What Dog Days?: Madulce Trail Project, Soberanes and much much more…….

Madulce Peak & Trail
MadulceTrail
Hi Everyone – Happy Thursday,

Even though we’re in the dog days of summer, there is no shortage of activity across the Los Padres.  We’ve got a jam-packed email focusing on many of the events and incidents within the LP; lets get to it!  If there is anything missing or you’d like included in future emails, please let us know……..

MADULCE TRAIL PROJECT
The LPFA is leading a trail project along the Madulce Trail in the Dick Smith Wilderness on the weekend of August 12-14.  We’ll be driving in to Alamar Saddle and setting up basecamp at Alamar Camp.  It will be a car-camping trip with a short drive up to the Madulce Trail to work both Friday afternoon and Saturday.  The work will be mainly logging and tread work along the top 2 miles of the Madulce Trail.  The work site is around 6,000ft, on the north side of Madulce Peak and mostly shaded by pine trees.  It should be a good location for working even in hotter temperatures.  Mike Smith is the project lead and we’re hoping for 15-20 volunteers.  Food and tools will be provided by the LPFA.  It’s going to be a great time and a nice opportunity to get into the backcountry to help any NDD issues you might be suffering from.  If you are interested in joining please email INFO@LPForest.org or check Facebook or Meetup for more details.  Hope to see you there………

Soberanes Fire – August 4, MappingSupport.com

Soberanes160804
SOBERANES FIRE
Quick update on Soberanes in the Monterey Ranger District.  The fire continues to grow and is primarily burning south into the Los Padres and Ventana Wilderness.  The fire has currently burned 51,000 acres and is 27% contained.  The FS just issued a new closure order, see attached PDF map for details.  The cause of the fire was revealed yesterday as being an illegal campfire in Garrapata State Park.  Twitter remains the best source for up-to-the-second information and Inciweb is the place for official information related to the fire.  There is some good news and bad news that also surfaced this week.  Good news is that there is a large-scale weather change in the forecast that will bring higher humidity and cooler temperatures to the area starting this weekend.  That will help.  The bad news is that fire personnel have been mentioning that Soberanes has the potential to burn over 170,000 acres before it’s all said and done.  The steep terrain and inaccessible country that we all love about the Ventana is making constructing fire lines virtually impossible.  Everything to the immediate south of the current fire perimeter is within wilderness, which means that very few man-made structures are at risk.  Mix in the cost and safety concerns associated with fighting fire in the difficult to access portions of the Ventana and it appears that the current strategy might be to construct fire lines around much of the Ventana and let the backcountry burn inside those fire lines.  This is the same approach that was used in the 2007 Zaca Fire.  If you look at the image above, red indicates the current fire perimeter and the blue lines are the projected fire lines.  We’ll keep you posted as the fire progresses and lets all be sure to thank the fire and support crews and wish them the best of luck as they continue to get the upper hand on Soberanes.

FOREST 411
Reyes Peak (aka Pine Mtn) Road has reopened in the Ventura Backcountry.  Along with the road reopening both Pine Mtn and Reyes Peak Campgrounds have also been reopened.  Note: Reyes Peak Trail towards Haddock remains closed as does the Piedra Blanca Trail between Upper Reyes and Pine Mtn Lodge.  These closures were a result of last months Pine Fire.

• The Los Padres National Forest is hiring within the Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program.  Interested candidates can apply at www.USAJobs.gov starting 8/11 – 8/25.  Additional information available here.

SLO based VWR’s Bill and Sandy Obermeyer, Debbie and Ron York & Ashley and Joe Dillard
worked the access road for Rinconada Trailhead making it drivable for equestrian trailers once again.  A+!
RangerBill
UPCOMING EVENTS
A few upcoming dates, events, projects, presentations or things you might want to know.
If you have any forest-related events to add to this list, let us know and we’re more than happy to pimp your event!


August 7: West Fork Cold Spring Trail Maintenance, SBMTV, Santa Barbara Frontcountry
August 11: Santa Ynez Valley Historic Museum, Chumash Trails
August 12-14: LPFA Madulce Trail Sawyer Project
August 13: A-Zone South Hunting Season Starts

September 8: Santa Ynez Valley Historic Museum, Walking El Camino Real
September 11: Island View Trail Race
September 14: LPFA Backpacking Fundamentals Class
September 20: LPFA Trail Talk Series, History of Los Padres Lookouts by Craig Carey
September 24: National Public Lands Day Trail Project, Lion Canyon Trail, Ojai

October 13: Santa Ynez Valley Historic Museum, Rangers of the San Rafael Wilderness
October 16: D-13 Hunting Season Starts
October 22: LPFA Used Gear Sale
October 29: LPFA First Aid & CPR Training

Volunteer Season & Pine Valley Legend

San Luis Obispo Backcountry, March 2016
SLOCamp

NOW is quintessential Los Padres.  Flowers are blooming, grass is green, water is flowing (mostly), days are warm (mostly) and nights are cool.  If you’re not getting out on the trail (or off-trail), you really should find some time for a ride or hike.  When you get back, send us your photos, we’d love to see some good ones and be sure to check HikeLosPadres.com for the most up-to-date trail conditions.

