January 14, 2012 - STS & Pine Mt.

It was a very cool morning with the temperature varying base on where we were.  It was very cool at HQ but it warmed noticeably at higher elevations.  There were some hikers in shorts at 9am with the temperature around 34F.  Figure that one.

STS Crew
We'll there were 13 members out so we split up into 2 crews with Dale P. heading up one to take care of at least 3 reported trees down with the largest being 14" and I took one crew back out to the 2 4ft redwoods on STS between the slide and the Sunset connector.

We had the 48" saw and with Dale S. saw we were able to work on two areas.  The crew was 5 strong and was made of Dale S., Norm, Michelle, Peter, and me.
There was a 30" redwood with splintered ends and the upper section was being supported by a small Tan oak.  We decided to cut off the sharp ends and bring down the section above the trail.
The other area was the 2 4ft redwoods, which Dale worked on with Norm spotting.  Here you can see these were long sections.
 There were two ways around, which were crawling under the two trees or
off to the left there was a steep way down.  This look ok when it is dry but could be a problem when the rain starts.
Dale working on one of the 4 footers.
Because of the position of the 30" redwood and having a 24" bar we had to use a Pulaski to notch out a section so the saw could cut through the entire diameter.  This required 3 cuts for each section.  Luckily, we only needed to make 2 section for 6 total cuts.  The upper section was cut above the oak and with a lever and pushing hard with feet the entire section was cleared off the trail in one section cut and in one shot. 
The 48" saw started giving us problems so we weren't able to clear the 4 footers but we did open the section by the 30" redwood.

Pine Mountain Crew
Here's the report from the second crew thanks to Mike.

While Jeff's team dragged the Howard King saw out on the Sunset trail to take care of the large trees from last month, Dale P., Janie, Bill, Janette, Tom, Fran and Mike set out on the 4+ mile, 1,100 foot, hike to Buzzard Roost to check on three reported small-medium size trees on the trial.

The first tree was about an 18-inch tan oak that we found on the East Ridge Trail between the Pine Mtn fire road and where East Ridge meets up with the Buzzard Roost Trail. Although the tree was larger than expected, Dale Petersen made several cuts and we were able roll two large sections neatly off the trail. 

The second tree was a much smaller tan oak that was quickly taken care of. Afterwards, as we approached the turn just below where the trail recrosses the fire road, we saw that hikers had once again reopened the volunteer trail that when taken requires a scamper up a steep hillside to reach the fire road. We have closed this section several times in the past, but with no signage it keeps being reopened. We again blocked the trail entrance with logs and branches, brushed over the entire length of closed trail to make it less obvious, and hoped for the best.

There was supposed to be a third tree on the trail between the fire road and the top, but we never did find it.

After eating lunch on Buzzard Roost and enjoying the views, we broke into smaller groups with Dale and Tom hiking ahead to look for any down trees between East Ridge Trail where we started and the Blooms Creek Campground (they found and removed three) while the remainder of the group slowly brushed their way back down the trail. We finished at 3:30 after a long day and steep hike.

The crews put in 97.5 hours thanks to Tom, Dale S., Dale P., Janie, Bill, Janette, Norm, Fran, Francis, Michelle, Peter, Mike, and me.  Great start of a new year and on our way to another 1000+ hour year.
See you on the trails.


Low bird count with 4 Wild Turkeys at the Sempervirens Lodge at Little Basin being spotted by locals coming in from Boulder Creek, 2 Robins, and about 10 Varied Thrush.

Reports by Mike and Jeff
Photos by Jeff and Michelle