Tag Archives: trail work

trail work on the PCT 2014-07

gcw_fivelakes-2

Five Lakes sunset reflection

Another missed trip.

This one was primarily a trail maintenance trip for the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) along the ridge between Five Lakes and Twin Peaks. I went in at Alpine Meadows. Waiting until the next morning I had a chance to explore around Five Lakes which I’d not done in years, and do some brushing on the switchbacks up to the crest.

I planned on several days of trail work along the PCT between Five Lakes Creek and Twin Peaks, a section that doesn’t get maintained and tends to brush in. Ceanothus velutinus, commonly called tobacco brush, is the fastest growing brush, but other plants do their part. When I do brushing up on the crest I have to carry up enough water to camp with, so the trip up from the creek is heavy and slow. Unfortunately the blade on my loppers broke on the second day, and then on the third day the handle on my folding saw broke. These Fiskars tools are generally very reliable, lightweight, and easy to use, so this was unusual. But after completing only a portion of the work I’d hoped to, I just had to take off backpacking.

The springs in Blackwood Creek were lower than I’ve ever seen them at this time of year. I walked out Blackwood through some aspen restorations projects that seem to be having the desired effect, and caught the bus to Tahoe City. Overnighting there, I ran into a friend Jan Ellis who I’d not seen in years. Then breakfast in Truckee and home on the train.

Flickr: Granite Chief 2014-07-28

missing 2012 trips

sunset from Granite Chief peak

sunset from Granite Chief peak

I never seem to get all my trips posted. Not only did I not post my 10-day trip into the Mokelumne Wilderness, the highlight of the summer, I did not get around to posting on next two trips into the Granite Chief Wilderness.

Trail Maintenance and Powderhorn

The first missing trip was seven days in July. I went in at Granite Chief trailhead, and in fact spent several days completing brushing trail work on that trail. Once that was done, I headed south and camped on the top of Granite Chief peak, a spectacular place to sleep. When the air of the central valley is reasonably clear, it is easy to see details of the coast ranges, and at night, the lights of the valley cities and towns.

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Along the PCT

Powderhorn Canyon from the mesa edge

I had a wonderful five day trip, one of my non-driving trips on which I took the Amtrak to and from Truckee. I walked from Truckee up to and along the Donner Lake Rim Trail, then headed south on the PCT past Donner Pass, Mt. Anderson, the North Fork of the American River (which becomes the Royal Gorge downstream), and into the Granite Chief.

I did some brushing work on the PCT, particularly the section between Five Lakes Creek and Twin Peaks that was completely brushed in four years ago and got me into doing maintenance on the PCT. So the trail is now reasonably clear again, though it needs brushing every year.

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