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2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
 

Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby boyblue » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:21 am

Way back in my 'noob' years I thrashed my way up George Creek and somehow bungled my way to the summit of Williamson. This was in late December. (I didn't want to violate the sheep restrictions.) I had no beta about the approach except for the word, "arduous" found in Roper's guide. (He was right, IMO.) At the time it was one of the best adventures of my life and I would hate to see that wonderful and once wild canyon 'tamed'.
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby Vitaliy M. » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:40 am

Bob Burd wrote:I have mixed feelings concerning trail building in George Creek. It 1) appears that there is hardly more traffic since the removal of the Sheep closure than before when it was open for only a few months. 2)A huge part of the draw (to me) is the wild nature of the route. A trail will both tame and draw more folks. I don't really feel that the Sierra needs more trails.


1) Hardly more traffic because not many regular folks want to trash their way through the thing. Although personally we were glad to go there 'legally' to do that winter ascent of Carl Heller.
2) Thought about that myself. I will admit, I kind of want others to go through the same bushwhack to reach the beauty that lies up the canyon. I went through it twice myself. Once 'in my noob days' (although I believe my noob days are not behind me :) ) for Williamson, and once in winter for Carl Heller. Big part of the draw towards Carl Heller was the lack of many people in the area- sense of real adventure. If hardcore climbers of the past were able to haul loads of gear up to the base of the climbs they put up through GC, than I guess the ones who have the will to suffer just a bit, will have enough to get them where they want to be. And ones without it, don't deserve the beauty of what it has to offer. Maybe you are right. I don't know. Have mixed feelings myself. A trail to that part of Sierra may bring more tourists to the town of Independence though. More skiers, more hikers, more climbers. That canyon has a lot to offer to all kinds of people...
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby madeintahoe » Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:23 am

I have not yet had the pleasure to explore going up George Creek and beyond...have just read about the trek on a few trip reports..and what I have read states there is a faint use trail....would this use trail not be good enough to just leave as is? I am curious what the reason is to go in there and make a more visible trail?

I understand that some areas can get multible trails all in the same area..and new ones get made if a fallen tree blocks the trail and is not removed..than people start going around it which makes a new trail..which is not good....but it does not seem like GC has these multible trails in there..but I am not sure since I have not been there?

For those of you who have been up GC...are you seeing more multible trails starting?
I do not like the idea of possible having to remove native plants/vegatation just to make a trail more visible to people.
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby Vitaliy M. » Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:58 am

I have not yet had the pleasure to explore going up George Creek and beyond...have just read about the trek on a few trip reports..and what I have read states there is a faint use trail....would this use trail not be good enough to just leave as is? I am curious what the reason is to go in there and make a more visible trail?


To prevent more erosion and to prevent more plants getting ripped out when a group of people is bushwhacking up. There is an ok trail at times, and at others there is no trail at all and you are trying to bushwhack up to find it. It is not unbearable, but would be a lot more civil if ok spots are connected.
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby mrchad9 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:27 am

Why not just build a tram? Or install cables?
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby MoapaPk » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:26 pm

Start a hantavirus rumor.
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby asmrz » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:30 pm

There seems to be some new fad catching on with the Sierra visitors these days, something like let's improve on everything, make everything accessible just like trails in Santa Monica mountains, save the whatever from extinction and in process ruin a wonderful creek bed and area that has managed to dodge visitors for years. Are you nuts? Just go somewhere else and leave the George Creek and places like that alone. Not everything benefits from improvements, some things should just be left alone. Just leave it alone...
BTW Congrats to all of you who participated in the Sierra Challenge. Wonderful outings...
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby KathyW » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:49 pm

It's okay to trim some bushes, but we don't need anymore overly engineered Mule trails in the Sierra. I'd prefer not to see another trail with miles of stairs that aren't built for human legs or one that has been filled in with ankle twisting rubble - those type of trails only encourage people to walk outside the trail when possible. I just cringe when I see a crew of trail workers in the Sierra anymore.
Last edited by KathyW on Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby SpazzyMcgee » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:17 pm

I'd like to add a bit of a counter-perspective. Not speaking specifically about George Creek, although that could serve as an example, I think that we should be supporting every effort to make outdoor access as broad as reasonably possible. I'm 27, and I grew up in an outdoors-centric family. Hiking, backpacking, scouts and so forth was the norm. Many of the families and people I interacted with were similarly geared as such. Going to college was a bit of a wake up in discovering that the large, (and growing ever larger) majority of folks do not interact with the outdoors in any meaningful way.

In this day and age of 2012, it is easier than ever to remain inside glued to the TV/Facebook/Smartphone/Tablet/whatever else Apple will think of next. Gas prices are higher than ever. This serves to make the activation energy required to "get out there" all the much higher. An entire generation will be brought up with no knowledge, no enjoyment, and therefore no impetus to care about the outdoors. Therefore, lowering any and all barriers that we have control over will only increase the number of people in the outdoors.

