Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jesusita/Rattlesnake Trail Clean-up A Success!

This past weekends trail repair project brought out 30+ people all eager to get our trails into tip top shape. After a quick introduction and description of the task at hand we split into two groups, one headed to Jesusita Trail and one over to Rattlesnake Canyon. The main objective on both trails was to repair damaged trail sections and improved water drainage. Special thanks to all that attended and an extra big thanks to the Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch for hooking all the workers up with grub at the end of the day. Below are some photos from the Rattlesnake Canyon Trail work. -Dave

Rattlesnake Canyon slide removal
Highly Rutted Wash- Before
Severely Damaged Trail- Before
Same Area- Before
Titus and Matt bustin' up rocks
Kickin' Canines
The Rattlesnake Group
Titus, Matt, John, Jeri, and Ken
Nothing Better Than A Chicken Ranch Picnic!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

West Fork Of Cold Spring Trail Gets An Unexpected Makeover

West Fork of Cold Springs may have substandard trail conditions due to recent storms- hike, bike, and ride with care.

The series of storms last week dumped over 4 inches of rain also turned West Fork of Cold Spring into a flood channel. Having hiked, run, and biked this trail dozens of times over the years I felt like I knew the trail pretty well. Not any more! The trail has changed pretty significantly since the last series of storms hit. Much of the trail that paralleled the dry creek between the CS Water Tunnel and Tangerine Falls is now gone or in poor shape. The trail beyond the water tunnel is in pretty good shape except for several areas where washouts have occurred.

The large amount of water cleared and widened the canyon floor and deepened the once shallow dry creek bed. The water level along the walls of the canyon show flows as high as six+ feet and widened the creek to around 50 feet in places. Because of the unique shape of the canyon West Fork lies in, dozens of small tributaries flow directly into the creek creating mass water flow. Had the Jesusita Fire not burnt up all the brush on the hillsides, this storm might have left the canyon just as it always was. -D

The newly widened West Fork-
It is now easy to follow the wide creek bed far past the water tunnel
Some of the debris left on and around the trail
A unique wall above the water tunnel
USFS says this metal is actually track from mine carts used to dig the CS Water Tunnel.
Force of the recent storms were powerful enough to wrap the metal track around this tree
Storms have weakened the trail and caused several cracks to form
Some of the debris left on the trail
One of the larger washouts on West Fork
Look for a trail maintenance project soon to help repair the damage in West Fork of Cold Spring, contact us to find out how to get involved.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Taking To The Air Above Rattlesnake Canyon

I counted 13 gliders above Rattlesnake Canyon this past Sunday. This photo shows just some of the flyers right about Gibraltar Road.

Here is another perspective of the area, Cort was flying high that day and snapped this photo. Easily visible is the hairpin curve and West Fork Branch of Cold Spring.- Dave

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Backcountry Snowboarding In The Los Padres National Forest 1-23-10

It's hard to believe that we live this close to such good backcountry ski and snowboard action! Mt Pinos, barely two hours away is at the edge of our LPNF and about 8000' above Santa Barbara. Lots of rain and cold conditions this week meant snow at Mt Pinos, and I had been tracking the amounts all week. At the parking lot they had received about 3-4 feet and up higher much more than that.

The road to the top of Mt Pinos is a great grade for skinning on x-country skis or in my case skinning on a split snowboard. A split snowboard is a snowboard that has been built out of two longitudinal pieces that can be separated to create a pair of skis. "Skins" are applied to the base to assist in climbing uphill and are removed when heading going down. A little heavier than a normal snowboard and a little more awkward than a pair of x-country skis but able to do far more than either.

My Split Board As One

"Ski Mode"

The adventure at Mt Pinos starts at the parking lot which has great views of the two "Signature Bowls". Both these bowls looked far too unstable and I avoided going anywhere near them today.
The Mcgill Trail, a fun hiking and biking trail in the Summer and a great winter trail when conditions allow.
For my route this time I followed Mt Pinos Road approximately 3 miles up to an area known as "Vroom and Board". The road was in the process of being plowed as shown below so a little hiking was done before strapping on my skis to skin uphill.
The views from Mt. Pinos into the Lockwood Valley were spectacular.
Lockwood Valley
I noticed the snow to be a little more packed today and easier to ski up. I soon found out why, this local had rode his snowmobile up the day before and was headed to the top again today.

I had the creamy powder of the Vroom and Board Bowls all to myself.

The Vroom and Board Bowl views

The Cornice

A few of the other people on the snow this day.
Plug Of The Day- Auto Trac Snow Chains, they take about a minute to put on and no need to stop and tighten as you go because they self tighten.
Some of the things I like about backcountry are that you can go anywhere do anything with no limitations, not to mention the lack of crowds, great workout and it's free! This particular day I saw maybe 6 other people heading up to the top. Get out there and enjoy before it's all gone- Dave

Friday, January 22, 2010

Santa Barbara Gets Snowy

About every year or two the snow gods drop a couple of inches on our nearby mountains. This year was no different and we picked up about 2 inches up on Camino Cielo. Snow levels were down below Flores Flats but not for long. It's melting fast so enjoy it while you can!

Snow Dusted Cathedral Peak
Tunnel Trail Head
Camino Cielo

Towards La Cumbre Peak

Newly sprouted waterfalls near the rock

Thursday, January 21, 2010

1-21-10 Trail Head Photos

Rattlesnake Canyon 1st Creek Crossing
Same photo as yesterday, the water is just a little higher, faster, and dirtier
Trail entrance is now a creek
All dry creek are now flowing max speed onto the trail and into the creek

Didn't even know there was a waterfall here

Cold Spring road crossing

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rainy Days Trail Head Photos

Rattlesnake Roaring Rapids
First Creek Crossing At The Trail Head
Cold Spring Trail Head
Water Level Came Up To The Trail Sign And Left Debris And A Foot Of Mud On The Road

The Forest Service Now Tweets!?

Link To Forest Service Twitter Page

Latest Tweet:

The LPNF strongly discourages public use of Forest trails due to resource damage and safety concerns following the heavy rains this week.