Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bee Aware Of The New Residents On Jesusita, Powerlines

Added 6/25/10, Reports of bee colonies on the trails at Parma Park also...

Added 7/10/10, Ground bees in the meadow of Rattlesnake Canyon Trail.....

Added 7/22/10, The Jesusita Trail Colony has dissapeared!

Several ground bee colonies have made themselves at home on a couple of your favorite local trails. Half way up Jesusita Trail on the Tunnel side, several hundred bees are living in and on the trail. The trail is all but blocked turning most users around at the site. Some are going around the colony using the hillsides above and below the trail but this is not recommended as the hillsides are very delicate and trying to recover from the Jesusita Fire.

A second colony is forming on the Powerlines Fireroad, 3/4 of the way to the top and is not blocking the trail but has doubled in size since last week. The agencies have been notified of the bees on the trails.

*Ground bees are typically not aggressive but can sting so those allergic to bees may want to use alternative trails- MORE ON GROUND BEES


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mt Whitney Day Hike 2010- The Tradition Is Finally Broken

An expression I like to use once in a while is "nothing lasts forever", and this year my Whitney day hike tradition did just that. I went up this year knowing that the snow level was quite a bit lower than usual but having all the right gear I was up for the challenge. The weather forecast for this past weekend was 0% chance precip on Friday and 10% on Sat, the day I planned on going up.

Of course the weather gods didn't see the forecast and as I arrived at the Mt Whitney parking lot Friday, snow flurries fell out of the sky. So much for the chance this was going to be a fair weather ascent, I packed all my snow gear and headed up the trail about 5 am Saturday morning. Things were pretty much status quo up until just below Trail Camp where the temps dropped significantly and the trail disappeared.

The problem wasn't that I had to get decked out in crampons and ice ax with full winter clothing, it was the dark ominous clouds hiding Mt Whitney. As I approached Trail Camp the temps must have been in the 20's with wind blowing and snow pretty much hiding the switchbacks. I met up with hiking friend John where we stopped to see if the weather was going to break or stay socked in. At trail camp I spoke with a couple of ladies hiking whom I had spoken with earlier and asked them if they were going to make an attempt at the summit. The two ladies answered, "we have been waiting two years for these permits and we bought all this gear, of course we are going." Now I am no pro-mountain man but when climbing in winter conditions, the date on the permit should not determine whether a summit attempt is made or not. Aside from the poor visibility the clouds were making, the chance for lighting strikes is always higher when dark clouds are present.

Needless to say along with hiking friend John we decided the smartest move was to head back down and hike another day. The trip down was uneventful and we ran into many interesting people on the trail heading up. Quite a few were unprepared for the winter conditions with no crampons or other winter clothing. Hopefully all that attempted the summit this day made it back home ok. D

Chris and John contemplating the summit with Mt Whitney hiding in the background
Hikers heading up to Trail Crest

Essential Gear

Mt Whitney hid all day long

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Can't We All Just Get Along......Yes!

Sharing the trail does work as was seen at Montana De Oro last month. An organized ride for bikers, equestrians, and hikers in SLO County demonstrates how everyone CAN get along.

THE PHOTOS (photos courtesy of CCCMB.ORG/Tim Sawchuck)

SB Bike Fest Is On Again! But......

June 5th Is National Trails Day