[at-l] hikers at Crawford Notch

RockDancer rockdancer97 at comcast.net
Thu Jul 19 10:12:26 CDT 2012

Well, I was trying to be cute verbally but Wiki might back me up on



A debris avalanche is a type of slide characterized by the chaotic movement
of rocks soil and debris mixed with water or ice (or both). They are usually
triggered by the saturation of thickly vegetated slopes which results in an
incoherent mixture of broken timber, smaller vegetation and other debris.[2]
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landslide#cite_note-b1-1>  Debris avalanches
differ from debris slides because their movement is much more rapid. This is
usually a result of lower cohesion or higher water content and commonly
steeper slopes.


(me again) The water descending from the steep walls of Willey Ridge
channeled into Avalanche Brook and rushed under the trestle bridge at Willey
Station near the AT. The flow expanded from the trestle to the road (maybe
1/2 mile distance) making new channels and pushed along boulders from the
size of water coolers to refrigerators, along with shattered pieces of trees
& lots of sand. The flow played itself out once it hit the Saco River on the
far side of Rt. 302. The pileup at that location is easily 20 feet high, a
mix of trees & rocks & one 5 foot tall propane tank. The tank survived
intact and may have floated on the high water of the Saco River from the
Willey tourist site 1 mile north on Rt. 302.


Just below here on Rt. 302 the Saco jumped its banks (and went over Rt. 302)
when it met the water traveling down Dry River (the Mt. Washington
watershed). Here, the local rangers told me, there was a temporary dam that
pooled up the water on Dry River. When it let go a surge crossed the road
and spewed sand & boulders ½ mile into the woods. This extra water, along
with the growing Saco, caused the major damage further south on Rt. 302.
This summer there is still only a temporary bridge in place, the footing of
the original bridge being undermined. --RD


From: Art Cloutman [mailto:Art at crystalacresnh.com] 
Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2012 10:41 AM
To: RockDancer; at-l at backcountry.net
Subject: Re: [at-l] hikers at Crawford Notch


I was wondering!   Does one call it an avalanche if no snow is involved?  I
know there was no snow when Irene hit the area.





I've made some progress on establishing a new stealth site near the AT with
help from 5 of these hikers. The site I've used for 12 years was wiped away
by an avalanche on Avalanche Brook during Hurricane Irene last August.
Thanks to them I've got a new fire ring and 4 tent sites well away from the
trail & the brook. --RockDancer


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Life is Good!!!
Art Cloutman

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