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Horses and Mules Lend a Hand

I love being a forest volunteer!

Today was an exciting day with horses, mules, and 935 pounds of gelatin explosive, all brought up to Upper Bear Creek Trail in the Angeles National Forest of the San Gabriel Mountains.

A whole lot of video and photographs were taken of the effort today, including video of the two blasts that removed the bulge and overhang cliff face of the section of Bear Creek Trail that was enough of a safety hazard to warrant the trail being closed. While the trail is still closed, the San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders can come in and re-establish the trail across the blast site and get the trail re-opened!

Blast Master Safety Rundown

Today began early with some of the San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilder volunteers and High Country Riders volunteers getting their equipment and materials collected and on the road by five O'clock. The day was also a fairly long one with volunteers and professional crews getting back down to the bottom of the mountain around six O'clock -- and it was fun!

We met at the Rincon Fire Station to collect tools and check in with our radio dispatch and then we drove up to the Valley of the Moon where the upper trailhead is for Bear Creek Trail.

Upon driving up to the large parking lot at the trailhead the Trailbuilders joined the Riders who had already assembled and organized their non-human volunteers and had gotten their teams ready to carry the explosive materials, tools, and other equipment that would be needed for the project today.

The explosive materials were transported up to the Valley of the Moon staging site about an hour later, passing through the locked gate about five miles down the road after the Riders were ready to receive the packages and start them up the trail.

There were 17 packages, each weighing 55 pounds. The packs consisted of a long line of tubular gelatin packed in a thin plastic tube with a line of detonation cord running down its full length, terminated in a plastic end cap.

Bear Split Hot Shot On A Line

The detcord itself was not very fast stuff, only around 6000 feet a second! The Blast Master described the equipment to us all, saying that a line of the cord laid from New York to San Diego would take only 5 minutes to burn from end to end. Wow!

All of the Bear Split Hot Shot crews, the Riders, the USFS people, and the Trailbuilders received a detailed and very informative review of what we would be doing today and how the project was going to take place with the professional Blast Master literally (and figuratively) calling the shots.

The Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) report had been read and understood so that all expected and possible safety hazards had been accounted for with details about mitigation of those safety hazards along with response plans in the event any of those hazard were encountered today.

The JHA is a blueprint for outlining things that can go wrong, what will be done to mitigate things going wrong, and what we would do if anything went wrong, and the Analysis is always explained, read, and understood before the project, a copy of which I had printed off and read the night before.

All of us had hard hats, eye protection, and some of us ear protectors.

Horses and Mules On A Line

Humping along up the trail and trying to keep up with the Hot Shot fire crews and the USFS personnel was exhausting and I swear I nearly died from exhaustion and lack of oxygen trying to keep up. By the time we got to the collection point where the horses and materials would be staged near the cliff face I was covered in sweat and tired, more so since not one of the Hot Shot crew or Freddie (USFS) were even breathing heavy.

Oh man, to be young again. Still it wasn't really that much of a difficult or lengthy hike up the mountain to the project site and it was nice to hump right along without falling behind. I kept up so I could get excellent photographs of the professional crews and also to stay ahead of the horses and mules, all of which I wanted to get on video and with the still camera.

I can't believe some of the guys' humorous ragging on our forest out here, wondering what we had done with all of our trees. Southern California is a desert, after all, and with fires, bark beetle, pollution, and 22 million people around us, not having many trees left in our forest is unfortunate but expected. It was cool of Freddie to stand up for our forest and claim that each remaining tree up here has a name tag. LOL!

Upon arriving at the cliff face we took a look at the rock once again, some of us to re-aquaint ourselves with the job, and the Hot Shot crew to examine the trail problem for the first time.

Climbing The Rock Face

Two volunteers had gone on ahead of us, Wayne and Bill who positioned themselves within line-of-sight of the project area at least 1000 feet away, far up the trail past the gap in the trail. They were "Safety Team 1" making sure that no hikers came down from Smith Mountain Saddle.

"Safety Team 2" consisting of Jeanette and Ben stayed at the trailhead below to make sure that no hikers walked up to Valley of the Moon and entered on to the hiking trail.

