LPFA Transverse – Potholes and Superbowls

Hello Everybody,

Hope you’ve been getting out and enjoying the unusually warm weather we’ve had of late.  It’s been nice, sometimes too nice.  WE NEED RAIN.  Good news is the LP is looking like we might get a few storms within the next week or so.  Fingers crossed!  We’ve got quite a few updates from across the Forest, lets get to it:

PotholesWorkingVacation
P O T H O L E    W O R K I N G    
V A C A T I O N

We were just reminded that this project was never shared.  Back in July, the Ojai Ranger District reached out to us and asked if we’d be interested in hosting a ‘Working Vacation’ on the Pothole Trail.  I don’t think the words had fully left their mouth and we’d already responded with a “HECK YEAH!”  The Pothole Trail is a rarely hiked trail within the Sespe Wilderness that connects Lake Piru with the Agua Blanca drainage.  It’s the southern most trail along the Condor Trail, right next to the Sespe Condor Sanctuary and is extremely wild and scenic.  Great spot!  After a few scouting missions by the Forest Service and LPFA, we set off and spent a week clearing the trail from Log Cabin Camp up towards the ridge line.  Working Vacations are projects where the LPFA provides food for the volunteers in exchange for volunteers spending their days hacking away at brush.  Three daily meals and morning/evening beverages were more than enough encouragement for our team of 13 volunteers.  We ended up clearing nearly 3 miles of trail that was extremely overgrown at the start of the week.  Good times had by all and a great opportunity to spend an extended time in the Sespe Wilderness.  More photos can be seen on the LPFA Facebook Page.

Bluff Storm Clouds, photo Beeman
BluffStormClouds
U P C O M I N G     P R O J E C T S

Tis the season and there is a storm of trail projects on the horizon at the moment.  Hopefully you can make a couple of these.

January 31: Pothole Trail Clearing
The Ojai Ranger District is hosting a trail project along the Upper Pothole Trail January 31.  It will be mostly brushing with some light tread work.  For more information, contact Ranger Heidi: handerson@fs.fed.us

February 1: Mine Camp Trail Project
What better way to spend Super Bowl Sunday than doing some trail work in the morning.  The LPFA, UTMC and Mt. Pinos Volunteers are teaming up for the 3rd Annual Super Bowl Trail Project.  This year the work will be up the Mine Camp Trail up from the Deal Canyon Connector Trail in the Mount Pinos Ranger District.  The work will start early and end in time for you to at least make the second half of the Super Bowl.  As if that isn’t incentive enough, all volunteers will walk away with a commemorative drink koozy.  How can you beat that.  For more information, get a hold of Mark Subbotin: msubbotin76@gmail.com

Koozy

February 27-March 1: Mission Pine Trail
In a continued effort to open up the Mission Pine Trail, another project will be hosted from February 27-March 1 starting from McKinley Saddle and heading to Mission Pine Basin in the San Rafael Wilderness.  We’ll send some additional updates but if you’d like to sign up, reach out to Curt Cragg:  Curt@LPForest.org


Shrouded Cachuma Peak
CachumaPeak
F O R E S T    4 1 1


First Aid / CPR Training

There is a forest-centric First Aid and CPR Class on Sunday February 28 in Ojai.  This is a great opportunity to get re-certified for your crosscut or chainsaw certification.  If interested contact:  Bryan@LPForest.org

Wildling Wilderness Panel
The LPFA is partnering with the Wildling Museum to host a Wilderness Panel event in Solvang on February 7.  The panel will feature some local Forest historians and key figures as they talk about their experiences in the Los Padres and how the wilderness designations have affected the Forest.  Should be a really fun night.  We’ll post more information in the coming days.  Seats are limited so put it on your calendar.

California Fire Permit
We were reminded that now is the time to get a CA fire permit.  It’s free and only takes a few mins.  Use the link below and share with your friends and camping buddies.
http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit/

Middle Lion Campground OPEN
Middle Lion Campground in the Ojai has been reopened.  It was closed for about a month due to hazard trees.  The FS removed the hazard trees and it’s good to go now.

Los Padres Biodiversity Workshop
The LP is hosting a workshop to encourage women to get into fire fighting.  The classes are in Santa Barbara over Super Bowl Weekend.  For more information check the link below:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/lpnf/home/?cid=STELPRD3827043&width=full

Franklin Trail Fundraiser – January 28
Trails and Ales is back!  Drink beer and help the Franklin Trail?  What could be better…..
http://sbtrails.org/events/trails-and-ales/

Lots of information…….If we missed anything or you have any updates you’d like us to forward on – send our way.  Be safe everyone and enjoy your time in the Forest.

LPFA Transverse – HOTEMBER

                    Whoa, has it been hot!  September is usually one of the hottest months across the Los Padres and 2014 is no different.  Most of the backcountry has been baking and taking the remaining water with it.  We’ve been getting reports of places drying up that we didn’t think was possible.  Reports of the Carmel River drying up, Upper Indian Creek dry and everything else at all-time low levels.  There was a backpacker last week in the Sespe that had to be airlifted out due to heat stroke and dehydration.  If you are heading to the mountains and are unsure if there will be water, it’s best to be on the safe side and plan on there being no water – bring every drop you might need.  And of course, before you head out, contact your local Forest Service and ask them for any recent reports.  You can always ask us as well and we’ll see if we can dig anything up.

Now all that being said, the forecast is changing and temperatures will be going down over the next few days and into next week.  And don’t look now, the northern reaches of the Los Padres even have some rain in the forecast.

NATIONAL  PUBLIC  LANDS  DAY

September 27 is National Public Lands Day (NPLD).  NPLD is the single greatest day across the United States for volunteerism and the Los Padres is no exception.  There are a series of projects scattered across the forest including trail work, invasive plant removal, sign installation, trash cleanup and Visitor Center maintenance.  We put together a webmap to help highlight all the projects.  Check it out:

Hope to see you out there somewhere and if you have a project you’d like us to include on the map, let us know.

DevilsGateway

Devils Gateway, Agua Blanca – September 2014
W O R K I N G   V A C A T I O N

Each year the LPFA hosts a larger-than-normal trail project that we call a Working Vacation.  The Working Vacations usually involve a cook, stock support and an ideal location for volunteers to work the trail while at the same time feel a little more pampered than a usual trail project.  This year we’ve been asked to support the Ojai Ranger District by hosting a Working Vacation on the Potholes Trail outside of Lake Piru.  The Potholes Trail also happens to be a key component of the Condor Trail.  We scouted the trail a few weeks ago and the project is taking shape for sometime in November with Log Cabin Camp along the Agua Blanca being the basecamp.  Details to come in the next weeks.  If you are interested in hearing more, please let us know and we’ll get you on the list: info@LPForest.org

S A N T A    C R U Z    S C R E E

For those of you who have hiked the Santa Cruz Trail from Upper Oso up towards Little Pine, no doubt you remember the scree slides along the southern face of Little Pine.  These slides have been terrorizing trail users and frustrating trail builders since Hector was a pup.  Last week the LPFA headed out that way to install two short lengths of rope to aid hikers and bikers as they cross the infamous slides.  We’ve been hearing tales of people refusing to go through the slides out of fear.  If nothing else, the rope should provide confidence and assurance that the slides are safe to pass.  So far we’ve heard compliments from both the hiking and biking community.  In the meantime the search for a permanent solution to the scree slides goes on…….

SantaCruzScreeSlides