Survey: #50 Work1: #50 Work2: #19 Work3: #18

July 9-10, 2005 - Vicente Flat Trail Logging Project

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Trip Leader's Report

Summary

The Vicente Flat Trail is one of the medium usage trails within the Ventana Wilderness (Los Padres National Forest - Monterey Ranger District). It is also one of the Focus Trails on the District. Over the past several years, a large number of trees, ranging from a few inches to more than four feet in diameter have fallen on the trail, causing damage to the trail, hazard to hikers, and utterly blocking pack stock from all but a couple miles near the coast. In addition, on that lower section, substantial sections of the trail have been pushed as much as 20 feet below the original alignment, mostly through growth of vegetation pushing the tread downhill.

(Survey - May 16, 2005) Mike H and I (Robert P), surveyed the trail from the Cone Peak Road down to Highway 1. We collected data which is tabulated in the Survey Document linked on that webpage. GPS info is available in Garmin (.gdb) and MapTech (.txf/.mxf) formats by request. While our main goal was to document the logs down on the trail, we did also note other issues such as brush, slumped tread and storm damage. Some minor brushing and clearing of small logs (<6") was accomplished on this trip. Updated (6/27/05) Survey in .rtf format The survey is a Rich Text Format (.rtf). It can be viewed on a large monitor, or printed out in landscape orientation on legal size paper. Original (5/16/05) Survey is here.

(Logging - June 11-12, 2005) The first logging trip was the weekend of June 11 and 12, 2005. Base camp was Espinosa Camp, ~3 miles in from the coast. All logs between the coast and Espinosa Camp were removed, and substantial work between Espinosa Camp and Vicente Flat Camp was accomplished.

Cut Log!(Logging - June 25-27, 2005) The second logging trip was the weekend of June 25 through 27, 2005. Base camp was Vicente Flat Camp, ~5 miles in from the coast. All logs between Espinosa Camp and Vicente Flat Camp were removed, and substantial work above Vicente Flat Camp was accomplished.

The third logging trip was the weekend of July 9 and 10, 2005. Base camp was Vicente Flat Camp, ~2 miles in from the Cone Peak Road. All logs that created substantial obstacles for backpackers above Vicente Flat were removed.

Trip Details and Commentary

Robert Parks' personal commentary

As both Mike H and myself (Robert P) had driven down the night before, we met up early (7am) and cleared Log #1 and hauled tools and daypacks down to Log #3, clearing minor deadfall along the way. We met up with Katya and Jim Preston at the scheduled 930am meeting time and headed down with backpacks to start working. We didn't have a great deal of prep work (relatively), although the two large logs required a fair amount of ingenuity to clear the trail.

We managed to dragoon a passing backpacker into helping cut, he was appropriately surprised at the ease with which the saw cut a large log. The hike out was hot, steep and unpleasant with packs, after a day's work, but mercifully short, and the foresight of having an ice-cold watermelon waiting in the car was extremely welcome.

Tools

We carried similar gear to previous trips: a 6' crosscut saw, a 3.5' one-person crosscut saw, two 21" pruning saws, large axe, camp axe, a macleod and shovel, and clippers and small folding saws. The shovel and macleod were cached from the previous trip. The max-ax (single bit with pick and hoe attachments) stayed in the car this trip, as a couple possible participants were unable to make it. The second large pruning saw and the camp axe were not used, and could have been left behind.

Highlights

Log #1 - Sawed up the split boles and brushed out the immediate area.

Log #3 - Trimmed off the projecting stubs and left the main bole, well dug into the dirt.

log 12Log #12 - Cut a sufficient space for stock, although an additional cut would be welcome, as would further work to roll the chunk further off the trail. Removed a stump from the middle of the trail. Video links: Small-short stop motion (WMV 800K), Small stop motion (WMV 1.5M), Medium-short stop motion (MPEG 5.0M), Medium stop motion (MPEG 10.0M)

Logs #13 &15 - Cherry-picked the smaller boles that were difficult for backpackers to cross.

Log #16 - A deceptively difficult log, the long span across the slope of the hill required unpleasant underbucking. Also, Safety Issues.

Log #18 - A deceptively easy log, despite the steep slope, and large size, the log was cleared with a pair of straightforward top cuts. Video links: Small-short stop motion (WMV 800K), Small stop motion (WMV 1.5M), Medium-short stop motion (MPEG 5.0M), Medium stop motion (MPEG 10.0M), Small finish-cut & clear (WMV 3.7M), Medium finish-cut and clear (MPEG 29MB)

Logs and Cutting

Each log (obstacle) may contain several boles or other work. 6 obstacles were cleared on this trip with a total of about 235 diameter-inches of cutting (135 + 100). 7 obstacles remain, with about 200 diameter-inches of cutting (100 along Hare Creek, and 100 between the creek and the Cone Peak Road). Two optional logs (150 diameter-inches) remain for additional equipment work.

Images

Trip Icon
Images
(large thumbnails(~20K) and larger linked images(~150K))
If full resolution images are needed, note the exact image header (ex: "01-050516-104402") and contact me directly.

Maps

Map with route and log numbers

Thumbnail of map

Back to Vicente Flat Trail Logging Project Page

Vicente Flat Trail Logging Project - July 9-10, 2005 / Robert Parks / rparks@lvhot.org / revised July '05