Archive for the ‘Regions’ Category

July Skills Clinic photos posted Monday, July 7

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Guest photographer Graham Martin filled in for Steve again this month. The weather was very hot and there was a small but enthusiastic group at Malibu Creek State Park for the Skills Clinic this Fourth of July weekend. You can see the July photos in the July 2014 photo gallery.

Sullivan Canyon Work Update, July 3

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The latest news from Mike Harriel of So Cal Gas regarding construction as they move closer to the mandated test on its pipelines in Sullivan Canyon.

Beginning July 8th

·         We will conduct a bird survey to determine if any nesting birds are in the area of our work. If there are, the project will be delayed.

·         If all is well with the nesting birds, we will work with a certified arborist to trim trees that could sustain damaged by construction equipment. The trimming will occur at the direction of the arborist and only the minimum necessary.

·         An active beehive will have to be removed for the safety of our employees and users of the canyon.

 Beginning July 14th

·         Construction mobilization will occur. You will notice the moving in of water tanks and other construction equipment. Tanks and equipment will be staged away from the trail. All soil will be returned to the excavation it is removed from.

·         A fire prevention plan is in effect to protect the canyon.

 As mentioned previously, the canyon trail will remain open. Signs will provide advance notice when the canyon is closed for hydro testing, which will occur over the course of one day. Signs will also be posted at the drop-in trails. For safety reasons, we don’t want any members of the public dropping in to the canyon during the test, so please abide by the posted closing.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Mike Harriel

Public Affairs Manager

Office: 213 244-4633

June Skills Clinic photos posted Sunday, June 8

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Guest photographer Graham Martin filled in for Steve this month who was leading another event to commemorate National Trails Day. As always, there was a good group at Malibu Creek State Park for the Skills Clinic. The weather started out cloudy but cleared by the end of the class. You can see the June photos in the June 2014 photo gallery.

President’s Message: The Station Fire

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

20110401-Station_Fire_sign_burning_3It has been almost five years since the Station Fire was set by arsonists along Highway 2 near the base of Mount Lukens. I was there on August 26, 2009 when it started. I was also there last week when the Station Fire General Closure Order expired. This opened up Strawberry Peak loop, a trail system that has been the focus of several different groups for the past eighteen months. Though it’s a significant milestone, there is much more to be done.

Mountain Bike Magazine Station Fire

Mountain Bike Magazine Station Fire

This takes me back to a June 2010 Mountain Bike Magazine article about the Station Fire. While the magazine is no longer published, a copy of the story is archived on our web site. Reading it will help you realize what has been accomplished since.

We all wish that things could have happened faster, but the assumptions of the article have held up. Matt Lay/Mount Wilson Bicycling Association (MWBA), and I were featured in the article as mountain bikers on a mission to help restore the trails. Both CORBA and the MWBA have lived up to that promise, with many trails affected by the fire now open due (at least in part) to our efforts. We have to thank our volunteers, our members, and REI for their generous support, all of whom helped make it possible.

Of course, mountain bikers were not alone in the effort to restore trails. Many nonprofit groups, trail user groups, and individual volunteers continue to make significant contributions to restoration and maintenance. Professional crews including Bellfree Contractors and the LA Conservation Corps have also been involved.

As mentioned,  the work is not yet done. The general closure expired and was replaced by a much more manageable list of closed trails. Among them are several fire roads and at least two local mountain biking favorites: a section of the Gabrielino Trail and the Ken Burton Trail. CORBA and the MWBA have pending work plans for both trails, and the Forest Service is working to reopen the fire roads. Stay tuned.

And there will always be a need to do trail maintenance, above and beyond restoration efforts.

Trails don’t maintain themselves. Join us.

- Steve Messer

Photos from Danusia’s May 31 Memorial and Rides

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Photos from Jesse Ettinger and Wendy Engelberg have been assembled into a photo gallery. If you missed the event, you can see some of the happenings in the photo gallery.

