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  1. #1
    Goin' Down ain't bad!!!
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    Cumbres Pass CDT Trail Recovery

    Hey Folks,

    Well I know I was impressed with Andy's pics from up on the CDT. I had a scouting trip planned up to the Cumbres Pass for Sept 6th-7th and when I saw the shots from up top I was stoked. The only bummer was to hear about a tree fall 4 miles in.

    So here's some of my questions. Who has intimate knowledge of the tree fall? How long is it? How monumental would it be to clear? Any pictures? Give me an idea of how long it would take for 1 guy with a chain saw to clear it? More chain saws = faster... >;o)=

    If its at all practical to nail in one day, here's what I'm thinking...heading up Friday the 5th and camping at Trujillo Meadows. Heading over to the tree fall Saturday morning and going at it. Get it cleared and then relaxing and drinking beer (Or maybe do a ride out of the CG if time permits). Then Sunday morning getting up and riding what we cleared all the way to the wilderness boundary.

    So can it be cleared by a motivated team in a day and who wants to help?
    Last edited by Dropin%Dug; 09-08-2008 at 10:00 AM.
    Dug-da-Goat

    "Oh momma, could this really be the end? To be stuck outside of Mojo with the High Side Blues again!!!"

  2. #2
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    I hear its huge and you should have a good map for navigation. You can very easily get discombobulated up there. I think I can make that weekend. Keep us posted on the itenerary!

  3. #3
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    I don't think it is possible. I'm guessing that is why the Forest Service thought it would be easier to make a reroute. Seriously, it would take more than a weekend. I don't wanna discourage you but.... after taking my 18" saw filled with gas and bar oil, it barely had enough to clear 9-10 trees on REM.

    I'd love to do my part but I can't make that weekend.

    P.S. - I've heard of the Forest Service loaning out two man saws but I don't think that would be any easier. Just thought it might beat lugging around extra fuel and bar oil.
    Last edited by nmtim; 08-26-2008 at 08:58 PM.

  4. #4
    Goin' Down ain't bad!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmtim
    I don't think it is possible. I'm guessing that is why the Forest Service thought it would be easier to make a reroute....
    Thanks Tim...I kinda wondered why the tree fall wasn't cleared sooner. But then again the Forest Service is pretty under staffed and not sure what priority this had compared to fighting fires.

    So it sounds like we're talking Bob trailer or wagons to get enough equipment in there to do the job. I guess if we can get enough boots on the ground and have fuel and saws for everyone, we might be able to make a dent. So again, what size team do you think it would take to clear it?

    I guess another question would be is it worth while? Is trying to salvage this section of trail worth hassling with? Or does the "reroute" actually work. Andy seemed to indicate that now you have to go up a forest road and intersect the trail further up. But it sounded like to me that we have lost about 6 miles of single track trail towards the bottom due to the downed trees. Sound right to you? I'd work pretty hard to gain back 6 miles of ST....
    Dug-da-Goat

    "Oh momma, could this really be the end? To be stuck outside of Mojo with the High Side Blues again!!!"

  5. #5
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    I'm witcha Doug! It's your world brother! I'm just a squirrel tryin' to get a nut or two. I'll go even if it means we have to just sit back and drink beer. I am guessing somewhere on the order of 10-15 strongbacks....what do you think?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dropin%Dug
    Thanks Tim...I kinda wondered why the tree fall wasn't cleared sooner. But then again the Forest Service is pretty under staffed and not sure what priority this had compared to fighting fires.

    So it sounds like we're talking Bob trailer or wagons to get enough equipment in there to do the job. I guess if we can get enough boots on the ground and have fuel and saws for everyone, we might be able to make a dent. So again, what size team do you think it would take to clear it?

    I guess another question would be is it worth while? Is trying to salvage this section of trail worth hassling with? Or does the "reroute" actually work. Andy seemed to indicate that now you have to go up a forest road and intersect the trail further up. But it sounded like to me that we have lost about 6 miles of single track trail towards the bottom due to the downed trees. Sound right to you? I'd work pretty hard to gain back 6 miles of ST....
    Tim's right, this could be a serious undertaking, REM was no cakewalk even with the chainsaw and four guys.

    That said I'd definitely be interested in helping you clear the deadfall Doug, but seeing as how this ride will only be doable for another few weeks why not just wait unit next spring/summer? More trees are sure to fall this winter...

  7. #7
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    I think it is worth saving for sure. The parts that were ride-able were real flowy and twisty with a few tough climbs. If it was clear it would be tons more fun than the reroute.

