Groundhog Day on the RubiconPosted: March 11, 2023 Filed under: Access, Travel | Tags: melt, snow, spring Leave a comment
As I said in my last post, not much has changed. Looks like I had a weird filter on the phone when I took this but there was 7-8 feet of snow at the Tahoma entrance. The notch is almost gone. The snow is stupid wet. Maybe after a few dozen thaw freeze cycles we might be on the trail. But there are not a bunch of freezing cold days forecast.
The roads along the west shore were still unplowed. More snow on the way and it’s going to even wetter. Don’t travel unless you have to. This weather pattern is going to be with us for another four days.
For the record, I was at my cabin, on the roof, in the rain, shoveling…
After clearing a path on the deck to get the ladder in place, I started in on the roof. There will be a round two on Monday to remove more snow. We’re expecting more than a foot by Monday. The worry is the added weight from the rain we’re getting. The snow just soaks it up.
Be patient. The trail will always be there. Summer will happen. We will get on the trail.
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.
Rubicon Trailhead Conditions, Tahoma 2/17/23Posted: February 17, 2023 Filed under: Access, Travel | Tags: snow, snowwall, winter Leave a comment
I did a quick drive by of the Tahoma trailhead today.
No evidence that a wheeled vehicle has been up the trail for some time. But maybe a few snowmobiles.
Surprisingly, the trailhead does not have the typical dip, so the wall is about the same height all the way across.
Once on the trail, there may have been wheeled vehicles on the trail.
The trail is as wide as a vehicle. The surface seems hard from melting and refreezing but I’m not sure it will support a 4000 pound rig.
The trail did look inviting but I was in my truck after skiing.
Right now, the roads are clear and the walls are steep.
Don’t go alone. And there are a few storms coming in next week.
Rubicon Trail back openPosted: February 2, 2023 Filed under: Access, Travel | Tags: agreements, closed, snow Leave a comment
From the El Dorado County website:
“The closure of the Rubicon Trail initiated with Resolution 017-2023 has been lifted effective immediately.
The County waited until the frequent heavy storms that started with the December 30, 2022 atmospheric river event were over before attempting site inspections. During the temporary closure the storms that hit the region consisted of additional atmospheric river events with heavy mixes of rain and snow. Multiple days (1/18, 1/24, and 1/27) were necessary for staff to access and assess the trail. Those assessments show that the trail is currently covered in a substantial amount of snow providing resource protection. After reviewing those assessments, the Director, in consultation with County staff, has determined that no repairs are needed at this time and that the trail is safe for ordinary use.
Be advised that the Rubicon Trail is for year-round public use but users should be prepared for adverse conditions during winter season and during storm conditions. The road may be unpassable during winter/storm conditions and rescue services may be difficult. The County encourages users be mindful of trail conditions and practice appropriate safety measures. The County will continue to monitor trail conditions for the remainder of the 2023 winter season into spring as required per the USFS easement document. If users have any questions on this notice, please feel free to contact the County at 530-621-7538 or 530-621-5554.”
Ok, it’s open but there are many questions…
So, we’re back to water quality as the reason for the closure. But I don’t believe that the County ever visited the proper, if any, sites to determine water flow conditions BEFORE the closure. El Dorado County completely ignored the agreed upon requirements in place in order to close trail. They did it just because they wanted to, and it was not based on any science.
We, the users, need to push back on what happened, how it happened and who made it happen.
Who is “The Director”? Was one single person able to close the Rubicon?
If past signed agreements can be ignored, can we trust any future agreements? If El Dorado County doesn’t play by the rules, the law, should we?
I’m not happy. And I won’t be happy until all of this is settled. I guess I won’t be happy for a long time.
Do you have questions? Call the county at the above-mentioned number. I’m sure they’d love to be swamped by calls.
The Calm in the Middle of the StormPosted: January 14, 2023 Filed under: Access, Maintenance, Travel | Tags: management, snow, STORM, Tahoma Leave a comment
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.