The Southeast Slide formed in 1990 and has become known as a more remote, adventurous way to reach the summit of Colden without the two trails. Less classic than the Trap Dike, this slide is nonetheless quite exposed, a bit steeper, and sees far less traffic. The views back towards Marcy and Skylight are exceptional.
From the trail, bushwhack onto an area of sandy wash and continue up. The first half of the slide follows a narrow, twisting track along a stream and involves a few short scrambles. At about half height, the route opens onto a broad slab that continually steepens as it approaches the summit. The rock has had less than 20 years to weather, so it has tons of friction and makes a couple of improbable-looking swells easy. 3/4 of the way up, jog right through an obvious gap onto a parallel slide that quickly grows much steeper. With increasing discomfort, friction up the last 200 feet to a dense conifer thicket and the trail beyond.
The slide begins about 100 feet below Colden's ridgeline northeast of its summit and continues down to within 200 feet of the trail from Lake Arnold to Feldspar Brook. The base of the slide is easily identified from the trail, and starts about 1.5 miles from Lake Arnold.
4th class. Trail runners with good tread or Vibram-soled boots recommended.
Nearing the final steep pitch
|By Goran Lynch|
From: Seattle, WA
Aug 13, 2011
An awesome way to do this slide is a traverse: head up the Trap Dike to the summit, and drop down the SE Slide.
An important note is that there are several older, shorter slides on the SE face of Colden. The entire skier's right side of the peak, really, has a series of slides that are slowly growing back in. Generally, the moss and vegetation make them a bit slippery, but they are much less steep at the top than is the SE slide described above. We took a skier's right (climber's left) line down the SE face from the summit onto one of those slides and traversed left to the cleaner slide at tree-line. There was a roughly 10 foot cliffy step at the top, but otherwise this was a manageable route. I wouldn't want to descend the top of the skier's left slide without gear --- it looks like pure, steep class 4 pure friction climbing.