Two feet of fresh snow and it’s still snowing…Posted: February 27, 2023 Filed under: Access, Travel | Tags: plowing, snow Leave a comment
2-27-23 Narrow streets. The plow guys are working their asses off and can barely keep up. The roads were well plowed considering the amount of snow that the Basin has received this winter, specifically, this latest storm. the Rubicon trailhead is straight ahead. That’s a private plow operator, up on the right, clearing berms and driveways.
It doesn’t look like any vehicle has tried recently. Two more feet of snow expected over today & tomorrow. At least the notch is holding up so we know where to make access, once the snow allows.
It might be redundant, but I’ll post up after the storm passes.
“Berm-away” Version 2.0Posted: December 17, 2022 Filed under: Access, Maintenance, Travel | Tags: locals, Placer, plowing, snow Leave a comment
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.
“Berm-Away”, a new Rubicon Trailhead servicePosted: December 6, 2022 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Placer, plowing, snowwall Leave a comment
The Lake Tahoe area got a dumping of snow over the last few days. After a short day of skiing Alpine Meadows, I drove to the Rubicon Trailhead. The ever-present snow wall was actually being built. More later. Note photo below compared to the third photo below.
There was a route through the wall from those that had snowshoed or cross county skied up the trail. I wanted to open the entrance a little bit more for wheeled vehicles.
Before I had the chance to unload my blower, the plow guy came by to add to my workload. Fortunately, I was right at my rig and I was able to move it without interfering with the plow operator. He did come by a few more times on the other side of the street and just shook his head. My camera operator was hiking up the trail when they heard it come by.
So, after repositioning my truck, my unnamed accomplice and I pulled out my snowblower and we went to work. It was a chunky ice nightmare. We used the shovel to break down the wall and then the blower to throw it to the side. Please note that all snow moved from the roadway was thrown to an area known to also be over asphalt.
It took about 45-minutes and it was time to leave. The neighbor across the street had already come out of her house to take pictures from her driveway. I figured the sheriff was on the way. We left it a little narrow, but everyone will get the point that this is the entrance to the Rubicon Trail.
On the drive back home, shortly north of the turn off 89, a sheriff’s rig was headed south bound!
The Rubicon Trail is open year-round! The trailhead is now open to anyone and everyone that would like to enjoy it.
So, checked a few days later and not much new but decided to clean it up a bit
Didn’t take any time at all.
It’s a good eight feet wide through the berm. I drove my truck in about ten feet. I was alone and didn’t want to get stuck twenty feet from the road.
Big storm coming this weekend. Be prepared if you go out!
Winter is here, and at the RubiconPosted: November 4, 2022 Filed under: Access, Travel | Tags: bathrooms, plowing, snow Leave a comment
Snow has arrived on the Rubicon Trail. But it looks like Placer County has yet to figure out their 2022-23 plowing routine…
But the push of extra snow toward the trailhead has begun. The true plow line should be right up the middle of the photo below.
Proof my Grand Cherokee went ‘snow wheeling’.
For the record, it doesn’t have a whole lot of ground clearance! Yes, I was scraping the snow in spots.
But it was gorgeous up there. And the bathrooms were unlocked.
Please be safe out there. Remember to pack food, water, extra clothing, a shovel, recovery equipment, etc. Be prepared to spend the night. Don’t go alone. Let someone know where you are going and when you will return. Carry a ham radio.