All subgroups of the effort were on an assigned radio channel with multiple radios added in to monitor the region's Dispatch. Both Safety Team volunteer groups had a radio, the Hot Shot crews had radios, the USFS crews had radios, the Horseman Team had a radio, and I had a radio, all configured and set for Tactical Three and all tested before we set foot on the trail.

The horses were unpacked while the Blast Master and the Hot Shot crews taking the training lesson today went over the expected placement of explosives and the placement of the blasting caps which would be used to direct the initial force of the explosion. After the animals were unpacked the Riders returned back down the mountain with their horses to await the end of the project.

Detcord Tie-Up of Explosives Packages

For the two volunteer Safety Teams there wasn't much for them to do but continually scan the trail up and down the mountain constantly on the watch for any sign of hikers. For the professional crews there was much to do, not only with digging out rock and dirt for the placement of the explosives but also the examination of the rock fissures and the general lay of the rock.

Most of the other volunteers were basically observers with only an occasional task to do -- handing up rocks, moving rocks off of the trail and the project site, digging in to the cliff face a bit. This was kind of a shame because we had young volunteers who probably would have liked to have had something more to do today. It's a shame that some of the volunteers found the day rather boring.

There were four and a half packs of explosives set against the bulging cliff overhang, all with trailing detonation cord that were tied together with butterfly knots to another length of detcord. The end of the detcord was tied to a blasting cap which was electrically tied to a safely positioned radio receiving control box.

The other control box and the blasting crews moved up the mountain and joined "Guard 1," the Hot Shot crew who was near Safety Team 1. George and I joined Safety Team 1 at their point which had line-of-sight to the blast site, and when the Blast Master was satisfied, the radio called out the safety progression.

Blasting Caps

With my borrowed video camera recording, the Hot Shot taking the first shot stepped through the sequence on the second radio box which sent a digitally encrypted set of session handshake messages to the box down below.

Down below a huge spray of rock and dirt sprang up followed a second later by a tremendous shock wave rolling over us from over 1000 feet away followed a fraction of a second later by a huge bang and a ground quake under our feet. The dust and smoke above the blast collected in to a plume and roiled around itself in to a ball at the top of a growing pillar of dust. Around us the echoes rumbled on and on and on through the canyons.

It was AWESOME! Damn, I love this job!

The Blast Master called out a reaffirmation for all personnel to hold their positions followed up by radio calls from Guard 1 and Guard 2 confirming they had heard the order (after assuring that all people under their sight were still stationary, I expect.) After a while the Blast Master called "all clear" and we were allowed to come look at the results.

The first blast had removed the bulge and overhang but had not entirely carved out a shelf upon which the trail could be restored. It was a good first blast which gave the crews a better idea of how the rock was behaving.

Up and down the trail on both sides of the blast there were rocks and boulders on the trail that had been dislodged and down below the blast site there were huge boulders that had been wrenched out of the cliff, including the large block of dense granite that had formed the bulge (it was still recognizable, largely intact but 40 feet down the mountain.)

Second Shot Packages In Place

The Blast Master, Hot Shots, and USFS worked the first blast remains to see what had been accomplished, digging through the remains and looking at the rock. Eventually the decision was made to use the rest of the explosives (12 and a half packs!) to cut further back in to the rock face to see if a shelf could be created.

This time the placement of the explosives took a lot longer with two Hot Shots climbing up the cliff to place hanging cord from which bundles of explosives would be suspended. Six bundles were suspended and the rest were places at strategic points near the base of the cliff face.

Yikes! Those Hot Shot crews were up the cliff face without safety ropes, hauling away on thin lines dangled down below with 55 pound packages on them, arm-over-arm, tying off the lines to rocks and plants up there. Oh man, if any of us volunteers did that without belay ropes or emplaced safeties, or ears would still be bleeding from the dressing down from our USFS coordinator! Ha!

But they were young, had a lot of experience, and knew what they were doing so for them it was safe. For me? I'll use safety ropes, pitons, and chocks, please.

There was a brief security alert that sprang up when Safety Team 1 reported three hikers climbing up the trail. Radio calls to Safety Team 2 to find out whether they were sending volunteers up the mountain were not returned despite numerous calls (the radio failure was later fixed, caused by a dead USFS vehicle battery.)

