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Part of the reworked trail

Today the Trailbuilders met with the United States Forest Service and a number of intrepid volunteers from the Internet(z) to finish clearing obstructions and to remove Ceanothus from Lost Ridge Trail within the Crystal Lake Recr eation Area of the Angeles National Forest. While we were at it we also managed to remove all of the Yerba Santa from the trail end to end.

It was great fun! The day started out fairly cool down in the cities below, and while we were gathering at the Gateway Visitor Center at the base of the mountain, a number of the volunteers went to examine the native wild grapes growing along the rock walls to see if the birds and squirrels had managed to get them all or whether the volunteers could make Waldorf Salads.

Promptly at 8:00 we all climbed aboard our vehicles and headed North on Highway 39 for about 10 miles or so until we got to the Rincon Fire Station where we collected our tools and equipment, fuel and other incidentals we would be needing today for the trail clearing effort.

Because we would be using a chainsaw today, we made sure we had all of the needed PPE clothing and equipment, enough for two sawyers. We also brought along a gasoline powered hedge trimmer to assist in cutting back and removing the Ceanothus which meant that two Kevlar safety chaps were pulled out of stores, two fire extinguishers, two medical kits, two fire shovels, and enough fuel and oil to keep them running until 13:00 for when the Project Activity Level dictated we set aside all power tools.

Eventually we got everything together and headed further North and in to the Crystal Lake Recreation Area.

Two of the day's volunteers

At the Deer Flats Group Campground we sorted out all of the tools and equipment and then we had the Job Hazard Analysis review which covered the tools we would be using and the local flora and fauna that we might encounter while working.

The chainsaw team went on ahead to tackle the remaining heavy obstructions on the trail while more volunteers headed out to tackle the plants obstructing the trail while I stayed in the parking lot and tried to get the hedge trimmer to run. I spent over an hour with it, making sure it had spark, fuel, air, but it simply refused to run. I had thought that it would be needed so that we could finish removing all of the Ceanothus from the trail but the volunteers with loppers managed to get all of it cut back without the hedge trimmer so in the end it didn't matter that the trimmer wouldn't run.

Ah, well.

So today's efforts cleared all of the obstructions, removed all of the Ceanothus from intruding upon the trail, and removed all of the Yerba Santa. What was left was two trees that had fallen across the trail but level with the ground so that they formed horizontal bridges above, high enough that hikers don't need to duck yet too low for horse riders, so we'll have to cut those up when there's time.

Toward the end of the effort most of us ended up down below on Lake Road, resting in the shade while waiting for the other volunteers to return to Deer Flats to get their vehicles and come pick us up. While waiting we observed the wildlife which included a group of people screaming loudly at each other about whether they were on the right road to the lake, families walking back to camp after fishing in the lake, and people wondering if we were getting paid for laying around in the shade. Ha!

It was a good day, not hot, not difficult, and a great deal of work got accomplished. The trail is now open from end to end which is an awesome accomplishment.

* Sorting through equipment at Deer Flats Group Campground
* One chainsaw team and 1 (failed) hedge trimmer team
* The hedge trimmer that would not run
* A look at part of the trail that was reworked previously
* A look at some of the trail cleared today
* A look at some of the trail cleared today
* A look at some of the trail cleared today
* A look at some of the trail cleared today
* A look at some of the trail cleared today
* A look at some of the trail cleared today
* A look at some of the trail cleared today
* A look back at a switchback where a great deal of Yerba Santa was removed
* Horizontal tree limbs that should be removed eventually
* A look at some of the trail cleared today
* A look at some of the trail cleared today
* Some Yerba Santa still yet to be removed from the trail
* Walking along a tree trunk on the side of where the chainsaw is being used
* Flagging to show where the trail should go through -- lots of brush!
* Some of the brush and tree branches have been removed, more work still left
* Sawyer pauses to consider the remaining cut
* More work left to do below
* Two of the day's volunteers, Brandon and Brian

Site map is at: Crystal Lake site map
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This web site is not operated or maintained by the US Forest Service, and the USFS does not have any responsibility for the contents of any page provided on the http://CrystalLake.Name/ web site. Also this web site is not connected in any way with any of the volunteer organizations that are mentioned in various web pages, including the San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders (SGMTBs) or the Angeles Volunteers Association (AVA.) This web site is privately owned and operated. Please note that information on this web page may be inaccurate.

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