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Re: Update on tree blowdown problem near Red's Meadow

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  • John Ladd
    Clarification and supplement to my last posting (copy below) 1) The Forest Service acknowledges that the JMT has been sawed as for as Shadow Lake and that the
    Message 1 of 59 , Jun 2, 2012
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      Clarification and supplement to my last posting (copy below)

      1) The Forest Service acknowledges that the JMT has been sawed as for as Shadow Lake and that the access from there to River Trail and Agnew Meadows is technically open. However, the JMT needs further trail work on the JMT from Thousand Island Lake to Shadow Lake. They very much want hikers to stay out of that section until the work is done, in order to allow trail crews to finish their work without interruption. They therefore prefer that southbound JMT hikers leave the JMT at Thousand Island Lake and rejoin it only at Devil's Postpile.  Either High Trail (PCT) or River Trail will work.

      "The crews and equipment operators are working in hazardous areas where knowing the location of every person is essential to maintaining safety, for themselves and anyone else in the area.   Visitors wandering around do not facilitate workers being able to do their jobs safely and efficiently.  The public’s cooperation in this endeavor is greatly appreciated."

      2) The Forest Service is working with Reds Meadow Pack Station to allow access as soon as the FS feels it is safe to do so. While, they will not promise a date, they are hoping to have resupply service access "sometime in mid to late June". They say that the road turnouts and shoulder are not clear yet and that heavy equipment needed for the cleanup will require the majority of the roadway. Vehicles going in opposite directions have limited locations to pass large vehicles.

      3) The FS continues to do work to be done south of Shadow Creek on the JMT. They want June hikers to stay clear of this section while work crews are active in the area.

      4) They are "hopeful" that all of the JMT from Thousand Island Lake to Reds Meadow will be cleared by "late June".  (South of Red's Meadow is already clear.)

      So far, the FS has finished work in advance of the schedules they have predicted.  If you plan to pass through after July 1, I suspect you are quite safe.  And I think there is a good chance (but no guarantee) that you will be able to mail re-supply at Red's by June 15 or not long after.  If you are re-supplying at Mammoth Lakes General Delivery, the Mammoth Pass trail will probably remain at least a "Plan B" probably through early July, though it is certainly possible that the shuttle along Reds meadow Road will be restored sooner than that..

      John Curran Ladd
      1616 Castro Street
      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
      415-648-9279


