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
Last edited by smithtim; 01-07-2011 at 10:37 PM.
'when it starts to hurt your nearly halfway and probably should get out those ropes & put your crampons on"