17, Issue 9
PEAK TRAIL REROUTE
group posing with the new sign
teamwork to remove a fallen tree from the trail
in the dirt
shot of Dave shovelling
21-September 4, 2011
Report by Jose Witt, Photos by Kurt Kuznieki
Getting to the summit of Griffith Peak is a bit easier
thanks to a partnership with the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club and non-profit
group, Friends of Nevada Wilderness. From August 21st through September
4th club members joined Forest Service employees, Student Conservation
Association interns, and fellow volunteers in rerouting the trail that
leads up to Griffith’s Peak, from the South Loop Trail. The project
was supported with funding from REI which helped pay for tools, food and
other items needed to get the project done.
The project consisted of three main parts. First was
the rerouting of the trail that leaves from the Griffith saddle that used
to follow the ridgeline directly to the summit. Two switchbacks were installed
to ease the grade as well as improve the terrain of the trail. The remainder
of the trail was widened and water bars, natural barriers that improve
the flow of water off the trail, were installed along the entirety of
the trail to the summit. Now that the trail is a designated Forest Service
trail, the Forest Service may work to improve the trail further as well
as maintain it as needed.
The second part of the project restored a user-created
route that heads directly through a meadow from Harris Springs Road, an
important habitat area for the rare and endemic Mt. Charleston Blue Butterfly.
Unfortunately hikers randomly go through the meadow stomping on the delicate
high altitude plants that already have a short season due to snow cover
most of the year. Hopes are that with the improved trail, hikers coming
in from Harris Spring Road will follow the trail around to the South Loop
Trail and follow the designated trail up.
In the final stages of the project, volunteers collected
seeds from three different plants that the butterfly uses as a larval
host and nectar plant. The seeds were then formed into seed balls and
planted on the sections of the old trail that will no longer be used,
with hopes that the rare butterfly has a better chance of increasing its
packing up water and supplies
The project went on for two weeks straight. With no water
readily available, a horse packer was hired to deliver over 200 gallons
of water to the campsite at 10,000 feet. Many volunteers camped out with
the crew at a campsite surrounded by bristlecone pines that had great
views of the Las Vegas valley, Kyle Canyon and Mummy Mountain, so the
next time you are hiking Griffith Peak, take note of the new way up and
thank your fellow club members for helping take care of our cherished
For an RJ article on the event go to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/crew-wraps-up-work-on-new-trail-to-griffith-peak-129249168.html
If you have any questions about this project or interested
in volunteering in other events, contact Jose with Friends of Nevada Wilderness
loading up gear
MONTHLY BIO FEATURE
Where were you born?
How long have you lived in Las Vegas?
Since October 1983, wow does time fly.
What is your occupation?
How long have you been an LVMC member?
Several years. I don't remember when I first
signed up. It was a while back. You guys might have that information.
I have memory issues.
What is your favorite hike/climb?
I used to enjoy a solo hike on Mt. Charleston.
I had a stroke in July 2010 which has barred me from hiking solo anymore.
I now like to do things like hunt for airplane crash sites. I enjoy
the historical significance, and reading the FOIA reports. I recently
did a great hunt last weekend and we found two planes that collided
in the 1950s. I don't want to publicly detail that hike, since we
were in an area where we were officially not supposed to be.
What is the most challenging hike/climb you have done?
Mt. Kilimanjaro in September, 2006
How did you get into hiking/climbing?
Back in the 1980's I always looked at the mountains
and wanted to explore them further. At the time there were not many
people around I knew of who hiked, so the majority of my hiking was
very limited. I recall hiking on the old South Loop and hiking Cathedral
Rock back then, but nothing much beyond the newbie stuff. I have pictures
of my kids when they were very little in the mountains and now they
are in their twenties (my youngest is 14 and summitted White Mountain
in California when he was eight). I would bribe my kids by bringing
cookies in my backpack and giving him a cookie if he could reach a
certain point higher up. Otherwise I would not give kids junk food,
but on hikes I would. Therefore, the children became willing hikers.
I think parents have a duty to take their kids into the wilderness,
or they will grow up and trash it.
I recall I took a friend of
my older son onto Trail Canyon when he was 14. He had NEVER been in
the wilderness. I recall his look of amazement at the area around
Trail Canyon. He sighed and said "I had no idea". He lived
in Vegas all that time and had not been into the trails of the Spring
Mountains. It's too bad our schools don't promote field trips into
the Spring Mountains. Then they wonder why people vandalize Red Rock.
What are your hobbies other than hiking/climbing?
I am still a work in progress. I am a bit of a workaholic so many
thing have taken a back seat to me catching up on my duties. I blog
too much about politics on Facebook. I am trying to get back into
running, but due to some residual stroke issues I am hurting my knee
when I start doing too much distance. I used to rollerblade a lot
which was also hampered by the stroke, and need to start skating again.
I love to cook, but with most of the kids out of the nest I don't
do that much anymore. I like camping and push it to the point of "glamping".
We even bring the kitchen sink! I have so many great friendships because
of hiking, I am very fortunate.
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