Trail Conditions to Mt ManuelThe first 2 miles past the Big Sur Trailhead are in excellent condition- a wilderness freeway. The brush was been cleared well away from the trail, and the trail is well graded.
After those first 2 miles the trail is light to moderately encroached with brush for about .3 miles until reaching the grove of Redwood, Oak, and Laurel. The trail through the grove would normally be clear except for several deadfalls.
After the grove the trail becomes more uneven with light to moderate encroachment to Manuel Peak.
About .5 miles past Manuel Peak there is moderate to heavy encroachment.
There were about 4 recent deadfalls, but the first one, which was at the beginning of the grove, seems to have been cleared recently and I was able to clear 2 others, one in the grove and another within a mile from the peak.
In total, there are about a dozen deadfalls.
Descend Mt Manuel towards KandlebinderWe continued beyond Manuel Peak along the route that leads to Post Summit along the Cabezo Prieto.
Then, we turned west near the coordinates 36.28188 -121.77199. We followed a light trail that has had some light maintenence recently, and appears to be worked on quite recently.
But, this route has suprisingly light bushwhacking. Its also hard to get lost, since you will be following the ridge.
Take note of recent clips and some flagging along the route.
You will pass through some meadows along the way, which provide great views down the Big Sur and Doolans Hole area.
Notice that the route is very close to Tin House Camp, which is actually surrounded by dense brush from all approaches.
At our turnaround point, the route actually makes a sudden northern turn and goes down to the creek below. From there the route supposedly finds a more reasonable approach to Kandlbinder, but my hiking parter said that route is also much overgrown past the creek.
This leaves any route to Kandlebinder from our turnaround point very brushy and remains possible for the brave and adventurous Bushwhackers of the Ventana.