 

VOLUNTEER SEASON

The best time to be in the Los Padres is not limited only to riding/hiking but it’s also the best time for getting out on a trail project, giving back to the trails you love and volunteering.  There are a ridiculous amount of volunteer projects and events lined up over the coming weeks/months across the Los Padres.  We’ll note a few here but feel free to contact us directly for more information or check Facebook/Meetup for updates:
April 8-17: LPFA Madulce Working Vacation, Dick Smith Wilderness

We’re set for a 10-day Working Vacation starting this coming Friday.  There is space available on the project, in particular the second weekend.  We’ll be working the Santa Barbara Canyon, Madulce, Don Victor and Puerto Suelo Trails.  For more information let us know at INFO@LPForest.org, all food will be provided for volunteers.

April 9: ORD Murietta Trail, Matilija
Ranger Heidi of the Ojai Ranger District will be leading this project to brush and clear the Murietta Trail in Matilija Canyon.  The project starts at 0830, email Heidi for more information or to sign up: handerson@fs.fed.us

April 9: SB Trails Council, Bill Wallace Trail, El Capitan State Park

Volunteer with SBCTC as they work the Bill Wallace Trail above El Capitan State Park along the Gaviota Coast.  For more information, click Meetup here.

April 16: Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center 11th Annual Open House
The Visitor Center at Wheeler Gorge will be hosting the 11th Annual Wheeler Open House.  We’ll provide more details soon but there will be booths setup from a variety of local organizations, a guided nature hike, games, food and much MUCH more……..  A super fun event that is a must for families with kids of all ages.

April 16: ORD Chorro Grande Trail, Highway 33
Join Ranger Heidi of the Ojai Ranger District along the Chorro Grande Trail on the south side of Pine Mtn.  The project starts at 0800, email Heidi for more information or to sign up: handerson@fs.fed.us

April 16: Slide Mountain Fire Lookout, Pyramid Lake
This is a cool event focused around California Trails Day.  Slide Mountain is within the Los Padres National Forest but is administered by the Angeles National Forest.  Volunteers will be meeting at Frenchman’s Flat at 0800 and working from there up towards the fire lookout.  Email Chris Fabbro (cfabbro@fs.fed.us) for more information or to sign up.

April 16-17: VWA Santa Lucia Trail, Ventana Wilderness
Join the Ventana Wilderness Alliance as they work the Santa Lucia Trail from Memorial Park Campground.  Meetup here for more information.

April 19: LPFA Wilderness Trails Presentation, Santa Barbara Veterans Hall
The LPFA is hosting a Trails Talk on Tuesday April 19 at the Santa Barbara Veterans Hall.  James Wapotich will give a presentation about the Wilderness Trails of Santa Barbara County and there will be plenty of time to socialize and hang out talking trails – what could be better?  For more information check out Meetup here, event is free for LPFA members.

April 23: Jesusita Trail, Santa Barbara Frontcountry
Another event focused on California Trails Day will be working the Jesusita Trail above Santa Barbara.  The project starts at 0830 and will meet at the water treatment trailhead off San Roque Rd.  For more information see Meetup here.

April 23-24: VWA Pine Ridge Trail, Ventana Wilderness
The Ventana Wilderness Alliance will be hosting a 2 day project along the Pine Ridge Trail working out of China Camp (near Pine Valley, spoiler alert)Meetup here for more details.

April 29 – May 1: LPFA Alamar Trail Weekend Project, Dick Smith Wilderness
The LPFA will be hosting a 2 or 3 day project based out of Bluff Cabin and working the upper 2.4miles of the Alamar Trail.  All food will be provided and work will involve crosscut sawing, tread and brushing.  This portion of the Alamar Trail is along one of the more beautiful stretches of trail in the wilderness.  Come along…..  INFO@LPForest.org for more information or to sign up.

