes as getting the N Fk Sky road fixed.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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puzzlr
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 10:37 pm 
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Bernardo wrote:
Thanks for the video Puzzlr.  So is the solution to reopen the blocked channel?

I don't know what they'll do. The spot where the water is leaving the creek is 160' above the road up a very rocky and steep creek bed. I don't think they'd bring heavy equipment up that way. The easiest solution may be to have a crew up there for a day tossing rocks out of the established creek bed and build up a bank. Then let the next big rain flush it out and reestablish the old channel. All speculation on my part.

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Mid Fork Rocks • flickr
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Gwen
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PostSat Dec 21, 2019 10:46 pm 
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puzzlr wrote:
Oxbow trail overlook
Oxbow trail overlook

That's a muddy river.

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Tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so be bold, scare yourself, attempt something with no guarantee of success. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. -Olive McGloin
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nordique
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PostSun Dec 22, 2019 8:36 am 
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Thanks, Monty, for all the information, photos, and videos, of one of our favorite areas to hike and to explore.  The good news is that no one was killed in all this destruction.  It will be interesting to see if this section of road is eventually re-opened.  It's ironic that all these problems came up not long after the new trail to Garfield Ledges opened.
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Backpacker Joe
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PostSun Dec 22, 2019 1:37 pm 
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Great pics.  Thanks for the report.  We don't have to worry about this kind of stuff on the "Best" side.  LOL.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

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Kim Brown
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PostSun Dec 22, 2019 6:55 pm 
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Thanks HikerJon & puzzlr.

I don't recall - what's the agreement re: a repair like this? The debris came from USFS or DNR lands, the road is King County (or is it USFS with an agreement that King County maintains?)

I recall once a giant rock tumbled from USFS lands onto a county road and neither agency wanted to own the project. Chances are there's more to that story, but it's funnier this way.

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Kim Brown
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PostSun Dec 22, 2019 6:57 pm 
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MtnGoat wrote:
Hopefully not subject to the same processes as getting the N Fk Sky road fixed.

Might be even more rigid; King County has among the highest environmental regulations in the country.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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zephyr
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PostSun Dec 22, 2019 7:36 pm 
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I reckon those folks (caretakers) at Goldmyer Hot Springs are marooned for the time being.  I wonder if anyone else is on the other side of the landslide area.  ~z

This is from their webpage--the current access report.   Quote: 
December 21, 2019:
The road to the Springs is CLOSED until further notice! The County has barricaded the road from 14 miles down from the Springs. There are landslides and trees down and deep water going down the road. Do not attempt trying to access! If you have a reservation for the upcoming week; it will be canceled. You will be called. Be safe!
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