      On Sat, Jun 2, 2012 at 8:46 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
      >
      > I have confirmed that with the Forest Service that the following routing will work, even now, for southbound JMT hikers. The current problem area is between JMT mile 44.2 and mile 59. I'm using Erik the Black Southbound milepoints, but the Wilderness Press milepoints are similar.  
      >
      > As we get later in the season, the traditional JMT should work fine.   Note, however, that late season hikers may encounter trail closures due to removal of downed trees by heavy-lift helicopters.  I'm sure the Forest Service will post signs about recommended detours in this case.
      >
      >
      > I don't believe that the Forest Service has formally closed the JMT along this stretch, but they prefer to keep hikers separated from the heavy work still being done by the trail crews.  That's why they want you to take the detour described below, which may be in your interest as well.
      >
      > Recommended SoBo routing (with or without Red's or Mammoth Lakes resupplies):
      >
      > 1) At Thousand Island Lakes (Erik the Black Southbound mile 44.2) turn East and take either the High Trail or the River Trail East, then South. (I am very fond of River Trail and the High trail is part of the PCT and will likely have northbound PCT thru-hikers) 
      >
      > 1 alt) If Northbound hikers tell you that the JMT has been cleared to Shadow Lake, you could consider continuing on the JMT to that point  (JMT SoBo mile 49.4) and then heading East on the connector leading across the North side of Shadow Lake and then downhill to River Trail. (Note - this is my comment and not yet confirmed with the Forest Service which currently recommends leaving the JMT at mile 44.2).
      >
      >
      > 2) The PCT and River Trail re-join near Agnew Meadows. Continue south past Upper Soda Springs to the point where thew PCT rejoins the JMT (North end of Devils Postpile NM and JMT SoBo mile 57.1)
      >
      > 3) Check here (with signage or Northbund hikers) to learn whether Reds Meadow Pack Station and/or the Road have re-opened. If they are open, hikers could go down to Red's and take the shuttle into Mammoth Lakes for resupply.
      >
      > Obviously, if you have mailed your re-supply to Red's you will want to exit here and see if it has made its way to the pack station. If after June 15 or so, there's a good chance it will be there.
      >
      >
      > Assuming that your resupply is in Mammoth Lakes and the Reds Meadow shuttle is not operational when you  arrive at this point, 
      >
      > 4) Continue on JMT through Devil's Postpile NM, past the junction to Rainbow Falls and to Upper Crater Meadow (JMT SoBo mile 63.5)
      >
      > 5) at the Meadow, turn left (heading north, then east) on Mammoth Pass trail roughly 3 miles to the trailhead at Horseshoe Lake. 
      >
      > 6) If after June 30, take shuttle to Mammoth Lakes. Before that, hike or hitchhike on the road past Lake Mary and Twin lakes to Mammoth
      >
      > 7) Return to JMT the same way you came out (Reds Meadow Shuttle or Horseshoe Lake shuttle)
      >
      > I will try to keep in contact with the Forest Service on this and report on further developments.
      >
      > The Red's Meadow Pack Station hopes to be able to handle re-supplies that have been mailed to them, and get them to the Pack Station, even if the road is closed to public traffic, by June 15.  The Forest Service, however, has not to my knowledge promised that it will allow the Pack Station to do so.  I have asked them to try to accommodate the Station on this effort and hope to get some form of confirmation of this soon.
      >
      > NOTE: the FS is strongly discouraging -- and threatening to ticket -- people who try to use the Road to get from Agnew Meadows in the direction of Mammoth Lakes.  If you are re-supplying in Mammoth Lakes, I strongly recommend the routing above via Mammoth Pass Trail.  It does lengthen the trip from Tuolumne Meadows to Mammoth Lakes, but it shortens it from Mammoth to Vermillion (or Muir Trail Ranch).  RT, it is only 6 trail miles out of your way and if the shuttle is not yet running to Horseshoe Lake (i.e., before June 30) it won't be running to Red's either -- so in either case you are going to have to hitch or road-walk part of the way. 
      >
      > John Curran Ladd
      > 1616 Castro Street
      > San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
      > 415-648-9279
    • Rene Bravo
      I witnessed firsthand how HARD those crews worked...they did an amazing thing, worked 24 hours a day in the final weeks to get that road open...good job. BTW,
      Message 59 of 59 , Jun 29, 2012
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        I witnessed firsthand how HARD those crews worked...they did an amazing thing, worked 24 hours a day in the final weeks to get that road open...good job. BTW, the "blowdown" along the JMT in Yosemite is nothing at all, a 2-3 second detour and if you blink you may miss it. Cheers, RB


        From: John Ladd <johnladd@...>
        To: "johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com" <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2012 7:55 PM
        Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Update on tree blowdown problem near Red's Meadow [1 Attachment]

         
        Today's updated work progress report from Inyo NF is attached.

        High points - most of this info is from the attached - some from info supplied separately in an e-mail they kindly sent me: 

        Inyo confirms that they still plan the road opening and shuttle service on June 29

        and they say 

        JMT (from North to South):

        1) trees across the trail  on JMT -  Tuolumne Meadow to Lyell Creek (in Yosemite NP)

        2) JMT Hikers should "consider" using the Pacific Crest Trail (High Trail) or River Trail from Thousand Island Lake to Reds Meadow for another week (until 7/12/2012). Work is in progress north of Emily Lake Junction. Several large concentrations of heavy downed timber still need to be cleared.  

        3) 100+ trees down in Tully Hole area - Area is steep and difficult to climb around trees. Clearance work will start in July. (I gather the tree count includes trees not on the JMT itself but on intersecting trails in this area)

        4) Trees down in a 2 mile strectch between Quail Meadow (Vermillion) and Bear Ridge Iin Sierra NF)

        5) Trees down in a 3 mile stretch south starting south of Piute Pass junction to a point somewhat North of McClure Meadow (they identify as PCT mile 853 to mile 856 - SEKI NP)

        6)  Trees down near Palisade Creek (SEKI NP)

        Side trails off the JMT

        large number of trees down in Ansel Adams – Sierra NF - Reported as very difficult from Isberg Pass to Clover Meadow and the trail  crossing to Reds Meadow via Summit Meadow.

        50+ trees down on Mono Creek trail, west of Second Recess, passable by going around the trees, area is flat. (Note: I was in this area in early June, and I think their count is high and I can confirm that the downed trees are easy to avoid)

        Other side trails noted on the attachment, which can also be found in our Files area - Current Conditions

        and at this link

        John Curran Ladd
        1616 Castro Street
        San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
        415-648-9279


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