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whitebark
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PostTue Jan 07, 2020 5:46 pm 
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Today I took advantage of the a break in the weather to check things out in the Mid Fork valley. The road blockade has been moved to the Pratt Bar  Trailhead.  The post in the locked thread stating that the closure was at the Oxbow trailhead is wrong. It is about a 3/4 mile walk to get to the former blockade near the landslide and the CCC road trailhead.  I imagine that this blockage relocation will keep most of the looky-loos away from the landslide area.  I didn't take a close look at the landslide, but I thought I could see that some of the crazily leaning trees may have fallen down on the road. It also appeared that the road itself may have slumped a little more.

The walk from Pratt Bar to the old blockade on the closed road is actually quite scenic and pleasant. Think of the road as a 40 foot wide hiking trail now. There are good views of the surrounding peaks and the sight of the river running at 9,000 CFS is impressive.
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Brushwork
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PostTue Jan 07, 2020 8:33 pm 
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Thank you for the update Whitebark.  It IS impressive when the MFS is high!

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When I grow up I wanna play.
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nordique
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PostWed Jan 08, 2020 10:58 am 
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Pratt River Bar:  mile nine, I think.  A good walk for someone on a crutch, I think!
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
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PostWed Jan 08, 2020 10:20 pm 
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Yes - exactly at the 9 MP sign. The slump continues to slowly sink, nothing dramatic since the first big slump on 12/20. Trees continue to fall on the unstable slopes above the road. The slide itself hasn't moved in the last 10 days.

Closure moved back to the Pratt River bar
Closure moved back to the Pratt River bar
Bessemer Slide. Two more trees have fallen.
Bessemer Slide. Two more trees have fallen.

I walked down to the river edge to figure out why this spot is perennially so unstable. There is a thick clay later at river level below the slumping area. It must be eroded faster every time the river gets really high like this. That encourages the water seeping under the slump area to carry away material underground (resulting in holes) and undermines the toe of the slope causing a small amount of bulk sliding down toward the river (resulting in cracks).

clay bank by river
clay bank by river

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Mid Fork Rocksflickr
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Kim Brown
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PostThu Jan 09, 2020 9:31 am 
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Same thing that caused the Oso slide, and the Mid Fk Trail closure (still closed, isn't it?).

I enjoyed this article abou t the Mid Fk valley, by Rick McGuire of ALPS (and who was instrumental in the Garfield Ledges trail). Good detail of the clayey/platey soils & topography.

A rock’s job is to get to the nearest ocean trench and jump in so it can morph. Our mountains are continually seeking their point of repose.

It’s maddening and heart-wrenching sometimes (Kennedy Hotsprings area for instance), but it’s kinda cool to see it.

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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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Damian
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PostThu Jan 09, 2020 10:39 am 
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Kim Brown wrote:
A rock’s job is to get to the nearest ocean

Like us.
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nordique
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PostThu Jan 09, 2020 12:24 pm 
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Thanks so much for the link to that fantastic article!
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zephyr
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PostThu Jan 09, 2020 6:51 pm 
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nordique wrote:
Thanks so much for the link to that fantastic article!

Yes!  If you hadn't said something nordique I would have missed it.  That is a great read. 'Explains so much about the natural history of the Middle Fork and the challenges for roads and trails there.  Thanks, Kim.  ~z
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