May 20-30: LPFA Middle Sisquoc Working Vacation, San Rafael Wilderness

The second LPFA Working Vacation of 2016 will be set at Sycamore Camp along the Sisquoc River within the San Rafael Wilderness.  We’ll be working the Sisquoc Trail downstream from Sycamore to Abel Camp.  Access will be provided to Painted Rock Camp and down the Jackson Trail to camp.  The water will be perfect in late May along the Sisquoc.  INFO@LPForest.org

LittlePineSunset

Little Pine Sunset, March 2016


THE PASSING OF A LOS PADRES LEGEND
There is no shortage of legendary Los Padres figures who helped shape the landscape, protect the environment or add character to the geography.  Study any local maps and you’ll see dozens and dozens of unique placenames dotted across the Los Padres revealing many of these characters.  Sadly, we lost one of the LP living legends last month with the passing of Jack English.  Jack was able to purchase a private inholding of land in beautiful Pine Valley surrounded by the Ventana Wilderness in the late 1970’s.  Jack and his family built a small cabin on their land, chose a simpler life and called it home.  You’ll find tons of articles about Jack with a quick Google search, a few articles are linked below.  What you might not find is all the stories from backpackers who had the pleasure of meeting Jack and his family at Pine Valley over the years.  Stories about him sharing pancakes with campers, sharing his cabin during storms and most importantly sharing his time and stories with Pine Valley visitors.  Truly a legend and gentlemen, he will be missed but his legend will live on forever……..


English Cabin 2005, Pine Valley, Monterey County
PineValley

What’s a WORKING VACATION?

JasonnSisquoc WORKING VACATIONS
If you check the dictionary or an online source and look up the antonym for the word VACATION, the first response that comes back is the word WORK.  Generally the words WORK and VACATION don’t go together too well, do they?  That’s not always the case though, let me explain…..
Starting about 15 years ago the LPFA began a program called WORKING VACATIONS where VWR Trail Leaders would host a 7-10 day volunteer trail project usually deep in a wilderness area.  Being that it takes a day of travel to even get to most of these remote locations, the WORKING VACATIONS (WV) gave us enough time out there to accomplish a lot of trail work.  The WV’s are always stock supported, meaning we utilize mules and/or horses to bring in camp supplies, food and in some cases all the camping gear.  On a few WV’s the volunteers literally only need to carry in a daypack and the stock team carries in all other essentials for the week – it’s great!  The LPFA pays for all the food for the week and there is usually a designated cook who handles preparing all meals and cleanup.  You wake up and there is hot coffee and breakfast waiting for you and at the end of the day you are greeted back at camp with a cold beverage and dinner already made – it’s great!  (You might be asking how you can schedule a WV at your house?  Can’t help you there…..)  It’s also really nice having a terrific excuse to visit some of the more remote, wild and spectacular parts of the forest.  But the best part about WORKING VACATIONS is getting into a daily rhythm of working the trails and spending time with old friends or making new friends – it’s great!

Heath Camp has never smelled so good…..
HeathBurgers
In Spring 2016 the LPFA will be hosting three WORKING VACATIONS.  Our first is from April 8-18 at Madulce Camp in the Dick Smith Wilderness.  We’ll be working all the trails that radiate from camp including Santa Barbara Canyon, Madulce Trail, Puerto Suelo and the Don Victor Trail.  There are options available for volunteers who can only make it for a long weekend or for those who would like to stay all week.  We can pretty much customize the arrivals and departures around your schedule.  The project will be stock supported and all food expenses covered.  If you are interested in helping either as a trail volunteer, cook or packer, contact INFO@LPForest.org.  Mike Smith will be the project leader.

Log Cabin Pancake Breakfast
LogCabinPancake

Our second WORKING VACATION is May 20-31 based at Sycamore Camp along the middle Sisquoc in the San Rafael Wilderness.  Our focus for this project will be to work the Sisquoc Trail downstream from Sycamore to Abel Camp.  John Franklin and Steve Cypher are co-leading this project.  Volunteers, cooks and/or stock support are needed.  I’ll tell you one thing, jumping into the Sisquoc after a long day of work will not be the worst thing.

The stars of the show: Susie, Otis and Team
PackSupport

The third WORKING VACATION is scheduled for June and the location is TBD dependent on how water conditions shape up the rest of the winter and into summer.

If you are interested in learning more or to sign up, let us know:  INFO@LPForest.org

 

The Working Vacations are great fun and I think I can speak for all the previous participants and say that they are some of the best volunteer experiences you can have in the Los Padres.  Hope to see you out there…….

PotholeWorker



SURF & TURF

And while I have you, don’t forget about the Surf & Turf event TONIGHT at Surf Brewery in Ventura.  Information is attached.