More Work Scheduled for Sullivan Canyon in June

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Since 1960, Southern California Gas Company (“SoCaIGas”) has owned much of the land that comprises Sullivan Canyon (more than 4 miles in length).  This property is used as a corridor for two transmission pipelines that provide Los Angeles residents with a safe and reliable supply of natural gas.  Periodically, SoCalGas must perform maintenance on these pipelines. The purpose of this letter is to provide information on pipeline maintenance and repair work that will occur in the coming weeks.

SoCalGas will conduct a hydrostatic pressure test on a segment of one of our natural gas transmission pipelines in Sullivan Canyon.  Hydrostatic pressure testing is a process that uses water to exert pressure on a pipeline at levels greater than its usual operating pressure to assess its soundness, often referred to as its integrity.

This test involves digging around the underground pipeline and safely venting natural gas from the pipeline. We will then fill the pipeline with water, and increase the pressure to a level that is higher than the pipeline’s normal operating pressure.  If the pipe holds the pressure without any leaks, it will be put back in service. If the pipeline leaks during the test, SoCalGas will repair the pipeline and retest it, or replace it with new, pre-tested pipeline.

What to expect

The construction work will take place at several locations starting west of the Sullivan Canyon trailhead at the end of Queensferry Road and about a quarter-mile northwest of the trailhead.  Work will begin in June 2014, and last about four to six weeks, although weather and other factors affecting safe working conditions could change the schedule. Normal work days will be Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., however, some activities may extend the hours.

Test Start Location:

At Sullivan Canyon Trailhead at Queensferry Road, a test-start location will be staged just west of the trail with an excavation site, water tanks, and other equipment. This area will be closed to the public.

Test End Location:

About a quarter-mile northwest of the trailhead, a test-end location with excavation site and support equipment will be staged alongside the trail.  This area will also be closed to the public.

Hikers, bikers, and others traversing the trail should use caution while passing by both test site locations. For safety reasons, Sullivan Canyon Trail will not be accessible by the public on the actual test day for the duration of the test. Check local signage with updates on construction activity.

The local community may notice truck traffic bringing test equipment and water tanks to the test sites and then removing them. Nearby residents may hear some work-related noise.

Your gas service should continue without interruption. If that changes, a SoCalGas representative will contact you.

The odor of natural gas

At times, you may smell the odor of natural gas and hear a loud, steady noise as we vent natural gas from the pipeline using safe and common techniques. Although this is normal when crews are working, we encourage anyone who has concerns about the smell of gas to call us from a safe location at 1-800-427-2200. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We apologize for any inconvenience while we’re performing this test and appreciate your patience and cooperation.

Mike Harriel

Public Affairs Manager – Southern California Gas Company

Tel: (213) 244-4633 

Station Fire Closure to Expire, Strawberry Peak Loop Opens

Friday, May 23rd, 2014
Station fire damage to Strawberry Peak trail

Station fire damage to Strawberry Peak trail

The Station Fire burned over 250 square miles of the Angeles National Forest in 2009. The most recent Station Fire Closure Order went into effect on May 25 last year, and is in effect until May 24, 2014.  The Forest Service will not be renewing the general closure order. Instead, some trails that have yet to be restored will remain closed, along with some higher elevation fireroads. This is both for public safety and additional resource protection and recovery.

The following trails will remain closed:

  • Strawberry Peak Trail 12W05.1 (From the junction with Colby Canyon trail north to Upper Big Tujunga)
  • Lower Gabrielino Trail 11W14 (between Bear Canyon trail junction and Paul Little Campground)
  • Ken Burton Trail 12W19 (the complete trail)
  • Millard Waterfall trail (a non-system user-created trail)
  • Barley Flats Trail
  • Santa Clara Divide Road 3N17 (between Alder Saddle westward to the intersection with the BPL road near North Fork Station)
  • Axial roads that connect to the closed portion of 3N17 will also remain closed:
    • 4N32 (BPL Road) between 3N17 and 4N33
    • 4N33 (Moody Truck Trail) between 3N17 and 4N32
    • 4N24 (Beartrap Truck Trail/SCE Service Road) between 3N17 and Aliso Canyon Road
    • 3N90 (Roundtop) between 3N17 and Roundtop Peak
    • 3N32 (Mendenhall Ridge Road) between 3N17 and Indian Ben Saddle

Additionally, the following campgrounds will remain closed:

  • Messenger Flats Campground
  • Lightning Point Campground
  • Big Buck Campground

Note that some media reports have indicated that the Colby trail would be closed, without specifying which segments. Rest assured that the segments of the Colby Canyon trail that comprise the classic “Strawberry Peak Loop” will be opened. The segment of Colby Canyon trail north from Josephine Ridge to Highway 2 is still in very poor condition and not recommended for bicycles, though it will be opened.