After The Second Shot

George and I grabbed our packs and worked our way down the trail toward the three people double time though about a half mile down we paused while I called down for the Riders to ask for one of their volunteers to head up to check out the people. The Riders volunteers dispatched someone on horseback but George and I continued to work down the mountain double time just in case.

Eventually the Riders reported that the three were our own volunteers who had left some time ago and that they were heading down, not up. Because of the lay of Upper Bear Creek Trail, there are switchbacks and perspectives that look like people going down are heading up and people heading up are going down.

Since we had assumed that our volunteers had had enough time to make it all the way down the mountain, any report of people on the trail was treated as recreational hikers and -- safety always first! -- it was good to take zero chances. Our Safety Teams did a great job being alert and making sure.

All of the hanging and emplaced explosive packs were eventually placed with knots of detonation cord secured inside of them trailing down vertically, all of the packages tied together with a horizontal line of detcord.

This time the Blast Master and Guard 1 joined Safety Team 1, George and myself on the point within sight of the blast site. I got good video and audio of the whole process this time, staying mostly focused upon the cliff face but getting the radio detonation box in video as wll.

Rock Face After Second Shot

The Hot Shot taking the shot this time called out the safety progression and got us to "fire in the hole" after which about 18 seconds passed.

The spray of dirt, rock, and smoke this time and much larger and the heavy shock wave rippled across the distance and slammed in to us a second later, followed by an even bigger bang that shook the rocks we were standing on. The rumble and the echoes ringing back and forth through the canyons was terrific and while that was going on, further noise ad excitement was coming from the rock still sliding down the mountain at the blast site.

It was AWESOME times ten!

This time there was almost no breeze working North so the cloud of debris rose up and up and up, forming a ball on a long, two thousand foot column where it hung for a time before being picked apart by wind coming across the mountain top.

Once again the Master Blaster called for Guards to hold while he went down the mountain to ensure that all of the explosives had been detonated and that it was safe to proceed. The Blast Master also had the task for examining the surrounding region for any fires that might have resulted from the blast yet each time all explosives had detonated safely (one of the reasons Hot Shot fire crew were with us today.)

Rock Face After Second Shot

The Master, by the way, was a professional, no-nonsense kind of guy with all of his fingers after decades of doing this kind of work. He directed the placement of the explosives (often from across the way) and had the Hot Shots in training do a lot of the bundle work. He stepped through the safety progression with the crew who were pressing the switches for both of the shots and made sure that all steps were done and done in the right order.

Once the second "all clear" was given we headed down the mountain to examine the blast site once again. This time a whole lot more of the granite rock face had been removed and on the upper side of the trail a large number of boulders and rocks had come to rest on the trail, all of which will need to be removed by the Trailbuilders.

I got on the radio to confirm that the Riders could start up the mountain again to retrieve their equipment and tools and got a response that the animals were starting back up the mountain.

Examining the results at first looked like we had blasting that resulted in even more work for the Trailbuilders than would have resulted had we come up with rock hammers, bentonomite, chisel and picks and stuff instead of explosives however once the Hot Shots and Freddie (USFS) got to work on the debris we could see a shelf start to form under their shovels.

What we have now at the end of today is a slightly sloped vertical cliff face containing fractured granite below which there is extensive dirt and rock and a slight shelf which can be shaped in to a safe trail, perhaps one with a retaining wall tied in to the side of the mountain. If the Trailbuilders do it right (and we will!) the new set of wall, baskets, and trail work should last a long time.

Everyone headed back down the mountain to the Valley of the Moon stage-up area, got our equipment sorted through, and started to drive away one by one. Since it was getting late and starting to get dark we skipped stopping off at Rincon and continued on down the mountain, coming up behind a vehicle that was stopped in the middle of the highway with a missing front wheel.

While Bill stayed behind to assist with the injured vehicle the rest of us continued on down the mountain, completely happy with another successful day in the Angeles National Forest.