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    If it is such an undertaking, why not do half to 3/4 this year and easy finish next year just in time to enjoy it.

  9. #9
    Goin' Down ain't bad!!!
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    Let's git'er done!!!

    OK... It's a go. My thoughts are with Bryan. It sounds like the FS has abandoned the trail, otherwise they would have cleared it. They probably don't have the resources and don't care enough to keep it open. As we all know, trying to build 6 miles of ST is a heck of a lot harder then removing a tree fall and if we wait too long, we'll have to reclaim/rebuild. Yeah we could wait until next spring, but why wait and regroup people. I'm going up next weekend and that's at least one person and a partial dent.

    Here's what I think. If we can get 3-4 chain saws in there and 6-8 people I think we could make quite the impact, especially if we start early and have good weather. I'm willing to put in a whole day to get it open if the potential exists.

    So, I'm taking my chain saw in on Tuesday for a new chain. I believe I have a chain file to resharpen if necessary. I'll bring fuel and bar oil, but if we have other saws we may need additional fuel/oil. I'll get a hold of Mike Prindle and see if I can round up 2 Polaski's, 2 Mclouds and a rock bar, just in case we need to work some of the trail. I'll also stop by the Hardware store and get a heavy duty pruner.

    We need a wagon or Bob. Foo doesn't have one, but I hear that Tony and the guys at Bikeworks might. I'll stop by on Tuesday and find out. If anyone else has a "Radio Flyer" or other form of trailer, let me know. Even a wheel barrow would work.

    Last two things. I will be going up after work on Friday. I may try to get out at noon and get up there to scout before dark. If not I should be up at Trujillo Meadows before dark at the latest. If you're gonna join in send me a PM or email me. We'll coordinate through email.

    One last question. Is it easier to access the fall up above from the reroute on the road or go at it from below? Sounds like it may be closer to the top and from there we only need to roll the wagons down hill.

    So who's in? PM or email me... and remember, you can't ride a trail that hasn't been cleared... Even though I know you will...
    Dug-da-Goat

    "Oh momma, could this really be the end? To be stuck outside of Mojo with the High Side Blues again!!!"

  10. #10
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    Way to go dude! Good luck and thanks.

    I'm not sure if it would be easier from the top or not. We ran into two intersections on the reroute and I'm not sure where the first one ties in at. The second was pretty high up and above the tree line. The only thing I'd worry about is not being able to finish in one day and having to climb out and then back down to the car on top of the initial climb that got you there. I wish I could help....

    Tim

  11. #11
    Goin' Down ain't bad!!!
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    [QUOTE=PM or email me... and remember, you can't ride a trail that hasn't been cleared... Even though I know you will... [/QUOTE]

    My email on this site is wrong...I'm trying to get it changed but I forgot my password... Go figure. Anyway use MTBDUG@YAHOO.COM to connect or PM.
    Dug-da-Goat

    "Oh momma, could this really be the end? To be stuck outside of Mojo with the High Side Blues again!!!"

  12. #12
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    Well I never made it to the blow down and I am not completely sure that I even know where the ST starts at the bottom, although, I have a pretty good idea. Seems taking the trailers up the road would not be difficult, but there is a hike-a-bike section near the falls and past that you have to poach the wilderness for a few miles to get to the the legal section of 813. If we go this route sleeping up there might be a good idea? ST distance wise is probably shorter, but harder to navigate with the trailers. Come to think of it, we can drive as far up as Los Pinos Falls. Here is the map that I used.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dropin%Dug
    OK... It's a go. My thoughts are with Bryan. It sounds like the FS has abandoned the trail, otherwise they would have cleared it. They probably don't have the resources and don't care enough to keep it open. As we all know, trying to build 6 miles of ST is a heck of a lot harder then removing a tree fall and if we wait too long, we'll have to reclaim/rebuild. Yeah we could wait until next spring, but why wait and regroup people. I'm going up next weekend and that's at least one person and a partial dent.

    Here's what I think. If we can get 3-4 chain saws in there and 6-8 people I think we could make quite the impact, especially if we start early and have good weather. I'm willing to put in a whole day to get it open if the potential exists.

    So, I'm taking my chain saw in on Tuesday for a new chain. I believe I have a chain file to resharpen if necessary. I'll bring fuel and bar oil, but if we have other saws we may need additional fuel/oil. I'll get a hold of Mike Prindle and see if I can round up 2 Polaski's, 2 Mclouds and a rock bar, just in case we need to work some of the trail. I'll also stop by the Hardware store and get a heavy duty pruner.

