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 Post subject: Recon mission
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:23 pm
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Location: Howell Mt., Napa Valley
I'll be up in the Coast Range Sun-Wed. I'll be home through tomorrow night - leaving early Sun morning...
The plan is to drive up to Tomhead on Sunday, summit and return.
Then drive back to Redbluff, restock on supplies and rally up to the Mt. Linn TH.
Summit Mt. Linn on Monday and return the same day (long day :roll: ).
Tuesday and Wednesday are still open. Thinking Snow Mt.

Join us or wish us luck!

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Coastal Crest Snow Patrol
http://www.earnyourturns.com/3878/ccsp- ... mendocino/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDn6S5 ... frpoZ51OfA
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jibmaster/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:39 am 
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Location: in between
How did it go Jib.

Enough snow up there?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:45 pm 
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Location: Howell Mt., Napa Valley
The trip was good. Two new TH's discovered and lot's of cool 4wheelin' on ice and snow for miles...
Coyotes 100 ft. from camp. Cold.

We drove up to Tomhead Sunday morning and drove to within 30 min. walk to the summit. Barely any snow. The gate to the lookout tower kept us from summiting with the Jeep. We summited with all our ski gear and actually got to skin on two inches of consolidated snow for about 5 minutes. Excellent views from the summit of the entire Yolla Bolly wilderness. The lookout tower was locked. Lots of excellent terrain to ski once it gets filled in. The worst case scenario would be a 5 mile hike/skin to the summit. Definately coming back.

After summiting Tomhead, we drove back to Red Bluff and gassed up and headed for the locked gate 8 miles before the Mt. Linn TH. We were totally in the mindset of getting up early and trekking the whole way in from the locked gate.
--rewind--
We had checked out this TH several weeks ago and hiked in from the locked gate about 6 miles. I figured it was no more than 5 miles from there to the summit.
--fast forward--
So there we were driving up the road and anticipating the locked gate to be our camping spot for the night...the gate is open!!! :D
We rally on. Up and up and up. Soon the roads are totally snow covered and icy. Huge ponds of ice are on the road. Luckily the snow was only 3-6 inches deep. The Jeep takes it all in stride - rather slowly though, the 500 ft. drop is just to the left, at the end of the ice rink... :shock:

We are following one set of tire tracks in the snow. Either they made it or they are stuck up there. This is Sunday evening and we had seen three rednecks driving out with their motorcycles earlier. Why was the gate open?
We continue on. Thoughts of getting locked in and ending up on the news crossed our minds. We finally get to the turnoff to the TH. The road steepens and we decide to not press our luck with the Jeep and choose to skin the next two miles to the TH the next morning.

Due to lack of sleep the night before - about 3 hours - we woke up late and were skinning by 10:30. By 1pm we were about one mile from the summit and the terrain started to get a little too technical for my six month old ACL. I had forgotten my crampons - those would have saved the day. But being on the skis and not wanting to twist anything on an icy, sketch traverse, we turned back. Very dissapointing. It was good we did, because the ski down the super smooth fire road proved to be scary as hell. My leg wasn't holding up to the g-forces and lots of snow plowing ensued. Then the snowplowing got to be too much. I got down safely and was glad the day was as short as it was.


We camped out that night by the Jeep and we go awakened at 4am to 4 or 5 coyotes within 100 ft. of our tents. Makin' all kinds of noise. We had enough food lying around to feed all of them and then some :oops:

We were unsure whether or not we were going to get locked in. It was 8 miles back down to the locked gate. Or 34 miles around to the southern entrance. About 15 of which was snow covered. Storm coming in Tuesday night up there.
Not having planned for this scenario, we were unsure of how much gas it would take to drive down the 8 miles to find the gate locked and have to drive back the 8 miles to our camp and continue on through 15 more miles or more of sketch icy, snow covered roads 'till we finally got below snow line and into Paskenta.

Anyways, to make a long story short - we had half a bottle wine left. We were saving it for the gate. If it was open we would celebrate our good fortune. If it was locked, we were going to need it to rally the Jeep the long way home. We were worried that those tire tracks we saw - which never returned - controlled the gate had done a sweep at the end of the weekend and was doing the through loop and would return from Red Bluff to lock us in. :lol:

















THE GATE WAS OPEN!!!

We pounded the last of the cab and rolled into Redbluff and got some breakfast at noon at Etta's Cafe.