* Trailbuilders ready the hanging cord
* The cord will be used to hang six of the 66 pound packages
* Tom from the San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders
* The High Country Riders with their volunteer horses and mules
* Two packs are loaded on to each non-human volunteer
* Jeanette with Lois (who is apparently feeding plastic bags to a mule)
* Most of the explosive has been loaded in to the carriers the horses take up
* Lois and one of the volunteer animals
* Freddie makes sure we have covered and signed the JHA
* The Master Blaster covers safety and the equipmnent that will be used
* Most of the safety rundown covered what not to do
* The safety rundown aso covered how the equipment will behave
* The radio detonation boxes are covered in some detail before we begin
* Hiking up the trail I take a look at the horses who are starting up
* Since I'm trying to keep up with the Hot Shots and Feddie, I look back a bit
* Young Hot Shots strun out in a line with full protective equipment
* Tom brings up the pick-ax and Polaski
* I pause to catch my breath for a moment
* Photographing Hot Shots as they past while I catch my breath
* I have to hustle double time to catch up with the Hot Shot crew again
* Upper Bear Creek Trail contains numerous switchbacks
* NOTE: San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders need to replace this retention
* Looking back, the horses and mules are catching up to us
* Much of the trail was in the shade in the morning which helps
* NEAT: The pack animals strung out in a row
* A more distant view of the pack animals fro across the switchback
* Another view of the pack animals from across the switchback
* Along the way the Hot Shots and USFS crews remove obstructions
* Lacking rock bars, shovels are carefully used to dig out the foundation
* And then the shovels are used to pry bars for a bit as well
* Finally leg power is added and the boulder obstruction is removed
* Meanwhile the horses and mules are catching up to us
* Way off in the distancer center photograph is Highway 39
* Our first look of the day at the cliff face
* The blasting team look at the work area
* Master Blaster paces of and sizes up the cliff face
* Some of the fractured and dense rock that crew will be climbing up later
* The Riders stage-up at the turn-around and materials point
* A close look at one of the materials packages the animals carried up
* There's noting more manly then horses and explosives!
* A look at the work site from the other side of the cliff face
* The Master Blaster, Wayne, George, Bill, and I
* Another near-duplicate photograph of the previous photograph
* This down tree is not be a problem for us today since it is not an obstruction
* The Master Blaster continues to answer the Trailbuilder's questions! Joy!
* A long view looking across the canyons toward the South
* From across the gulch we take a look at the work site before we begin
* A longer view of the work site with the horses and mules toward center
* Most of the trees that were alive 2 years ago are now dead. No water!
* Preliminary work is done with shovels and rock bar
* The first explosive packages are placed together with wood to hold tightly
* The package is crammed tightly in to place
* Hot Shots unroll one of the packages and lay it out along the trail
* A wide look at the crews working above and along the site
* A closer look at the work in progress. Two Hot Shots will climb higher
* Another look at the same thing that the previous photograph shows
* Most of the crews are finished and we're getting ready for the first blast
* The packages above are tied in to the packages below
* A good close look at the use of detcord and blasting caps on the packages
* A wider look at the placement of explosives
* A close up look at the explosives in place
* Blasting caps and detcord
* A horizontal line of detcord is tied in. Blast Master observes the trainees
* Another good close look at the finished placement
* A close up look at the final placement just before the blasting cycle
* After the first shot the dust cloud starts to settle out
* It does not take long for the cloud to settle as we wait for All Clear
* A first look at the results of the first blast
* A close-up look at the results of the first blast. Trail probably useable
* Most of the cliff face remained intact at the bottom of the ravine
* We start to set up for a second shot to see if we can dig out a shelf
* YIKES: Poor yucca plant does not know what's going to happen to it soon
* Hot Shots climb up the cliff to drop hanging cord from above
* While cord is dropped, other crew place bundles below
* Freddie also gets to handle and place the explosives, the lucky guy!
* Across the way the Blast Master examines the placement of every package
* Back at the work site
* Another far look across the way generally South, looking at the Sunlight
* Crews have climbed above the rock face and are placing six lines
* All of the explosives have been moved in to staging position or emplaced
* The drop lines are getting tied to the bundles one by one
* Large spool of detcord. I asked if I could have any left over detcord }:-}
* Knots are made in the cord and then implanted in the gel packages
* Large knots are created to create a dynamo effect
* Getting ready to pull up the packages up against the rock face
* Each step of the process takes time while the crews work carefully and slowly
