View Full Version : Mt Flume Winter Hike
01-06-2011, 10:48 AM
Looking for some insight on Mt Flume in the winter, and specifically the Flume Slide Trail. I have read multiple reviews/reports. Some claiming its deathly and should NOT be climbed in the winter, and others comparing it to Lions Head and it being fun/challenging.
Can someone please give me a reasonable review/report of the flume slide trail in winter, factoring favorable weather and snow falls. Maybe an equipment list too...
01-07-2011, 11:29 PM
hey glad your interested in flume slide as it is a great trail. Before diving to far in details I would like to ask what kind of prior experience you have on any winter snow climbs involving ice/rock?
The reason I ask that is while the "class 3 flume slide" you hear about is actually the off trail bushwhack straight up the west face (i.e. the slide) but having said that the flume slide trail itself is not exactly trivial. I personally did it in winter with only an ice axe and crampons and the only problem I found was there was quite a bit of exposed rock that was wet (maybe potential for ice if conditions....) I should note that there was actually a group of three Europeans guys going up in front of me that I passed who were just bare booting & I saw they summited and said they only need to put their crampons on for the final summit push.
So in short yeah it's a good trail and can easily be done in winter with appropriate basic skills for rock/snow climb, maybe 5.4 tops.... basically same level as Lions head winter route, but less exposed time above treeline. Also, maybe actually a little bit stepper near the final summit push with more rock scrambling. Also, please NOTE that you SHOULD NOT DESCEND the trail as it is very wet (probably could be done with belay). Most people opt for the loop with traversing over the ridge to Liberty then descending down Liberty Springs trail. This makes for a bit of day, maybe 7-8 miles, but should be no problem with a good alpine start or there is a camp site up there.
If you are looking for something a bit more challenging maybe try that bushwack up the slide itself or grab that 2nd tool and try Lincolns Throat right next door
Best of luck & let us know how it goes
p.s just post back if you would like any more info or if have any specific questions, and as always play safe out there with extra caution along with supplies for winter climbing :)
01-07-2011, 11:36 PM
BTW here's a pic
01-20-2011, 12:19 PM
Heading up and out this weekend. Weather is looking cold for Sat with some snow showers Friday. Plan is to go up Mt Liberty via the Liberty Spring trail. Can someone give some advice on the bushwack off the snowmobile trail? Or advise on the shortest route up and down.
01-20-2011, 11:04 PM
We used that route last January. Parked in the Basin lot. The bushwhack started somewhere around 1/4 mile from the lot but unfortunately can't be a lot more specific than that. We were with someone that knew the location very well. You just need to watch along the side of the road for the path - if it's been used recently it will be obvious. There is a log crossing over the brook on the bushwhack just below the snowmobile trail. The whack brings you right into Liberty Spring trail and cuts off a good chunk. I believe that this is the shortest possible route. It was a fantastic winter hike!
01-22-2011, 01:12 AM
I used the Flume Slide trail for descent of a Winter hike I did once. I went up Liberty via LT, then over to Flume & down the FST. I carried snowshoes and crampons, but only used the snowshoes for the deep powder in the col between the 2 peaks. When I got to the FST, I was tired (seriously deep powder in the col) so I opted to butt slide most of my way down the FST. At times I was reaching speeds that nearly had me airborne--LOL. But the snow cover was very deep, providing great cushioning for the rocks on the slide. I found no need for any special equipment, other than excellent boots of course. I'm sure I could have bare-booted up too. Common sense is the best thing to bring. It is always best to over equip on a Winter hike--just in case.
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