Turns out this hike was largely the same, initially. My first attempt, I stayed lower, and did not find Leotine, but did find myself on the creek, above the last dropoffs, leading to Thalehaha. First time there, I think. So I went down there, snapped the small waterfalls in this gorge, snapped a shot of some people, preparing to rapel down Thalehaha, then worked my way back up to the "trail."
From there, my numerous attempts kept ending in impassable thickets, and led to much backgracking, ascending, descending, and more deadends. Kind of frustrating. I finally admitted I needed help (the first step!), and pulled out my phone and launched the Alltrails app.I was convinced I had gone the wrong way because I did a lot of vertical climbing, and I did not recall having to gain so much altitude on my successful gos. Pulling up the map, the app showed a trail heading towards a point marked for Leontine some distance back below. So I headed the way my phone indicated, until I neared the trail split, then turned back north. This put me on to an overlook, where I could finally see Leontine.
Even from the overlook, I was not entirely sure of the way down. But I followed the logical descent, and found myself with some ropes, which told me this was the place. Some of those ropes even looked familiar. :D
The descent seemed steeper, and with fewer handholds than I recalled. I think erosion has made the descent more difficult, to the point where the ropes are almost a necessity, and not just a handy assist.
I'm not sure if a similar fate (erosion) caused my former route to the Leontine overlook met a similar fate, but it did seem like it took a steeper ascent to reach the more or less lateral trail to the overlook.
To get around this barrier, you need to attain the height of that "V." You do that by heading straight across the gorge and climbing that up about ten feet, then turning back upstream. The rock closer to the "V" is grippy enough that you can safely traverse this section, despite being on the edge of that aforementioned ten-foot drop.
I then tried an alternate way back up to the Leontine overlook, that would bypass the two short "scary" segments, but that was stymied by cliffs. So I made my way back down, navigated the two difficult sections with relative ease, and completed my climb up the ropes. Happily, there was no oncoming traffic. No one else coming or going down to Leontine while I was there.
Really beat, and soaking wet, by the time I was done, regardless of the official distance. Part of the wet was from the water, since the bit near Leontine does include some splash-zone scrambling. Also some splash in the area above Thalehaha, when I contemplated scrambling up the next level (I elected not to). I also scurried under lots of brush, probably still wet from the recent rains. Fortunately, I think the recent cold weather put the ticks to bed, so no ticks found, when I got home. But soaking wet. The shower at home felt good.