Anatomy of a Slide – a photo essay

As promised, here are more photos of the Alder Creek slide. I’m going back to the day before to show its development. Think of it as a mini course in slides – Big Sur style. Thanks to Rock Knocker.

John Duffy, climbing boss by Rock Knocker

This was taken on April 12, 2011, 2 days before the big slide. The climbers were going up to check a big crack up above that had developed. They checked it the next day, and knew it was giving way. There was LOTS of movement.
Getting a lift by Rock Knocker

Uh, oh ... by Rock Knocker

This was taken the day before the big slide.
Letting Loose by Rock Knocker

Cleaning up by Rock Knocker

The slide by Rock Knocker
This was 5 days after the slide with dozers and trucks working both ends. Hard to make any progress that way with a monster like this.

Now we move on to yesterday, Tuesday April 26, 2011 –

Danny Millsap, Supervisor, Willow Creek by Rock Knocker

Duffy and Crew by Rock Knocker

Flying rocks by Rock Knocker

Flying in the Equipment by Rock Knocker

That is the Chinook. If you follow the cable one can see the dozer or spider being brought in. I cannot tell from this photo which it is. But two of each were brought in by helicopter to the top of the slide. The spiders are blue and the dozers are yellow.
Here, one can tell it is a spider being ferried in. Follow the cable.
Chinook & Spider by Rock Knocker

CHP Officer Diane Clark by Rock Knocker

Diane flys in for a look-see.

Chinook by Rock Knocker

Equipment and Climbers in place by Rock Knocker

Ah, and here is my very favorite one of this series. Look at the size of those silhouettes up against the raging power of Mother Nature. “Men of Courage” I titled it, but it could have easily been The Crazy Men of Cal-Trans, Big Sur.” I know, I was married to one of them.

Men of Courage

Magnitude by Rock Knocker

11 thoughts on “Anatomy of a Slide – a photo essay

  1. thanks for pics and prospective–brave men and Politics so often are trumped by mother nature- be safe god speed

  2. That looks like a Menzi Muck to us. It is an amazing Swiss all terrain machine that looks like something right out of a Disney movie. Good luck and speed clearing the highway.

  3. A picture is worth a thousand words. This expains the situation for those of us not thee perfectly.

  4. In the “Equipment and Climbers in place by Rock Knocker” pic, it looks like the dozer is airborne…can that be????

    Kudos to all the people working on this mess(any women out there?).

    Thanks so much, Kate, for posting these. It means so much to be able to keep up with things going on in Big sur…from so far away. 🙂

  5. Obviously they know what they are doing, but it sure looks dangerous. Thanks for the photos!

  6. I am an avid follower/reader of this super(b) websaite. May I ask a question about Willow Creek Road just north of the slide? Has it been graded yet following the winter/spring storms? I am trying to check out an old camp site location near San Martin Top for a book I am doing on the “Lost Camps of the Ventana”. There were some rough spots and all I have is my 2wd Toyota Highlander.

  7. Paul, I do not think Willow Creek has yet been graded for the spring, but it is still in pretty good shape. I don’t think you will have a problem up to San Martin Top, but further back – perhaps. I will check with Rock Knocker this afternoon, and if disagrees, will post again. If no post, no problem.

  8. I never appreciated the danger these guys go through. This is an amazing project captured expertly by the photographers.
    Kate, wonder if they should just tunnel that stretch.

  9. Can I just say that I find such beauty in this slide. I really like the “Not a Through Street”-ness this creates for Highway 1.

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