You might be thinking "no, this is wrong, we need LESS people outside because people litter, people poop in the streams, people shoot things they're not supposed to..." and that's a valid point. But at the same time, compared to what much of the mountainous regions in the US could be used for if unprotected, namely logging, mining, and ranching, the impact is very low. I think most outdoor infrastructure is vastly underused, with the exception of a few centralized access points (Yosemite, Tahoe), and we need to raise usage in whatever way possible. The idea is that ten, twenty, fifty years down the line when resources will be more precious than ever, do you want more or fewer people advocating on behalf of the outdoors and open space, or more people who never made it to the outdoors because the idea was too intimidating, the vacation planning too cumbersome, and the infrastructure too limited for the majority of Americans? I'm not saying we should build motorized people carriers and walkways up Bishop Pass and put a McDonald's in Dusy Basin, but I do think we should be doing everything we can to "open" access points to the outdoors and encourage vacationers similarly.

As someone who has done the long dayhikes and backpacks and done plenty of relatively minimalist outdoor use, it's really easy for me to sit back and say, effectively, screw the city people, the RV'ers, the smartphoners or the people who otherwise might enjoy the outdoors in a way that is different than my own. Let them go through the same pain I (we) have to go through to get "out" in nature. But I think that might not be the right approach. I think we should be encouraging all use, even if it might be slightly higher impact than John Muir might have wanted. Because down the line, our protected areas that we currently enjoy will need advocates once again, and it would be a shame if there was simply no one left to advocate because I only tolerated a view of how nature should be experienced that was similar to my own.
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby KathyW » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:44 pm

I doubt there would ever be heavy traffic up George Creek, with our without, a maintained trail. Trails like Sawmill Pass, Taboose Pass, Baxter Pass, Birch Lake, Red Lake, or Shepherd Pass Trails don't get much traffic and they have fair to good trails. Unfortunately, Taboose Pass Trail is maintained for pack animals; so the trail workers have done their share of damage to that one.
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby El Cuervo » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:43 am

Bob Burd wrote:

I have mixed feelings concerning trail building in George Creek. It appears that there is hardly more traffic since the removal of the Sheep closure than before when it was open for only a few months. A huge part of the draw (to me) is the wild nature of the route. A trail will both tame and draw more folks. I don't really feel that the Sierra needs more trails.



Some of us feel the same way about the summits and registers upon them.

Thankfully no register pictures from this years drive-a-thon.
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:13 am

I bet there are hundreds of wonderful peaks in the sierra that see a visitor once every few years, if that. I bet many of the oft-climbed peaks are achievable with slight variations of the major routes, so that one never crosses paths with other humans (if desired).
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The other SPS list

Postby LincolnB » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:34 pm

This has nothing to do with the Challenge climbs, but it came up in conversation at Laura's fabulous BBQ, and someone asked me to post a link to the "Sneak Peak Section": http://www.climber.org/TripReports/1990/2.html

SPS Rating System:
Class S1 = Private property but no fences, ranches, gates or signs (Mt. Harbin 2582')
Class S2 = Private property but no signs. Maybe a fence or two (Santa Ana Mt. 3112')
Class S3 = Private property signs, locked gate, fence or 2, but no ranch houses (Palo Escrito 4465')
Class S4 = Signs, locked gates, many fences, ranch houses currently occupied (Weller Pk 2450')
Class S5 = Signs, gates, many fences, ranch houses occupied, plus barking dogs (Mt. Boardman 3626')
Class S6 = Signs, gates, fences, occupied houses, barking dogs, and the houses have clear view of the route (Sonoma Mt. 2463')
Class S7 = Signs, gates, fences, houses, barking dogs, and active security patrol on duty (Mt. Black & Mt. Day)
Class S8 = Signs, gates, fences, houses, dogs, patrol, plus county sheriff or local park ranger (Poverty Ridge)
Class S9 = Signs, gates, fences, houses, dogs, patrol, sheriff, plus local owners threatening climbers with guns (Rose Peak 1974')
Class S10 = All of the above plus climbers with guns (Mt. Isabel)
Class S11 = Trespass on military bombing ranges (Copper Mtn. 2678')
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:40 pm

s12 -- trespass on military area with warning signs about shoot-to-kill policy, with likely special infrared surveillance (Bald Mountain NV, 9348' near area 51).
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:48 pm

MoapaPk wrote:s12 -- trespass on military area with warning signs about shoot-to-kill policy, with likely special infrared surveillance (Bald Mountain NV, 9348' near area 51).



This one is for Daria
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