    We need a wagon or Bob. Foo doesn't have one, but I hear that Tony and the guys at Bikeworks might. I'll stop by on Tuesday and find out. If anyone else has a "Radio Flyer" or other form of trailer, let me know. Even a wheel barrow would work.

    Last two things. I will be going up after work on Friday. I may try to get out at noon and get up there to scout before dark. If not I should be up at Trujillo Meadows before dark at the latest. If you're gonna join in send me a PM or email me. We'll coordinate through email.

    One last question. Is it easier to access the fall up above from the reroute on the road or go at it from below? Sounds like it may be closer to the top and from there we only need to roll the wagons down hill.

    So who's in? PM or email me... and remember, you can't ride a trail that hasn't been cleared... Even though I know you will...
    It was snowing a bit just north of Durango last night (at a lower altitude than the treefall on the CDT out of Cumbres Pass), food for thought...

    Either way I can't go this coming weekend since I've already spent the last three weekends in Colorado, but I wish you guys luck.

  14. #14
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    I've been riding up there for the last 15 years and EVERY year there is down fall to deal with in that area.Last and this year have been the worst i ever saw.The work you want to do is good and I praise your ambition and now here's the makaopinion= will it be in vain?More downfall will happen over the winter and if the locals of Chama and the Forest service haven't cleaned it out by now and have decided to close and reroute the trail there's probable reason.
    Park at the top where Brian suggests and you can ride a forest road {about 5 miles}in with bike and trailer right above and easy access to the downfall .Don't forget your kevlar chaps , steeltoe booots and first aid with needle and thread when doing chainsaw work .and goodluck.

  15. #15
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    I think there might be a shortcut too! When we got lost was at the Rd 118 as the signs at one of the intersection read 2118 A, 2118 C, and 2118 B or something like that. We took 2118 C. Anyway not too far from that intersection, we saw a very well developed ST taking off to the left. I would be willing to be that this takes you over the ridge to 813. Do you know of anything like that Mark? The X marks approximately where I saw the trail. The blue is just a guess. It would be worth driving to this location and scouting the trail on the bikes the day before. Only problem is that it is very primitive jeep road and plenty of dead fall to clear on the road itself. We could clear a path for the vehicle though, right?
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  16. #16
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    there are a few shortcuts by way of old jeep roads that I've rode over the years but the best way is to park at the top 118 and where the gate says no motorized vehicles beyond this point.Ride the bikes for a few miles on the forest road and hit the trail above all the new clearing on the private property,near the ridge that you are refering to.You'll neeed at least a 24 " to 36" bar on your saw,those trees are wide.and bring some face and ear protection too.

  17. #17
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    Well Dropin%Dug looks like it's a lost cause. I asked for a change of password like an idiot and now It's logged me off. So farewell Dropin%...long live DaGoat. You can PM me here or send email.

    Thanks Marky...we'll be careful. Good to know you really do care.

    Again my attitude is if we don't work to open this up somehow, its just gonna get over grown and reclaiming it will be difficult. I want to ride up to Flat Mtn. and since I'll be there, I'm willing to hack away at it. Conside it an exploratory mission that if perhaps we get enough people on it and we can clear it, its all good. If not we'll post pictures and let folks know what needs to be done. That way next spring we should be able to finish it up.
    Dug-Da-Goat

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  18. #18
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    I may have a line on a Bob Trailer to use which will make this WAY easier. Basically being able to ride in to the fall. If we have a Bob, I'd say lets hit it from below. I'll let folks know what's up later this week.
    Dug-Da-Goat

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  19. #19
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    CDT This Weekend

    Hey Folks,

    This weekend we are headed to the Cumbres Pass to do some exploring on the CDT (Continental Divide Trail) and the surrounding areas. The objective is three fold; explore the trails and their condition in the Archuleta Creek/Rio Chama area. This is the region on the left of the map that Bryan posted at the TH on FR122. The other objective is to go in and see what the condition is of the tree blow down on the CDT. The final objective is to do a nice group ride up to Flat Mtn. and enjoy the views and the first signs of fall foliage.

    The scenario is this, we will be headed up on Friday either afternoon or after work. The Trujillo Meadows CG is officially closed for the season, but the ranger said you can "primitive" camp anywhere along the Forest Roads. I'm thinking we can still camp somewhere near Trujillo Meadows. So that's where we'll be headed to bed down Friday night.