Strawberry Peak after restoration

Strawberry Peak after restoration

We must acknowledge once again the generous support we received from REI to help fund the professional services of Bellfree Contractors, tools and food for volunteers, that allowed us to complete the restoration of the Strawberry Peak Trail. The restoration effort included a re-route of a particularly troublesome section, which was planned out as a part of the IMBA Trail Care Crew visit in 2012. We coordinated our efforts with The National Forest Foundation, Los Angeles Conservation Corps, and the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter trail crew. And of course, our biggest thanks go to the many volunteers who came out to our trailwork days on Strawberry Peak. We’ll be doing more trailwork there as we continue to maintain the trail in the future.

The Gabrielino Trail will be our next focus, and stay tuned for important news regarding that effort. We must emphasize that the closed segment of the Gabrielino trail is not ready for public use. At least three groups of trail users who ignored the closure have had to be extracted by Search and Rescue. Please stay off the closed trails listed above for your own safety.

 

 

Malibu Adventure Games May 17

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

MAG_5x7_2014The Malibu Adventure Games return to Malibu Creek State Park May 17 with added mountain biking activities. Along with a poker ride with two different distances, there will also be a family blackjack ride where participants can win prizes by beating the dealer at various stations. CORBA’s Mark Langton will also be providing a free skills clinic prior to the poker rides.

Also at the event will be activities for the whole family including a climbing wall, nature walks, kids XTERRA 1-mile fun run, yoga classes, and a fitness expo.

Also taking place during the event are  the XTERRA 22K and 6K trail runs. Proceeds from the event go to the Malibu Creek Docents to support Malibu Creek State Park. For more information go to malibuadventuregames.com.

2014 Santa Monica Mountains Trail Days Trailwork Report and Photo Galleries

Monday, April 28th, 2014
Rangers serve the barbecue on Saturday night. As well as hot dogs, there was chicken, tri-tip beef and veggie-burgers.

Rangers serve the barbecue on Saturday night. As well as hot dogs, there was chicken, tri-tip beef and veggie-burgers.

This past weekend, a large number of volunteers from CORBA, the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council, the Sierra Club and other organizations, and individuals gathered for the 33rd annual Santa Monica Mountains Trail Days at the Danielson campground in Pt Mugu State Park. Folks could arrive Friday evening, camp overnight, help with the trails on Saturday, enjoy the barbecue dinner prepared by park staff, win some cool swag in the prize give-away during dinner, camp overnight, help with the trails on Sunday, have lunch back at the campground, then depart for home. Of course only a few people stayed for the whole weekend, but many camped for at least one night, and most stayed for the Saturday BBQ and prize give-away.

On Saturday, there were about 110 volunteers who split into five groups. The largest groups worked on Old Boney Trail in the State Wilderness Area and Sage Trail. Others went to the top of Hidden Pond Trail and youngsters under 10 cleared small rockfalls off the Sin Nombre and Two Foxes Trails. A dozen hardy souls (with hardy soles) hiked almost three miles (and up about 1400′) carrying tools to work on the Chamberlain Trail, also in the wilderness area.

The group of about 30 volunteers who worked on Sage consisted of CORBA folks, a few geocachers, and others. The trail had just been SWECO’d (plowed by a small trail-sized bulldozer) to level the trail, smooth out the ruts, and narrow it. The trail is narrower now because it used to be the full width of a fire road, and now the travel surface is about half as wide. The SWECO is only able to get so close to the edge, so the work consisted of pulling down the berm (pile of dirt) the machine left at the outside edge of the trail, sloping the trail about 5-degrees to the outside so rainwater will run off, rather than down the middle, and removing the larger rocks.