* The Hot Shot crew above sit down safely to await the hauling
* George and I keep out of the way, mostly
* Verticle detcord before being tied in for the second shot
* Freddie picks up the air horn and threatens to make some noise
* Packages are being hauled up with verticle detcord dangleing
* Five of the six hauled packages are in place
* All packages are in place and we retreat to our blast safety positions
* Much larger explosive with a larger dust cloud
* This time there is very little wind so the cloud hangs around longer
* A first look at the results of the second blast
* Some crew have worked their way past the new face
* Trailbuilder volunteers examine the results and wonder if it's good
* Crews start wrking with shovels to establish the extent of the new tread
* Many boulders and rocks on the upper side of the trail now need removing
* Some of the boulders and rocks have been removed but many more remain
* After some work, the possibility of a successful trail emerges
* A large boulder takes from effort to wrench out and slide away
* Freddie and Wayne discuss the shot and the results
* Freddie and Wayne discuss the shot and the results
* What we're left with is a raw point of ground which we can shovel up
* Down the ravine a ways I take a look at the rubble
* Back across the switchback the crews are still working on the boulder
* As the Sunlight starts to go in the canyon we look South again
* This is my new manly backpack. I pause to drink some water and ice
* Making small rocks out of larger rocks
* Before we head down we take a walk across the section and take photographs
* Before we head down we take a walk across the section and take photographs
* Before we head down we take a walk across the section and take photographs
* Before we head down we take a walk across the section and take photographs
* Before we head down we take a walk across the section and take photographs
* Before we head down we take a walk across the section and take photographs
* Turning around and taking a look at the section from the other side
* Taking another look at the section from the other side
* Taking another look at the section from the other side
* We start heading down before the horses and mules start down the mountain
* Wayne and Bill look for a dropped piece of equipment on the way back down
* Damn, who is that handsom, ruggel person? Oh! It's me! }:-}
* A far look at the Valley of the Moon on our way down. They are in shade
* The Bear Divide Hotshots (which I started calling the Bear Split Hot Shots)
* Through for the day, the volunteer horses and mules are taken to their trailors
* Equipment is packed up
* Everyone is back down off of the mountain
* And we are finished for the day
* Excelent photograph of Horseman with two of his animals
* Closer look at the volunteer animal
* The Horseman's volunteer turns to look at what's going on
* If I'm not mistaken, this volunteer is a mule. }:-}
* Mule loaded up and getting tightened down for the trip up
* Another close-up of one of the volunteer animals
* Another close-up of one of the volunteer animals
* Ben examines some of the animals while Glenn and Freddie look on
* A wider view of the animals and their transport
* The safety transport vehicle
* The Master Blaster gets safety on to begin unloading the explosives
* A wide look at the Valley of the Moon after all the people have assembled
* One of the Hot Shot crew unpacks fire suppression gear
* A whole lot of cases of explosives are unpacked by the Master Blaster
* The High Country Riders Glenn examines the packages that need transport
* A close up look at the explosives with detcord running along the side
* After examination, Hot Shots start unpacking
* Ben and Tom get a close look at the explosives and Ben applies some tape
* Hot Shot crew and Tom from the Trailbuilders unload and stack the explosives
* Ben applies some heavy dity tape while Tom holds the heavy package
* Ben likes to get real close to his explosives. LOL! Don't eat it, Ben!
* Looks like every package has been piled at the stage-up point
* While that's going on, the animal volunteers stand around waiting
* The color of the horses and mules come out really well in Steve's photos
* Some of the detcord dust and gel material escapes from the package
* IT'S ME! Here I am with all the explosives. Mine! All mine!
* A wide look at the staging area Valley of the Moon fropm the other end
* Three of the Hot Shot Bear Divide people examine explosives with a banana
* Glenn, mule, and Lois
* Glenn tightens up one of the packs on one of the animal volunteers
* And Glenn also uses hit guts to transport the heavy packages of explosives
* The other side of the animal gets packed with the balancing load
* Lois and friend once again
* Hot Shot crew waits for instructions from Glenn on the packing
* And the left side gets packed in to even out the balance
* Master Blaster looks on as one of the last packs are placed in to carriers
* The Master Blaster for the day
* The Master Blaster for the day, a serious no-nonsense professional
* A close-up of Glenn from the High Country Riders
* Another High Country Riders Volunteer working closely with the animals
* Master Blaster cinches down the last leather strap
* We get a detailed safety meeting that also covers the equipment
* We are shown how the explosives and related equipment work
* Lois holds one of the animals while also watching the safety instructions
