New Page Additions Since July 2016

Below is a list of new and updated pages for this blog between July and September 2016.

My favorite hike this quarter was #42 on July 1 in large part due to seeing a group of bighorn sheep at the saddle between Mt. Baldy and Mt. Harwood.

My favorite hike this quarter was #42 on July 1 in large part due to seeing a group of bighorn sheep at the saddle between Mt. Baldy and Mt. Harwood.

Clicking on links below will open the page in a new tab so that it will be easier to follow links on those pages and still get back to this one.

Hiking Journal

Updated Hikes

Updated 52 Hike Challenge

  • Added hikes #29 through #40 on my 52 Hike Challenge Page. Note: I’m only counting different hikes in Angeles National Forest starting in February for the challenge.

New Peaks (also updated on My Peak Bagging Routes Page)”

Updated Peaks (also updated on My Peak Bagging Routes Page):

Sand Fire Map (Modis Thermal Satellite + Topo)

I finally came across a map that I find helpful for understanding the rough boundaries of a current fire in relation to a topographic map which gives me a better sense of what trails have burned or may be in imminent danger of burning than other maps I’m aware of. The map is updated about every two hours as explained here where there are also explanations of the map’s limitations. Viewing the map from the viewer is helpful because one can zoom in. Although more detailed views don’t also display the fire data, zooming back and forth allows considerably closer study than the image I’ve shared below. I’ve added a link to this viewer on my hiking links page for future reference.

Sand Fire Map from the morning of 7-24-2016. Red is active burning. Yellow is last 12 hours. Black is last 24 hours.

Sand Fire Map from the morning of 7-24-2016. Red is active burning. Yellow is last 12 hours. Black is last 24 hours.

To get an image with the topo map and Modis Thermal Satellite Imagery shown above, one needs to select the appropriate data layers in the drop down menu from the viewer. For the above map, I chose Modis Fire Detection from the Dynamic Data menu and US Topographic Map from the Base Data menu.

New Page Additions Since April 2016

Below is a list of new and updated pages for this blog between April and June 2016.

My favorite hike in Angeles National Forest this quarter was hike #29 on May 12 to Ontario Peak in large part due to seeing a bear in Icehouse Canyon.

My favorite hike in Angeles National Forest this quarter was hike #29 on May 12 to Ontario Peak in large part due to seeing a bear in Icehouse Canyon. This view is coming down from Ontario Peak looking toward Mt. Baldy.

Clicking on links below will open the page in a new tab so that it will be easier to follow links on those pages and still get back to this one.

Hiking Journal

Updated Hikes

Updated 52 Hike Challenge

  • Added hikes #11 through #28 on my 52 Hike Challenge Page. Note: I’m only counting different hikes in Angeles National Forest starting in February for the challenge.

New Peaks (also updated on My Peak Bagging Routes Page)”

  • Fox Peak elevation 5033′ in Angeles National Forest
  • Lookout Peak elevation 8531′ in Kings Canyon National Park
  • Roundtop elevation 6316′ in Angeles National Forest

Updated Peaks (also updated on My Peak Bagging Routes Page):

 

Fire On Kratka Ridge In Angeles National Forest Today

In the time it took us (my friends Karl, Valery, and I) to hike about a mile and a half from Mt. Hawkins to Throop Peak, a small fire had started on Kratka Ridge. The fire was small enough and far enough away from us that we were never in any danger. However, the reality that another fire was burning more of Angeles National Forest was a demoralizing sight for me. With just enough smoke rising into the air to make the forest between Mt. Waterman and Throop Peak feel genuinely vulnerable, I felt a deep sense of urgency to see firefighters actively engaged in putting the fire out.

View from Throop Peak of the fire just getting started.

View from Throop Peak of the fire just getting started.

Until recently, I would have needed to wait until I saw planes or helicopters to know the fire was known by those who could do something about it. Thankfully, I now have a device that enables me to both send and receive texts via satellite. So, I sent a text to my wife to report the fire. Much to my relief, she found out help was already on its way and was able to text me that information. Still, that process took over twenty minutes (in part because she was in Santa Barbara and needed to be patched through to the proper agency). Armed with that knowledge, I was significantly less anxious while waiting for the first planes to arrive. My new device had just earned its keep.

Zoom view of one of the first fire retardant drops (which landed on the fire) as seen from the Dawson Saddle Trail.

Zoom view of one of the first fire retardant drops (which landed on the fire) as seen from the Dawson Saddle Trail. Mt. Waterman looms high above in the background.

The aerial firefighters in the first planes appeared shortly after we had made it down Throop Ridge to the Dawson Saddle Trail. Fortunately, the fire hadn’t grown by much prior to their arrival. It was impressive to watch them time the drops so that the wind blew the retardant where it needed to be. After four drops, the planes were gone presumably to get more retardant. The fire was diminished some, but, more work was needed to put it out.

Zoom view of one of the second set of drops, as seen from the Dawson Saddle Trail, just before the trail led out of view of the fire.

Zoom view of one of the second set of drops, as seen from the Dawson Saddle Trail, just before the trail led out of view of the fire.

Objectively, the aerial firefighters were back again quickly. While away, however, the fire began to slowly grow again and the clock ticked relentlessly. We saw two more drops make a positive difference before we followed the trail out of view to Dawson Saddle. Before reaching the trailhead, I spoke to a hiker who was just starting out for the day. He told me he had just driven up Angeles Crest Highway with no problems. So, I took that route home. At Islip Saddle, I saw that helicopters had joined the aerial firefighting team. Continuing down Angeles Crest Highway, Eagle’s Roost appeared relatively safe. Smoke from the fire appeared over Kratka Ridge just prior to my reaching Vista where Forest Service fire trucks were located. As far as I could tell, the fire appeared pretty well contained when I continued down the mountain.

View of the fire coming over Kratka Ridge from Angeles Crest Highway before Vista.

View of the fire coming over Kratka Ridge from Angeles Crest Highway before Vista.

I find it hard to get a true sense of where a fire is in the forest from most reports I read. With that in mind, I highlighted the approximate location in the track map below from a hike I did along Kratka Ridge in 2015.

The fire appeared to be contained to the southern side of the ridge away from Angeles Crest Highway.

The fire appeared to be contained to the southern side of the ridge away from Angeles Crest Highway. Click on map to enlarge.

 

New Page Additions since January 2016

Below is a list of new and updated pages for this blog since January 2016.

My favorite hike in Angeles Forest this quarter was hike #3, my snowshoeing trek to Mt. Hillyer.

My favorite hike in Angeles Forest this quarter was hike #3, my snowshoeing trek to Mt. Hillyer.

Clicking on links below will open the page in a new tab so that it will be easier to follow links on those pages and still get back to this one.

Hiking Journal

New Hikes

Updated Hikes

New 52 Hike Challenge

Updated Peaks (also updated on My Peak Bagging Resume Page):

  • Mt. Hillyer, I added snow pictures and two new routes. One route starting from Angeles Crest Highway and another starting from Three Points forming a loop with a faint hiker’s trail.
  • Mt. Lowe, I added a new route starting from Eaton Saddle and going as far as Idlehour Campground.
  • Muir Peak, I added a new route starting from Upper Sunset Ridge.
  • San Gabriel Peak, I added a new loop route from Red Box.
  • Winston Peak, I added a new route that includes Cooper Canyon Falls

Updated Trail Photo Galleries:

New Reference Galleries