Fire Restrictions Lifted & Trail Project Schedule 2016

Lucky Pooch Recharging by the CampfireJackson

FIRE RESTRICTIONS LIFTED

Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year!  The big news across the forest this past week has been the change in Fire Restrictions.  Effective January 9, the fire restrictions dating back to May 5, 2015 have been lifted.  While this is exciting news for those of us who have spent freezing nights in the forest of late, please PLEASE remember to be safe with your campfires.  Only build campfires in cleared spaces, preferably in designated campground campfire-rings and most importantly be sure to completely put out your fires before you leave camp.  It may seem like a pain to spend those extra minutes soaking your fire but it’s so important – think about the alternative.  Take that extra time to run trips back and forth from the creek.  For those of you looking for an easier solution, REI sells a collapsible bucket made by Sea to Summit which carries 10 liters and can easily soak down a campfire with only a few trips to the creek.  Also be sure to get your California Campfire Permit.  Permits are available at any of the Ranger Stations or online at this link.  Just takes a few minutes and it is the law to have a permit.  Enjoy the warmth and be careful.  The change in fire restrictions also reopens shooting ranges across the forest.  Contact your local Ranger District for information on shooting ranges near you.





Happy Trail Workers Along Mono-Alamar Trail, photo Beeman
WorkersHappy VOLUNTEER TRAIL PROJECTS

The LPFA and friends have a bunch of volunteer trail projects scheduled over the coming months, a BUNCH!  We wanted to get the dates out to you now so that you can hopefully find a free weekend (or longer) to help the trails.  If you have any questions or want to sign up, please email INFO@LPForest.org:

February 7: Deal Trail, Dick Smith Wilderness

This is the 4th Annual Super Bowl Sunday trail project hosted in conjunction with UTMC along the deal Trail.  Meet at 8:30am and home in time for the second half of the game.  Lots of fun and you’ll feel great sitting on your couch that evening knowing you deserve it, Mark Subbotin is the project lead.

February 19-21: Location TBD
This is going to most likely be a 3-day car-camping project in the Santa Barbara Backcountry led by Curt Cragg.  We are finalizing the location based on weather and road access.  More to come soon……

March 4-6: Potrero Trail, San Rafael Wilderness
Led by Mike Smith, this will be a 3-day backpacking project based at Potrero Camp along Manzana Creek.  Work will be up the Potrero Trail towards Hurricane Deck.  The project will be stock supported so expect tasty meals.

March 18-20: Buckhorn Trail with SBMTV, Santa Barbara Backcountry
Led by Curt Cragg and cosponsored by LPFA and SBMTV, we’ll be working the legendary Buckhorn Trail down from the top towards the first creek crossing.  We’ll be camping at Happy Hollow Camp with opportunities for day volunteers as well.  Gonna be a fun one!

April 8-18: Madulce Working Vacation, Dick Smith Wilderness
This is the first of 3 LPFA Working Vacation scheduled for spring 2016.  We’ll be based at Madulce Camp and working the network of trails radiating from the old guard station.  Our main focus will be working the Madulce and Puerto Suelo Trails.  While we’ll be up there for 10 days, there will be opportunties for shorter stints.  Backpacking 7 miles to camp is required and there will be stock support.  April is a great time of year in this part of the forest.  Mike Smith will be the project lead.

April 29-May 1: Alamar Trail, Dick Smith Wilderness
This project will be based at Bluff Cabin and focused on completing the final mile of trail down Alamar Trail from Alamar Saddle.  Curt Cragg will be leading this project.  This was a project we started in September 2015 as part of National Public Lands Day.

May 5-8: Lost Valley Trail, San Rafael Wilderness
Mike Smith will be leading a gutsy (Mothers Day) extended weekend project along the Lost Valley Trail.  This will be a backpacking / stock-supported project based somewhere along the trail with the goal of working from the Manzana up to the Hurricane Deck.

May 20-30: Middle Sisquoc Working Vacation, San Rafael Wilderness
This is going to be a fun one as well.  We’ll be based at Sycamore Camp along the Sisquoc River and working the trail down-canyon to Abel Camp.  The Sisquoc should be epic this time of year with deep pools and green slopes.  Access will be along the Jackson Trail.  The project will be stock supported with shorter length stays possible as well.

June 3-5: National Trails Day, Location TBD
We’ll be partnering with REI to host a 3-day project in the Ventura or Santa Barbara Backcountry.  Location and specifics are in the works.  Stay tuned…….

June 11-19: Mission Pine Working Vacation, San Rafael Wilderness
There have been quite a few projects over the past few years attempting to reopen the Mission Pine Trail from McKinley Saddle to Big Pine.  Talk about epic trails, this Working Vacation will be focused on completing the work across Mission Pine and down the top mile of the Santa Cruz Trail.  There is lots of potential for this project as far as where it is based and all that.  In the works and we’ll share when we know more……..

Wheww, that is a lot, isn’t it?  We hope you can make it on at least one of these projects.  We’ll be covering many different types of trails at many fantastic locations.  There is really something for everyone on these projects.  If you haven’t been on any LPFA project, try to make it this spring, you’ll have a great time!