* During the safety review details about the explosives is covered
* The Master Blaster covers the blasting caps, detcord and its safety
* Don't touch this unless you're asked to. }:-}
* Further safety details about the electronics are covered
* The digitally encrypted and sessioning radio equipment is discussed
* One of the Hot Shot crew focuses attention on the training
* Meanwhile Lois checks to see why the animal she's holding is talking
* With the safety and training meeting over and the JHA read and signed, we go!
* Two Trailbuilders have already started up, now the Hot Shot and USFS head up
* A look down below at the horses and mules who are starting up
* Hiking up Upper Bear Creek Trail
* The pack animals after the first leg of the trail
* The pack animals from a wider perspective
* There were 7 animals used to transport materials and Riders
* Hiking up the trail
* The Riders start to catch up
* And the Riders pass by on the way up
* Glenn on horseback
* One of the mules carrying the materials up
* And the animals pull out ahead and contginue up the mountain
* A slight pause in the hike to clear the trail a bit for the animals
* Another look at the same place
* A wide look at the Upper Bear Creek Trail from way off in thye distance
* Across a switchback, the animals once again. Nice retaining walls!
* Across a switchback, the animals once again
* Across a switchback, the animals once again
* As the pack train reaches the other side of the switchback, we get a look
* The trail is in pretty good condition for the first two miles
* The first look at the work site
* Here the animal pack train has started to get unloaded
* The explosives are stacked a safe distance away, out from under foot
* Most of the USFS, Hot Shots, and volunteers are examining the cliff face
* Tom carries one of the packs to the local stage-up place
* The Riders hold their animals while the materials are removed
* Some of the explosives parked out of the way
* We have brought trail working tools and fire fighting tools for the project
* A look at the cliff face and the trail problem we will be working on
* A closer look at the trail problem
* The Blast Master and some Hot Shot crew start working on the trail
* The Blast Master and some Hot Shot crew start working on the trail
* HEY! There's Freddie and he's so totally cool!
* But Freddie is MUCH cooler in THIS photograph!
* The High Country Riders volunteer deposits explosive at the work site
* This volunteer is definately a mule! Or my wife. Hard to tell the difference
* Yep, not a horse. Falling asleep while waiting for everything to unload
* The Riders are about ready to head down the mountain before the blasting
* The animals are turned around and pointed back down the mountain
* Climbing up the rock face
* The trainees, Master Blaster, and Freddie
* A pack of explosives is carried up the cliff face
* One of the Hot Shots across the rock face
* A rock bar is good company when leveraging out a blasting point
* 55 pounds slung over the back
* Closer view of the previous photograph
* A rock bar is used to pry up fractured rock
* Crew on the rock face
* The explosive is hauled forward
* The first package is crammed in to place
* Actually this is all done pretty much safely
* The Master Blaster keeps an eye on all aspects of the project
* An excellent photograph of the cliff climbers with crew watching from below
* Another excellent photograph of pretty much the same thing
* Another excellent photograph of pretty much the same thing
* A wider look of the same activity up the cliff face
* With the package in place, the crew come down from the top
* Another closer view of the previous photograph
* Another view of the previous photograph
* Some of the plants in the area
* Another view of the previous photograph
* Here we have a look at the granite that makes up most of the rock around here
* Another view of the previous photograph
* A shovel is being used to cover one of the packages a bit
* A closer look at the shovel work
* A wider look with somme of the unplaced explosive still out of the way
* There are Trailbuilder volunteers observing and looking for things to do
* Walking along the base of the cliff
* Another look only without the crew walking across
* Unfortunately about half of us had nothing to do but observe
* Two Hot Shots climb up over the rock face so they can send down a rope
* Two Hot Shots climb up over the rock face so they can send down a rope
* Two Hot Shots climb up over the rock face so they can send down a rope
* Freddie with another package of explosives
* And a closer look of the previous photograph
* Meanwhile, the two crew working above the cliff face continue on up and over
* Down below Freddie carries over his package of explosives
* Up above the two crew get in to position
* One of the Hot Shots coordinates with people on the trail
* Down below I hand up some rocks while another package is placed
* A long view -- helmet of upper crew visible up the cliff face
* Back down along the cliff face bottom
* More explosives being carried over
* I think that package will be left there to explode
* A closer look at the area so far
* This photograph is part of the second shot
* Six of these packages will be hauled up the cliff face
* We take a look across the canyons generally South at Highway 39
* On the way back down again, a good look at a long section of trail

