Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sierra Damaged By Windstorm

Dijukno you can do your part maintaining the trails you hike, and have a great time while doing it?

Thunderous winds blew across much of the Sierra on November 30, 2011 causing widespread damage. These unusually strong northern winds gusted to more than 180 mph and stayed higher than 120 mph for more than three hours, toppling thousands of trees. We expect to find significant numbers of downed trees on the PCT next summer.

The U.S. Forest Service reports that
front country sites from Red's Meadow to Whitney Portal were battered. The known damage is greatest at Red's Meadow, where as many as 10,000 trees are down. Reports are scarce from the crest. One PCTA staffer surveyed some Yosemite tread and found significant, but not startling blow down. The damage appears to be region-wide, with pockets of concentration.

Once the snow melts, it's likely to take a long time to clear and repair roads and campgrounds, not to mention the PCT. Some locations may be temporarily closed. Trail users should be aware that there might be trees with weakened root systems or that have only partially fallen. Those could fall later, so pick your routes and your campsites carefully.

We'd like to take this time to remind you of our extensive volunteer program that includes crosscut and chainsaw training and certification. Join a volunteer project or attend one of our Trail Skills Colleges. It is volunteers like you that make this work possible. Information about volunteering can be found at: http://www.pcta.org/help/volunteer.asp

A longer article about this wind event and a catalog of some of the damage can be found here.

-- Jack Haskel, PCTA Trail Information Specialist

*Note* I volunteered for the Red's Meadow project last year, and it seems like I will be put to work this year based on this article.  It was so rewarding to help clear, and repair the trail for those using it.  I worked with the Trail Gorilla's from the Easter Sierra Horsemen Association, and learned a lot; including how to use a cross cut saw.  I later was selected to attend the Trail Skills College to learn basic trail maintenance.  I strongly recommend those who use these trail due their part to maintain them  you will find it an enjoyable experience.

Kool Breeze

Selecting A Winter Campsite

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