 

Snowy Hwy 33 Pine Mountain Winter Wonderland, photo Humphrey



 

LOS PADRES: Madulce Trail Project & Upcoming Used Gear Sale

Hi Everyone – Happy Wednesday!

We wanted to pass along two upcoming projects/events that the LPFA will be sponsoring in the coming months.  Hope you can make it.  Thanks and more to come soon……


Madulce Trail Collage

MadulceCollage
MADULCE TRAIL PROJECT
OCTOBER 16-18
The LPFA is hosting a 2-3 day trail project the weekend of October 16-18 and could use your help on the volunteer trail crew.  We’re hoping to have a morning and afternoon departure time on Friday the 16th from Upper Oso Campground to drive the 1.5hrs out to Bluff Cabin.  We’ll most likely be using Bluff as our basecamp for both Friday and Saturday nights.  Those who arrive Friday morning will spend Friday afternoon working the Alamar Trail to remove 12 trees that remain across the trail from our project earlier this month.  Saturday will be our big trail day and we’ll work the first 2 miles of the Madulce Trail from the Buckhorn Rd down towards Madulce Camp.  There are at least 20 downed trees (ranging from 18-36″) along this section of trail and some trail tread work needed as well.  The trail starts around 6,000ft in elevation so the temperatures will be cooler and most of the work will be amongst mature pine trees.  LPFA will be providing food for dinner Friday and Saturday and breakfast Saturday and Sunday.  We have room for 30 volunteers.  If you’d like to sign up or for more questions, please contact project leader Mike Smith:  TrailSmith@LPForest.org





Just a few of the packs looking for a new home, photo Ranger Rik
RikBackpacks
VWR / AAT BACKPACKING GEAR SALE
NOVEMBER 7
For those of you gearing up for the 2015-16 backpacking season, or those looking to pass along your used gear from the 2014-15 season, we’ve got an event for you.  On Saturday November 7 the LPFA will be hosting a used gear sale in Santa Barbara.  We’re still working out the details but be sure to put the date on your calendar.  This is a great opportunity for you to pick up some great high quality second hand gear or to bring your great high quality second hand gear and sell it to a new owner.  Most of the gear will be of the backpacking variety but all camping gear will be available for purchase and sale.  In addition to the gear, we’ll be having some Volunteer Wilderness Ranger demonstrations, booths from trail organizations, Adopt-A-Trail introduction, food and an opportunity to learn as much as you possibly can about the Los Padres trails and camps.  If you have any questions please let us know and remember to put November 7 on your calendar:  INFO@LPForest.org

Autumn Backpacking is Here

VWR Greg Jenkins came upon this stubborn bear literally in the middle of the Madulce Trail, Summer 2015
JenkinsBear

Season’s Greetings Everyone!

Today is the autumnal equinox here in the northern hemisphere.  This happens once a year when the sun is positioned directly over the equator on it’s journey north and marks the official end of Summer and the start of Fall.  For many LP locals this is a time to rejoice and start preparing for the start of our backcountry season.  Soon the temperatures will start to drop, water will flow and before we know it the land will be turning green once again.  It’s always strange seeing most of the rest of the country turning brown right when we are turning green.  Anyway, right now is a good time to start prepping for your dream week-long LP backpack trip, bagging that peak on your list or getting ready for that ride you’ve always wanted to do.  Enjoy the equinox……..


Davy Brown Trail Project, National Public Lands Day, 2014
NPLD_DavyBrown
 NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY
This Saturday, September 26, is the 22nd annual National Public Lands Day.  NPLD is the single largest day of volunteerism across the United States.  The Los Padres is very fortunate to have a series of volunteer events organized across the forest.  In the chance that you are free on Saturday and feel like giving back, check out the list below and sign up to help.  Thank you everyone!

Alamar Trail: LPFA, Santa Barbara Back Country
http://www.publiclandsday.org/npld-sites/alamar-trail-sawyer-and-maintenance-santa-barbara-county-los-padres-national-forest
http://www.meetup.com/Santa-Barbara-Trail-Volunteers/events/224909222/?a=ra1_vl&_af=event&_af_eid=224909222

Cold Spring Trail: Santa Barbara Front Country
http://www.publiclandsday.org/npld-sites/los-padres-national-forest-upper-cold-spring-trail

Carrizo Plain: Friends of Carrizo Plain
http://www.publiclandsday.org/npld-sites/carrizo-plain-national-monument

Gridley Trail: Ojai Forest Service, Ojai Front Country
http://www.publiclandsday.org/npld-sites/gridley-trail

Ventana Wilderness Trail Project: VWA, Monterey County
http://www.publiclandsday.org/npld-sites/ventana-wilderness-los-padres-national-forest


Learn to safely backpack, photo Honest Mike

HonestMikeMadulce
INTRODUCTION TO BACKPACKING
Over the past few years there have been some great programs designed at teaching adults the basics of backpacking.  While it’s never too late to learn how to backpack, it can be intimidating and scary to learn without proper instruction.  For those of you interested in learning from some of the best, we are fortunate to have programs across most of the Los Padres that offer an introduction to backpacking.