All of the raw video


* Video pict0002.wmv -- 9,982,341 bytes
Talking with the pack animals

* Video pict0003.wmv -- 2,117,729 bytes
Taking a look at the explosives

* Video pict0004.wmv -- 7,021,993 bytes
High Country Riders on horseback coming up the trail

* Video pict0005.wmv -- 1,109,669 bytes
Hotshots unpack their gear at the work site

* Video pict0006.wmv -- 661,633 bytes Examining the rock face
* Video pict0007.wmv -- 5,093,921 bytes Blasting Crews and Fire Fighters work the rock face
* Video pict0008.wmv -- 14,070,383 bytes
Master Blaster giving training instruction

* Video pict0009.wmv -- 5,061,891 bytes
Continued work on the rock face before the first shot

* Video pict0010.wmv -- 9,126,125 bytes
Some explosive is laid out and then divided in half

* Video pict0011.wmv -- 4,125,825 bytes
The first package of explosive is crammed in to position

* Video pict0012.wmv -- 4,085,855 bytes
Package held in place with rocks and a dead tree limb

* Video pict0013.wmv -- 3,037,807 bytes
A look at the work site so far

* Video pict0014.wmv -- 2,061,741 bytes
The pack animals head down after unloaded and before the first shot

* Video pict0015.wmv -- 5,125,909 bytes
Crews climb the rock face to hand a drop line from above

* Video pict0016.wmv -- 9,118,119 bytes
More video of the crews working on the cliff face without safeties

* Video pict0017.wmv -- 10,134,185 bytes
Packages are placed at the foot of the cliff face for shot 1

* Video pict0018.wmv -- 8,118,059 bytes
Close-up video of the packages placed so far for shot 1

* Video pict0019.wmv -- 2,109,747 bytes
Guard One positioned observers move off to a safe distance

* Video pict0020.wmv -- 9,014,131 bytes
Before blasting shot 1, we take a look at the general area

* Video pict0021.wmv -- 7,014,005 bytes
The safety progression cycle has started and we're about ready

* Video pict0022.wmv -- 22,022,845 bytes
SHOT ONE: The first detonation raw footage, 4.5 packages, double whump

* Video pict0023.wmv -- 1,151,273 bytes
Attempt after the first shot to see what the results were

* Video pict0024.wmv -- 5,061,891 bytes
A close-up look from across th way at the results of shot 1

* Video pict0025.wmv -- 6,133,987 bytes
A second shot is called for and materials start to be placed

* Video pict0026.wmv -- 3,029,789 bytes
Materials being placed above and below the remaining cliff face

* Video pict0027.wmv -- 4,029,843 bytes
The climbers above the cliff face drop six lines down

* Video pict0028.wmv -- 6,053,963 bytes
Good video of the effort so far for the second shot

* Video pict0029.wmv -- 9,078,125 bytes
The rock face continues to get explosives placed and tied in

* Video pict0030.wmv -- 5,125,903 bytes
The work site falls in to shadow with the second set of placements

* Video pict0031.wmv -- 8,102,047 bytes
Moved off to Guard One safety position for the second shot

* Video pict0032.wmv -- 2,075,553 bytes
Almost ready for the second shot, one more look at the area

* Video pict0033.wmv -- 21,062,761 bytes SHOT TWO: The second detonation, raw footake, 12.5 packages
* Video pict0034.wmv -- 485,621 bytes
Very short look at the dust cloud for shot two

* Video pict0035.wmv -- 7,077,993 bytes
The rock face before work begins carving out a preliminary trai

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.

E-Mail Crystal Lake Camp Ground