    Saturday, we'll separate into two groups; those that want to ride and those that want to work. The ride group can head to FR122 and begin exploring. Again, it would be good to have pictures and an assessment of the trail conditions from this group.

    The work group will ride up the CDT for about 4 miles from the bottom until we hit the tree snags. Mark Reineke has been gracious enough to let us use his Bob Trailer. So we will be carrying saws and other tools in to do what we can. The primary objective of the work party is to map out the trail and set way points for the tree falls. I'll have my Garmin and will set the GPS Map. We'll take pictures and assess the situation. And yes we'll cut what we can and generally try to open as much as possible. The goal is to really get a feel for what needs to be done to open the trail so we can get at it again next Spring. The situation is that 6 miles of single track has been out of commission for over 2 years and we don't want to lose the trail. We have to reclaim this and soon!!!!

    Saturday night we'll relax, do Ibu's (and drink heavily), then get up on Sunday to do a group ride up to the Flat Mtn. on the CDT.

    Now with any endeavour like this logistics is always an issue. I will ask that anyone who wants to join us please let me know by Thursday afternoon and detail when you can roll out on Friday. We'll put together a rendezvous plan and send it out Friday morning.

    If you want to be part of the work group, chain saws would be helpful at this point. I'll bring Pre-mix and bar oil, but if you bring a saw, bring additional. Lopers and machetes would be helpful too. Above all, let's be safe; this means safety glasses, ear protection, gloves etc, etc, etc.

    So who's in?

    DaGoat
    Dug-Da-Goat

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  20. #20
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    Cleaning a blow down area is no easy task. Bring plenty o fuel and an extra blade or two. Did some clearing up in boundary waters a few years back and it was difficult, but very worth while.

    Would be glad to help out this weekend, but the social director has made other plans. Next weekend I would be more than willing to help out though.

  21. #21
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    I did the best that I could with Google earth:
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  22. #22
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    Couple more maps of the trail that I found

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    Wish I could go...but no way I could get clearance for this. I applaud your motivation to get out there and clear the trail.
    "My life's ambition is to see a musical version of MacBeth performed by chickens."

  24. #24
    Goin' Down ain't bad!!!
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    Man I'm sore!!!

    Well it was a spectacular, stunning, painful, stressful, eventful, successful weekend. I'll post a more thorough discourse, but suffice it to say we mapped on GPS the whole CDT route and although it ain't pretty it isn't perhaps as bad as it could be. Thanks to Bryan for leading the charge, although we probably lost a trail maintainer (my girlfriend) in the process.

    Bottom-line is we have about 8 1/2 miles of gorgeous ST separated by about 2 miles of heineous tree fall. If we can get it tied back together it will be a good 20 mile out and back on trails that are really mt. bike friendly.

    There really isn't any insane stupid steep sections and what is steep has really well established switch backs carved in already. The trail has been neglected and needs some love but I will stress that I've ridden "hiking" trails and I've been on mt. bike ST and I would definitely put this in the "High Alpine Mt. Bike Trail" catagory.

    And the views!!! Some of the most stunning I've seen in a while.

    I may go back up Oct 3rd weekend to go at some of it again. I'd like to take Saturday to finish clearing the lower 4 miles. We put a good dent in it, but my saw was being a pisser and there's still some small snags to clear. I'd say 7 trees max.

    We'd get up to the 4 mile mark and there's still a small bit of hiking/exploration to do. We need to look at about 1/8 mile section to connect from the base of a revine up onto the ridge. We took one route down but I think there's a better alternative that we briefly explored that goes around and up on to the ridge.

    Then Sunday we can go free ride. We can start up a logging road and ride the upper part of the trail to check out the scenery. The Aspens should be peaking then so it should be spectacular. Any takers on a combined work session/ride? Now that we know where the trail is, I promise it won't be a total bushwack!!!
    Last edited by Dropin%Dug; 09-08-2008 at 09:56 AM.
    Dug-da-Goat

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    You are a man on a mission. Very successful weekend Doug. Thanks for getting it going. This is the destination of destinations as far as I am concerned. Give yourself credit though. We beautified the first four miles, lopping branches and establishing 'The Trail'. There is only one downed log and the other is a rats nest with a decent gol-around in place. It will take you all of 20 minutes to make that one of the best four mile stretches of ST around. Great job everyone. Lets see those pics, GPS, and elevation chart!

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