Over the past few years the Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club has been offering a course called Backpacking Basics.  The course is held each Spring and is based in Ventura.  Earlier this year the LPFA hosted a program called Backpacking Fundamentals.  We had a lot of fun organizing the class and made some great friends along the way.  It was cool to see some of the students backpacking together even after the class ended.  James Wapotich and Sierra Butler also taught a course called Backpacking Made Easy, based out of Santa Barbara.  And of course there are plenty of classes hosted by REI from Monterey to Ventura that also teach backpacking basics.

FALL 2015 CLASSES OPEN NOW
• The LPFA is proud to announce that we’ll be hosting our second Backpacking Fundamentals Course starting this October.  The class will be hosted in Santa Maria and we’re hoping to get some of the North SB County and South SLO County backpackers to attend.  If you are interested in signing up or hearing more, check the Meetup Link here.

• James Wapotich and Sierra Butler will also be teaching a second Backpacking Made Easy class this Fall in Santa Barbara.  Check the link here for more details.

it’s never too late to take up backpacking and we’ve found that even the seasoned backpackers can learn a lot by attending the classes.  Check it out and hope to see you on the trail, or in the classroom!

Along the recently burned Chorro Grande Trail, photo Bardley of Ojai
ChorroBardley
WHAT’S GOING ON?
Actually quite a bit going on at the moment.  Here’s a taste!

TASSAJARA FIRE
Earlier this week a fire broke out just north of the Los Padres in Monterey County near the town of Jamesburg.  Named the Tassajara Fire, it moved quickly and grew to over 1,000 acres in just a few hours.  Fire crews got on it quickly and have been able to hold the fire at bay.  It currently stands at 81% contained with 1,086 acres burned.  Sadly 22 structures including 10 homes were destroyed.

SUPER MOON LUNAR ECLIPSE
Nope, not a new character from Incredibles 2 but this Sunday we’ll be able to experience a rare phenomenon called a super moon lunar eclipse.  A super moon occurs when the moons closest orbit around the Earth happens to coincide with being a full moon.  This happens often enough but the twist this time around is that there is a lunar eclipse at the same time.  We’ve not had a super moon lunar eclipse since 1982 and the next one won’t occur until 2033.  So literally, this could be a once in a lifetime experience.  The eclipse should last 72 minutes and is visible for us on the west coast of North America.  For more information search the World Wide Web, there is no shortage of hype.  If you get a great photo, we’d love to see it!

RAIN, RAIN
Most of the Forest got a little taste of rain last week.  It’s been an interesting Summer with now three tropical storms making it far enough north to drop rain around the Los Padres.  While most of the rain totals from the latest storm were less than half an inch, we have reason to celebrate!  For the first time in a long time we have above normal rain totals.  YIPPEE!  Santa Barbara is currently at 133% of normal for the rain season. Of course, don’t get too excited, the rain season goes from September 1 – August 30.

Some of Ranger Rik’s Quiver, available soon!
RikBackpacks
BACKPACK GEAR SALE, ADOPT-A-TRAIL, VWR EVENT
The LPFA will be hosting a backpack gear sale on Saturday November 7 in Santa Barbara.  We’re still working on specifics but put it on your calendar.  If you are a backpacker or lover of the Los Padres, this will be a really cool event!  SATURDAY NOVEMBER 7.  More to come………

UPCOMING EVENTS
Quite a few events upcoming.  Here are a few:

September 25-27: LPFA NPLD Alamar Trail Crosscut Sawyer Project

September 26-27: VWA Pico Blanco NPLD Trail Project
September 26: NPLD Santa Barbara, Upper Cold Spring
September 26: NPLD Ojai Gridley Trail
October 3: Wild and Scenic Film Festival, Monterey in support of the VWA

October 7: Chuck Graham, Ventura Library
October 8: Exploring the Sespe Wilderness Slideshow, James Wapotich, Santa Barbara
October 13: LPFA Backpacking Fundamentals Class, North Santa Barbara and SLO Counties

October 16-18: LPFA Madulce Trail Crosscut Sawyer Project (NOTE NEW DATE)
October 17: Backpacking Made Easy, Santa Barbara, James Wapotich
October 21: Lanny Kaufer, Ventura Library
October 24: Wilderness Symposium, Ojai, Los Padres Chapter Sierra Club
October 28: Craig Carey, Ventura Library
November 7: AAT Launch, Backpacking Gear Sale & VWR Appreciation, Santa Barbara
December 4-6: LPFA Lower Mono-Alamar Trail Project

LPFA Transverse – Spring Volunteer Season

Frosty Madulce, March 2015

Madulce

Hello Everyone,

Most of the Forest is experiencing cool, cloudy and hopefully rainy conditions today.  That is going to change.  By this weekend we are looking at potentially record setting heat across most of the Central Coast.  And next week….. who knows.  That’s part of the beauty of Spring.  If you don’t like the weather, wait a day and you’ll get something different.  Hope you’re finding some time on the trails and if you have any nice photos and you want to share, please send our way.

