Trail Work Season!
Trail work season is upon us and the urge to get the trails dialed for big adventures is irresistible. We have been ripping through tanks of gas in the chainsaw, clearing massive slides, restoring tread surfaces, and making up for time lost during the volunteer shutdowns. You can count on finding us out on Idlehour on Fridays. Also, we have been paying special attention to Colby Canyon, Strawberry, and Gabrielino lately.
You might have noticed improvements along the “Strawberry Loop.” We put in 96 hours of hard work over a few days in October and November. First, we cleared some downed trees that had been hanging out way too long. Then, we restored the steep switchbacks on Strawberry Peak Trail just before the trail terminates at its intersection with Colby Canyon. On top of that, we went through 9 tanks of fuel on brushing from the switchbacks on Strawberry clean through both meadows in Strawberry Potrero on Colby.
The other project we have been chipping away at on the “Strawberry Loop” is at the infamous, exposed Sutter wall section of Colby near Josephine Gap. This area is constantly sliding with its vertical, crumbly, and majestic cliffs. You can touch and even witness the geologic forces of the San Andreas Fault there. With the popularity of summiting Strawberry via the “mountaineers route” exploding, the section of trail gets slides constantly from hikers moving through the crumbly goodness of the San Gabriels above. You can hear hikers talking as they kick rocks from 250-300 feet above. I had to run for cover 4 times in just a few hours. We have put in 18 hours unburying the Sutter walls from years of slides and neglect. I have never seen this section look so clean, but I also know that the work is temporary.
Each Friday, we are doing our best to start improving Idlehour. So far we have done 22 hours of mostly brushwork and some tread improvements. We are working from the Mt. Lowe end and have made it to just below the first set of switchbacks. A lot more work is needed to get the trail running nicely. We are happy to take on the job!