My Subaru Forester had no problems going up Step Creek Road, despite the high centre-line of grass and brush. We parked at the start of Steep Creek Branch 4 and pitched our tents directly on Steep Creek Branch 4 (there wasn't any room to the side of the road.
The next day we rose at around 6:30 AM and started hiking around 7:30 AM. The weather was hot and sunny and the sky was a cloudless deep blue. We reached the landing at the end of Steep Creek Branch 4 about 30 minutes later and found a very faint and overgrown spur road leading eastward. After about 30m it became too overgrown to follow, and after about 50m we entered mature forest. [photo]IMGP4671.JPG[caption]End of Steep Creek Branch 4[/photo]
We bushwhacked through relatively easy mature forest, traveling eastward, and maintaining our elevation. After about 45 minutes we reached the start of the slide zone that runs from the south ridge of Blowdown Peak almost all the way down to the Duffey Lake.
Our worst fears were confirmed. The slide zone was choked with dense, 6 foot high, downward pointing slide alder. Fred knew that we were not too far below a boulder field and started climbing directly uphill. Dorthy and I attempted to follow him but after 10 minutes of thrashing around and getting nowhere there was rebellion in the ranks and we insisted on heading downhill to cross the creek to mature forest on the other side of the slide zone.
We all agreed that we had just encountered a class 4 bushwhack:
"Severe brush. Pace less than one mile... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)