Why was the Rubicon Trail closed?

My last post outlined the work done by the Lake Tahoe Basin Mangement Unit (LTBMU). On Sunday, I ran the trail down to the Springs.

Along the way, it was clear that the Tahoe National Forest (TNF) had also done extensive work on the Rubicon Trail while it was closed. Large, crushed rock had been placed in many, many low spots along the trail. But not ALL the low spots and not in a few smaller very deep holes.

Note the low spot just past the rock in the picture below, not filled in:

The official word was that the trail was closed due to extreme fire danger. But in one report, individuals working with the ‘landowners’ were allowed on to the trail and down to the Springs. Now we have evidence that workers were doing extensive work over a long period of time. And the trail was closed due to extreme fire danger. I assume all of the workers were wearing Nomex, helmets and carrying fire shelters.

This is much needed work but why close the trail to do it?

If they had reached out to the users for help, we could have provided, trailers, warm bodies and financing to accomplish MORE work in the same amount of time. But they didn’t and we still have issues:

The Forest Service (FS) does not play well with others. This is evidence of that. Why? This work was done without the knowledge of the users, without any input from the users and without assistance of the users.

Now the FS, at least the Basin, in this case does not need to inform anyone when they work on their land. But the Tahoe should be informing the others, that are part of the MOU regarding management of the Rubicon, about work to be done on the trail. Did that happen?

Should the users be involved in this communications chain? Yes. Who should be informed on the part of the users? BRC, Cal4, United 4wd, RTF, CORVA, FOTR, local clubs, certain individuals?

More than ever,

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Rubicon Ronin


LTBMU brings in boulders to prevent illegal trailer parking (while the trail was closed)

In a previous post, I documented that trailer parking was getting out of hand at and near the Tahoma staging area. I had also informed the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) about the issue. While the Rubicon Trail was unnecessarily closed due to the Mosquito Fire, the LTBMU went to work.

Tuesday afternoon, right after the trail was reopened, I drove up to the Staging Area to check out that all signs of closure were actually gone. What I found was a lot of new granite:

The area on the north side was left open for overflow use. Sorry, no picture.

A few logs were thrown in to make it look natural.

Some of the rocks are a little on the small side but the users will get the idea.

They even worked the edges of the staging area itself.

We’ll see if it works.

If you trailer your rig to Tahoe, you might want to get there early as there are far fewer parking spots for trailers.

No users were informed that this work would be happening. No input was given other than the work needed to be done. No signage was added to support the rocks. So much for a partnership with the Forest Service.

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Rubicon Ronin


Rubicon Trail closed in El Dorado

Due to the possible spread of the Mosquito Fire in the direction of the Rubicon Trail, El Dorado County has closed the Rubicon Trail until further notice. There is just a basic ‘closed’ statement on the county website.

https://www.edcgov.us/Rubicon/

Map of the evacuation and fire boundry:

Please avoid the area and let the firefighters do their job without having to worry about people coming in to the area.

The USFS has issued a closure but it doesn’t appear to include the Rubicon.

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Rubicon Ronin

UPDATE WITH FURTHER CLOSURES:

The Eldorado National Forest now has a much wider closure for the Mosquito Fire:


Shame-less Self Promotion

As you guy read in a previous post, I was on the Rubicon Father’s Day weekend. Something I came across, that I wasn’t able to deal with on the spot, was a pile of a local home-owners pine needles.

I went back yesterday morning and it was still there, just 100 yards out of the staging area at the base of the first cobble rock climb.

At this point, I was wondering if the guy who dumped this pile was in a full-size pick-up. As I only had my mid-sized Chevy Colorado.

Almost done. I had a few people walk or drive by. I was able to convince everyone I was picking this stuff up not dropping it off.

Finally, it all fit. Almost.

And yes, I tarped the load so I wouldn’t get a ticket on the way to the dump.

With my Karma points earned for the day, I went back to my cabin to clear more trees for more defensible space.

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Rubicon Ronin


Turn Around, Don’t Go Around!

This is the theme of this website but I need to promote it more often.

If you come across an obstacle you can not get over while staying on the trail, turn around and go home, do not drive off the trail to go around the obstacle. It could be a tree, a huge snow drift, a rock garden, whatever. Turn Around, Don’t Go Around!

This past Father’s Day weekend, I was out on our trails and found many, many trees down across our trails. More than a few of these trees had been driven by many vehicles.

I had my electric chainsaw with me, not to do trail work and clear trees but just in case something fell while I was in and had to get out. Well, I did as much tree clearing as the one battery I had with me would allow. I did go back the next day with a freshly charged battery and did what I could.

Here is a tree down across the Hobbit Trail (16E76). A few rigs had already driven around this tree.

This one required a snatch block to get the right angle to get the tree off the trail once cut.

I figured that would be it as at this point of the season many rigs should have driven this trail. But not too far down the same trail was another. This one was also driven around.

It could be dragged a little further to the right but it is clear of the trail.

There were more trees but I didn’t get pictures of all of them. I also left many trees across the trail that were easily driven over and not causing vehicles to go around. The tree below was on the Middle Fork Trail in Blackwood Canyon. The blue & pink tags were for an 200 mile endurance run taking place.

Again, I didn’t get all the photos, before and after, for each and every tree.

Before only…

No saw required, just grab and drag. With the rig, not by hand!

I’ll contact the Forest Service to get someone out to block off the side trail created here.

Before only, this on is dangerous, so I dragged it down.

Most of that was Saturday the 18th. Long story but I had to go back in on Sunday the 19th. On the way out, I did some work on the Rubicon that I passed on doing on Saturday. This is just after the turn at Forest Road 03-04.

My Kobalt 80-volt electric saw worked wonders. Especially after putting a fresh chain on it. I was working the two smaller trees and then the bigger one, going back and forth. After cutting trees on the Hobbit Trail, I wasn’t sure how many cuts I had left. I was about two and a half cuts short of what I wanted to accomplish. From now on, if I bring the saw, I’ll bring both batteries!

If you’re headed in to the Springs, please cut this one back a few more feet. Thanks. Below is what my saw took off those three trees above before the battery was drained.

It ended up being a very productive weekend out on our trails.

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Rubicon Ronin