We’ve had quite a few questions of late asking for volunteer opportunities.  We’ve outlined a few below.  If you’d like us to mention any of your upcoming events, please send our way and we’d be happy to share.

Little Pine along the Santa Cruz Trail
SCMeadow
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

WEST CUESTA RIDGE TRASH CLEANUP
San Luis Obispo
March 14, 9am
The illegal shooting range off West Cuesta Ridge in SLO has become quite a mess.  A combination of LPNF, LPFA, CCCMB and LPFW forces are meeting this Saturday (3/14) at 9am to help clean up the mess.  See the attached CCCMB map and Forest Press Release for more details.  Hope to see you there……….

POTHOLE TRAIL BRUSHING PROJECT
Ventura
March 14
The Ojai Ranger District is having the last in a series of trail projects along the Pothole Trail outside of Lake Piru.  The project is most likely full but if you are dieing to work a remote backcountry trail this weekend, there might still be some room.  Contact Ranger Heidi: handerson@fs.fed.us

SANTA CRUZ TRAIL, LITTLE PINE TRAIL MAINTENANCE
Santa Barbara
March 15, 9am
The SBMTV is hosting a trail project along the Little Pine section of the Santa Cruz Trail.  The work will mostly be along the southern wall of Little Pine down towards 19 Oaks Camp.  For more information contact Chris Orr: chris.orr@sbmtv.org

MISSION PINE TRAIL SAWYER WORK
Santa Barbara
March 27 – 29
The LPFA will be continuing work along the Mission Pine Trail in the SB high country.  The project will be based out of Mission Pine Spring Camp and will be focused on logging the trees across the trail between Mission Pine Spring and Mission Pine Basin.  The project will be stock supported, which means light packs and good food.  If interested please contact Curt Cragg: Curt@LPForest.org

FOREST 411
The Los Padres Trail Riders will be presenting a free screening of Mule: Living on the Outside.  This is a documentary about Mule and his adventures while roaming the western United States.  If you haven’t been following this epic journey, it’s pretty cool stuff.  Check it out March 19 at the Santa Barbara Human Society.For those of you interested in mud runs or obstacles races, there is a super fun race coming to the Central Coast on March 28.  It’s called the Checkpoint Challenge and will be held at Santa Margarita Lake in SLO County.  If you’ve ever been curious about this, check out their website and watch the promotional video.  Looks like a lot of fun.  Registration is open now, charge on!WILDFLOWERS!  It’s wildflower season and Helen Tarbet of the Santa Lucia Ranger District has released her first Figueroa Wildflower Update of the season.  See attached.  If you’ve not taken the pilgrimage to Fig Mtn to see the flowers, you have to……  It’s incredible when timed right.

The 11th Annual Wheeler Gorge Open House is schedule for April 11.  This year promises to be the best Open House yet as we’re focusing the event on recreation as well as education.  You’ll hear much more about this in the coming weeks but be sure to put this on your calendar.  April 11 – ALL DAY!

BeartrapCreek

Piedra Blanca – Gene Marshall Trail, Mount Pinos Ranger District

So Many Trails, Lets Get To It!

TrailsBanner

Greetings Trail Users,

I hope you are having a great week and enjoying the interesting spring-like weather we’ve been experiencing.  Today’s message is a bit different than usual.  I’m not not providing updates or announcing projects but rather asking for your help.  The LPFA has a full slate of trail projects scheduled for the Spring and early Summer and WE NEED YOUR HELP!  We have trail projects in the works ranging from 10-day Working Vacations along the Santa Cruz Trail to 1-day projects down the Cold Spring Trail.  All these projects take time and money.  The LPFA works hard to organize, schedule and complete the work that keeps our trails open.  At the same time we love to provide our trail volunteers with the necessary great food, sharp tools and safety equipment that keep them coming back for more and heading home with smiles on their faces (albeit with sore backs).  I’m reaching out asking for your support as we get started on the busiest and most ambitious season of trail projects and Forest support in the history of the LPFA.  Become a LPFA member and donate to help our trail projects.  Listed at the bottom of this email is a quick list of projects we have in the works for the next few months.  I always say that every little bit of trail work helps, and similarly all the support we can get helps just as much.  Your help is greatly appreciated.

