Rubicon Trail Round Table Meeting

A new effort is underway to hopefully find and implement solutions to the many issues facing the Rubicon Trail today.

The following information has just been released:

Come to a vision setting meeting to help craft a future Comprehensive Management Plan for the Rubicon Trail.

We would like to encourage enthusiasts, including nonprofits, landowners, business interests, clubs, local and statewide organizations, to come together and meet in partnership about how we can inject more input and opinions from stakeholders into the Rubicon management process.

The Rubicon Trail cuts across jurisdictional, geographical, and cultural boundaries and is the focus of several groups including dedicated and caring stakeholders. Considering the myriad of organizations and agencies who assist with planning, managing, and maintaining the Rubicon Trail, there is often confusion and lack of communication when it comes to actions taken on the trail.

The Rubicon is among the most famous OHV destination in the world. With opportunity come responsibilities. We must find ways to ensure the future of the trail in perpetuity and in an environmentally sound manner.

The meeting will be held at the Cal4 Wheel office, 8120 36th Ave Sacramento, Ca 95824. 5:00 PM February 13th, 2023. There will be Zoom available as well, but we encourage everyone to attend in person if possible. For Zoom info contact: granat.amy@gmail.com

I have high hopes for this new effort and will be attending.

I hope you can join the meeting

.

Doug


The Calm in the Middle of the Storm

As I write this, the Seirra Mountains are getting hammered with snow. Up to four feet is expected at the Tahoma trailhead.

If you go out to play, be safe, be prepared, don’t go alone, don’t go as a single vehicle, tell someone where you’re going.

Here’s what the trailhead looked like before this current storm started. 1-13-23

I want to thank everyone that has helped out to knock down previous snow walls put up by Placer County. Although the snow is back, by previously maintaining an access point, subsequent plowing efforts do not completely block access. Everyone knows where the trail starts.

The only traffic on the trail has been on foot. It will be some time before wheeled vehicles will be back on the trail.

I do find it funny that the hikers can’t stay on the trail. The trail is clearly defined by the snow stakes, yet the hikers needed to go around the sign and off the trail.

Getting back to the big picture, it is clear that Placer County is still plowing a dip into the trailhead. Remember, the rotary will come by after the photo below was taken and create an even deeper dip. The dip piles more snow than would normally be piled by plowing.

My simple solution is to have Placer drive a slight convex route with the blade, be it a plow or grader, and then have the rotary come through and drive a slightly concave route. This would leave only natural snowfall at the actual trailhead.

I realize there are many issues facing the Rubicon Trail right now. I do not agree with many of the decisions made. Although we, as users, need to prioritize and fight as needed, we cannot let other issues fall between the cracks.

Unfortunately, there is no one place to stay up to date on the issues or status of the Rubicon Trail. There is not one governing agency. There are many OHV advocacy groups, but they don’t always communicate well with each other.

Management of the Rubicon Trail is a mess. The MOU signed by a half dozen agencies seems to be ignored as the LTBMU and the TNF do work on the trail without consulting others. Placer isn’t working with anyone. El Dorado Parks just got trumped by their own DOT. The users and volunteers are left in the dark. It’s chaos.

The Rubicon Trail needs its own website, with a ‘nothing but Rubicon’ forum. Any and all work to be performed needs to be posted. All legal documents (closures) need to be posted with a detailed explanation of why. All discussions need to be open for all to see. Maybe some forums where just the agencies can comment, but all can view, and others where users can comment and post questions. Public discussions before closures are made. Maintenance plans reviewed before work is started.

The website should be run by independent website builders, not a government agency, not an OHV advocacy group. A true neutral party. But I’m dreaming. I’m going to wake up and go shovel snow at my cabin.

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Rubicon Ronin


“Berm-away” Version 2.0

We came, we saw, we took it down.

I’d like to start by thanking those who showed up to help. It was a short notice event and we had people from all over. Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s, Fresno Jeep Club (not sure if they drove up today), Tahoe Donner 4-Wheelers, Facebook even brought out a few people. Thank you, Shannon for getting the word out through FOTR and Tim for posting on his Facebook page. If you haven’t visited Tim’s “Rubicon Gazette” page, go check it out.

So, this is what we saw when we showed up. Not everyone (meaning me) showed up on time due to ski traffic around the basin.

The group was already at work when I arrived. With seven rigs and nine people, it went really fast. Most of the snow was normal and undisturbed, the lower layers were a little icy but because we had been here before, the ice chipped out quickly. I think actual work time for the group was an hour and a quarter. But that’s about eight man-hours.

The goal was to dig down far enough to prevent the need for the traditional ramp. We got down to within six inches of the asphalt.

Once done, a few of the guys decided to test the trail. It was very soft snow, almost corn snow. It didn’t compact very well and the guys were literally down to their axles. Straps were deployed but I didn’t get any incriminating photos.

Even with lockers and 40″ tires, there was not much success. After a few tries going back and forth, two Jeeps finally made it in about 150 yards. You can barely see him, about to going around the corner.

There will need to be many freeze/thaw cycles before any true distance will be made up the trail. But our efforts today, and in the future, will keep the opening clear of Placer County plowed snow.

For the record, the locals did let us know that they were not in favor of our efforts. But it’s a county road, not a neighborhood winter play area.

The sheriff never showed up. I’m not sure if the locals called them or not. The close neighbor did come out late in the effort and took a bunch of photos.

A guy in a Subaru did show up and as he was about to drive up the trail, asked “how far is the parking lot?”. He and his buddies were going to snowshoe to the Ludlow Hut along the Sourdough Hill Trail. But his friend showed up and had local parking at one of the cabins.

Moving forward, this issue needs to be solved: better Placer plowing and understanding of the locals. It will take getting everyone in the same room for hours to discuss all of the issues: Placer County, Forest Service, CA State Parks, user groups (RTF, FOTR, CORVA, etc.), local clubs (Hi-Lo’s, TD 4-Wheelers, etc.) and especially the neighborhood locals. We can all sit down and be civil and find a solution. We need someone to lead that effort.

Stay tuned, we’ll be out again.

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Rubicon Ronin


Snow Wall Removal – 12/17/22

Flash Run to remove the snow wall left by Placer County after the latest storm.

Saturday, December 17th, 10am. Bring a shovel and a pick-axe!

The wall isn’t that bad. Only four feet tall and two feet deep. The plan is to remove the wall but not create a ramp into the street.

I figure it will take about an hour and a half, then you can all go play. I’ll be in my truck.

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Rubicon Ronin


Snow Run and Shovel Work

The Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s did a flash run just out to the staging area this morning. (Sat, Nov 12th) It was Doug, Keith and Dean. The snow was probably 16 inches deep. We did not have plans to go any further than the staging area although others had.

Not pictured is the very stock Mercedes G-Class SUV we picked up in the residential area. (Not a Hi-Lo member) He had a new rig and wanted to play in the snow but knew better than to play alone. We put him between us and headed in. No picture of the ‘stuck’ but the Mercedes got a little sideways and Dean had to pull him forward.

The trail had some deep snow, but we weren’t the first ones out on the trail. There was quite the pair of ruts to follow.

Once at the staging area someone discovered a still smoldering camp-fire, built on the asphalt parking lot. Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. We got out the shovels and piled on the snow a stirred it around.

On the way out, we did a little shovel work at the entrance. The plan is to stop by regularly to keep the “wall” extremely low or no “wall” at all. No snow in the foreseeable forecast.

Late last month, three Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s came out and installed three new snow stakes to delineate the trail. RTF agreed to reimburse the club for the cost of the materials.

Thank you, guys!

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Rubicon Ronin