South Ridge trail re-opening

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South Ridge trail re-opening

Postby mac2094u » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:47 am

My wife and I ran into a ranger on Devils Slide friday and she said South Ridge is re-opening in 2 weeks! I am so ready to go back up there! Just an FYI for everyone.
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Re: South Ridge trail re-opening

Postby Wildhorse » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:20 pm

Thanks. I am glad to hear that. It was an awful fire.
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Re: South Ridge trail re-opening

Postby guest » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:55 pm

Thanks for the update, will be interesting to see how close the fire got to the Fire Lookout. From there, you should get a good view of where the fire was.
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Re: South Ridge trail re-opening

Postby zippetydude » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:05 pm

Hi Scott. If you're talking about Tahquitz lookout, it was as close as the pictures showed online at the time. I went up to the lookout a few weeks ago, and if it had not been completely soaked in retardant then it would have exploded in flames. A wooden structure, just a fairly short distance from intense, raging flames dozens of feet tall, would have been tinder. But it was not even singed. Props to the firefighting community who made the decision to take a stand there. Big win for us all.

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Re: South Ridge trail re-opening

Postby Florian » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:07 am

zippetydude wrote:I went up to the lookout a few weeks ago, and if it had not been completely soaked in retardant then it would have exploded in flames.

Hi Zip. No retardant was applied directly to the tower but they did coat the area just south and east pretty well. Would be good to have SRT open again.

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Re: South Ridge trail re-opening

Postby Florian » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:22 am

I did a little checking and found no info on reopening South Ridge trail anytime soon. I think the confusion may be that the Mountain Fire closure is expiring later this month. South Ridge is within the Cranston Fire closure area which will not expire until summer 2019. However there is some hope the PCT will be reopened in time for next year's northbound hikers which would require an amendment to the Cranston closure order. But who knows? Maybe we'll get a nice surprise and SRT will open as well.

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Re: South Ridge trail re-opening

Postby guest » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:02 pm

Hi Zip & Florian,

That's good news. I know what you mean regarding an old wooden structure on stilts at the top of mt.!
Zip, is SRT more runable than Sevils Slide?
Does lifting the Mt. Fire closure mean Carumba re-opens? If so, all we need is about 6 ft. of snow to run off there!
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Re: South Ridge trail re-opening

Postby Florian » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:17 pm

guest wrote:Does lifting the Mt. Fire closure mean Carumba re-opens?

Carumba is also within the Cranston closure area, which overlaps the Mountain Fire area to a great extent, so probably no. I know it's frustrating.

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Re: South Ridge trail re-opening

Postby zippetydude » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:06 am

Hi Scott. I would say it's fully runable until the last 1/3 of a mile before the tower, where it suddenly turns very steep. That might be an optimistic estimate, though, since I went with meetup hiking/camping crowd, so the pace was a mosey at best, and everything feels easier when walking. The first part would be a little less steep than the end of the Tram Road, and most of the middle was really quite reasonable. Like I mentioned, the final bit is not quite stairs, but it is not something I would generally sustain. If you feel like it, though, you might slow your pace and push through for a strong finish. It would be a great trail for that kind of training.

Hi Florian. One of the volunteers had told me that it was covered in retardant, so that's why I posted that. What you say makes more sense, though, as I had asked the volunteer how they managed to wash the whole thing clean and they didn't know. Either way, I'm with you in that I'm glad it survived.

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Re: South Ridge trail re-opening

Postby guest » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:27 am

Or maybe someone liked the shade of dusty pink on the tower better than the old, weather wood!

Thanks for the info Zip, I'm not running anymore, but sometimes people ask. It's several years since I've done SRT, I did like the fact it wasn't as crowded as Devils Slide, although the road leading they was a bit rumblie.
Side note, I've spotted about a 1/2 dozen thru hikers lately on PCT, all south-bounders, on their last 200 miles! Some got hammered in storms in the Sierra's, Some in Wash. when they left 4+ months ago!
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