Click the image below and become a LPFA supporter.

Thanks and enjoy your weekend on the trail,

Bryan

LPFASupportForest


  • Hurricane Deck: Schoolhouse towards Potrero Canyon
  • Alamar Hill Trail: Indian Creek up to Loma Pelona
  • Santa Cruz Trail: Little Pine to Santa Cruz Station
  • Santa Cruz Trail: Kellogg Camp to Mission Pine Basin
  • Mission Pine Trail: McKinley Saddle to Mission Pine Basin
  • Cold Spring Trail: Mono to the Emerald Pools
  • Gene Marshall/Piedra Blanca: Reyes Trailhead to Haddock Camp
  • Ranger Peak Trail: Shooting Range towards Peak
  • Franklin Trail: Jameson Lake up towards East Camino Cielo
  • Blue Canyon Trail: Forbush to Escondido Trailhead
  • Upper Sisquoc: TBD (trail report coming soon)
  • Alamar Trail: Alamar Saddle towards Bill Faris
  • Madulce Trail: Buckhorn Rd down to Madulce Camp

LPFA Transverse – Water in the Sky

Reyes Peak Dusting, November 1 by Ranger Heidi
ReyesDusting

Rain, rain……. stay a while!  The LP was treated to a nice storm this past weekend.  Rain fell across the Forest with some of the higher elevations getting a brief dusting of snow.  Rainfall totals ranged from around half an inch up to 2.5inches along Big Sur and eastern SLO County.  The great thing was that the entire Forest received some precipitation with most of it falling fast and furiously on Friday.  Many of the trails throughout the forest showed clear signs of substantial runoff – hope those waterbars were in good shape.  Anyway, the trick is that temps have returned to above normal and there wasn’t enough rain to change the flows in any of the creeks.  Water remains a major concern for those heading to the backcountry.  If we can help gather any information for you, please let us know – and of course if you have any information worth sharing, we are all ears.

S B    H I G H    C O U N T R Y

The LPFA hosted two trail projects recently in the Santa Barbara high country.  This is the area ranging from Madulce Peak west along Mission Pine to McKinley Peak.  It’s beautiful country, with elevations generally above 5,000ft and views in all directions.

West Big Pine, by Curt Cragg
WestBigPineCrew
EAST MISSION PINE TRAIL
One of the nastiest sections of trail in the San Rafael Wilderness is along the East Mission Pine Trail, specifically where the trail dips down above Rattlesnake Canyon.  This trail was ravaged in the 2007 Zaca Fire and has not seen much attention since then.  Our ten trail-volunteers set out to fix the hidden tread past Rattlesnake but found that there was enough work before that section to keep them busy for two solid days.  As a result, they are setting up a second mission to get back in there and work farther West along the trail – this time hoping to blast through the scrub oak mess on the far side of Rattlesnake Canyon.  If you are interested in helping with this second project, we’ll be heading out the weekend of November 14-16.  Contact INFO@lpforest.org or Curt Cragg (cragg.curt@gmail.com) for more details.

100+18 Trail Crew, by Gilcrest
MadulcePeakCrew
MADULCE PEAK TRAIL
Another popular trail in the SB High Country that is in need of some TLC is the Madulce Peak Trail.  This trail spurs off the main trail and heads a couple miles up to the 6,500ft Madulce Peak, which was once the home to a fire lookout.  We teamed up with a group of 18 Hundred Peak Hikers and spent a day clearing the old trail.  While some larger trees remain along the tread, the trail is now actually followable up to the peak – including along the dozens of switchbacks.  And once on the peak, the views are incredible!  It was great partnering with the 100 Peak crew and we look forward to many more trips in the future.

MadulcePeakWork
Switching Back to the Peak, photos by Gilcrest
G A T E S   &   M O R E

As winter approaches, many of the seasonal gates across the forest will start to close for the season.The Mount Pinos District will begin their seasonal closure on November 10.  We are unsure exactly which roads these include but will try to get that information for you by the next Transverse.  If you are planning a trip into the Pinos backcountry, best to give them a call and verify which gates are open and which will be closed.

The Ojai District will be closing the Dough Flat gate on December 1.

The Divide Peak Gate in the Santa Barbara District is open but does close at the slightest indication of pending rain.  We get complaints quite a bit about the gate being closed.  Rule of thumb, If rain is forecast, that gate will be closed.  Live by that.

James Wapotich will be giving a slideshow presentation about Exploring the San Rafael Wilderness this coming Thursday (Nov 6) at 7pm in Santa Barbara.  More information here:
http://songsofthewilderness.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/exploring-the-san-rafael-wilderness/

That’s it for now everyone.  Enjoy the cool nights and warm days – we’ll catch you next time…….