Putting the finishing touches on the Sage Trail on Saturday after it was leveled, smoothed and narrowed by the SWECO trail bulldozer.

Putting the finishing touches on the Sage Trail on Saturday after it was leveled, smoothed and narrowed by the SWECO trail bulldozer.

There were also a few spots of severe erosion and rutting on the side of the trail where rain water had run off, taking some of the trail with it. In one case, the erosion extended about half-way into the trail. To prevent future rain from extending these ruts and eventually washing the trail away completely, we built rock walls down the ruts to reinforce the side next to the trail. The idea is that the water will run off the trail and down the rock wall, protecting the dirt underneath from being washed away. The rocks will also slow and disperse the water, so it doesn’t wash away the dirt below the wall and undermine it.

Overall we worked about 2300 feet of trail, from the bottom to where the now-closed Art’s Trail joins it.

We headed back to the campground at about 2:00 pm, although crew leader Virginia from the Trails Council stayed about a half hour longer, and CORBA’s Steve Messer stayed even longer. Some people just won’t quit until the job is finished!

We always have a much smaller group for the Sunday work day, so all 30 of us returned to Sage Trail to finish off the top 1700′. It only took until about noon to get this shorter section completed.

Sage Trail is a little loose after our trailwork, but it’s not too loose to ride. It should be packed down in two or three weeks, as Guadalasca Trail was after we did the same work there last spring. The trail will also regain its single-track width after enough people have ridden it to define a preferred course.

CORBA, the Trails Council, local chapters of the Sierra Club, California State Park, the National Park Service and other would like to give a tremendous Thank-You to all the volunteers who helped over the weekend, both working on the trails to keep them in top shape, and organizing and coordinating in the camping and registration area!

You can view more photos of the trailwork in the Saturday photo gallery and the Sunday photo gallery.

Join the Danusia Taber Memorial Ride May 31st

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Please join us for the 1st annual Danusia Taber Memorial ride at MCSP (Malibu Creek State Park) at 9AM on May 31st. This ride will be to honor Danusia Taber who passed away in May of 2013 of Leimyosarcoma, a rare cancer. This is also a fund raiser ride for the Sarcoma Alliance the non profit that helped Danusia in her time of need. Please donate prior to the ride in Danusia’s Memory here: http://sarcomaalliance.org/donate/donate-now/

You can also bring cash or a check made out to The Sarcoma Alliance and turn it into me at the Memorial site at 9am.

Danusia was instrumental in getting GGR off the ground. She was there from the beginning with direction, motivation and helping with partnerships such as CORBA. She was a CORBA board member, an MBU patroller, a mentor and great friend to many. Before she passed, she approved the Danusia Bell program. These are small bells to place on your bike or pack alerting other trail users you are there. 100% of these profits also go to the Sarcoma Alliance per Danusia. You can purchase your Danusia bells here: http://www.girlzgoneriding.com/ggr_products/
or here: http://corbamtb.com/store/store.shtml.

Danusia riding on the Wood Canyon Trail in Pt Mugu State Park

We will have 3 levels of rides:

• Beginner & Advanced Beginner: Riding to the dam and back: about 8 miles

• Intermediate: Short Bull dog loop & Grasslands: about 15 miles with 1500 feet of climbing

• Advanced: New Millennium Loop & Grasslands: about 19 miles with 3400 feet of climbing.

All riders will meet at the Memorial spot at 9am to have a brief revisit of Danusia’s life and why we are there for her and the fund raising efforts. If you have a story to tell about Danusia, I will open up the area to anyone who does. We would love to hear it! She was a character and we all have many great stories!

Please meet at the SOUTH end of Mott Motorway where the memorial service was held last year:  http://www.venturacountytrails.org/TrailMaps/MalibuCreek/AreaTrails.htm#Map. Mott is #7 on the Map.

You can further show your support by signing up for this event on our Meetup group here http://www.meetup.com/CORBAmtb/events/153915552/ and encouraging all your friends to come along!

If you have any questions on the event or ride, please contact Wendy Engelberg: wendy@girlzgoneriding.com

I thank you so very much in advance for supporting this event. GGR Girl and Proud CORBA member Wendy E