We stopped on the way back at the Mendocino National Forest headquaters in Willows, looking for any information about that damn gate.
I asked the lady at the front desk if she knew about the locked gate at Franklin Point and asked if they had any quad maps of the Yolla Bollys. She looks at me for a moment and then says I need to talk to Randy. Randy comes out and listens to my questions and then says, "Are you jibmaster?" :lol:
I guess I had spoken to him a few years ago and he remembered my postings on thebackcountry.net. He said everyone in the office and all the offices around were shocked that there was any activity during the winter in the Coast Range.
So Randy the Ranger is on the hunt for who controls the gate at Franklin Point. He's going to call the county, the local logging company, the BLM(his son works there), the fire dept, Caltrans etc. Go Randy Go! I should have given him a CCSP sticker!

So not much skiing, but excellent information. The recon mission was a success. Randy the Ranger is on our side. I'll be coming back to these TH's for sure. I got some pics - I'll work on that tomorrow.

Not much snow on Snow Mt. as seen from the 5. The Yolla Bollys were burried deep though, even on the southern faces. Pure white.

I might be up at Hull on Fri/Sat.

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Coastal Crest Snow Patrol
http://www.earnyourturns.com/3878/ccsp- ... mendocino/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDn6S5 ... frpoZ51OfA
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jibmaster/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:39 am 
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Location: in between
Right on Jib,
You're becomming a coast range ski legend. :D

Could only possibly get to Hull on Sunday this weekend. We'll get some turns once we get more snow and that knee heals up a little bit.

If it's clear and dry Sunday, wanna meet up at St. Helena for some rock climbing? Can the knee handle it? If not, you can belay all day. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:23 pm
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Location: Howell Mt., Napa Valley
Climbing sounds great. Yeah, that 'skiing' was a real wakeup call. I need to put my rehab on viagra, crank up the volume and get my fitness in turbo mode. Hiking/climbing is exactly what I need right now.
Lets do it.

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Coastal Crest Snow Patrol
http://www.earnyourturns.com/3878/ccsp- ... mendocino/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDn6S5 ... frpoZ51OfA
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jibmaster/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:19 pm 
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Location: Now Oaktowntastic
Thanks for the report, which is also a great read BTW. What inspires you about the Coast Range when Shasta, Lassen, and the Trinities are nearby? Not that exploration isn't fun in it's own right...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:28 pm 
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Location: Howell Mt., Napa Valley
One of the main reasons I like to ski there is that there is an almost zero chance of avalanches in the Coast Range. I have ten years experience of skiing in the Mendocino National Forest. I have never seen one. Sloughs - sure. But those are super easy to detect if they will happen.

I've always been dissapointed with the skiable options in the dead of winter on Lassen, Shasta etc. I get there and the danger is very real and I can't ski whatever I want - I like it STEEP. All my favorite slopes are in danger of sliding, it's stressfull if you do take that risk.
When skiing in the Coast Range all slopes are avy-free. The snow falls so wet and dense, no layers can build up. Thus the skiing all season is on corn. The snowpack is super firm. No postholing if you are hiking. Kicking in steps is still possible. Crampons rule here.

Only two reasons not to ski a slope in the Coast Range -

1. too early in the morning. The frozen slope needs to corn up. Check your aspects/wind direction. East first, then south, then west as the day progresses.
Hull is excellent for this. 360 degrees of aspects to choose from.

2. too late in the day. East facing slopes are shot and are now sloughing badly and you could easily get sloughed off a cliff. Depends on temps/wind/sun angle(time of year)

Any backcountry skier/boarder can easily detect when or when not to ski/ride a certain slope. That's elementary on this board.
Basically, it's stress free backcountry - no avalanches.

I also like to go to places where noone else goes. Makes for better reading! As much as I like to read the TR's of places like the 395 or whatever, I just have no strong desire to use all that gas money for skiing something so common. Hull is 3 hours/100 miles from my house, thus cheaper than driving to Tahoe.
I also think that driving through Sacramento and all that shit(apologies to those that live there) just ruins the backcountry experience. From my house heading north is all country. I see wildlife like elk, bald eagles, coyotes, deer, turkey, fox...the list goes on. The whole drive is chill and pleasant. Coyote, bear, and cat tracks are seen almost every time up in the snowy mountains of the Coast Range. I like it wild.
I can see the hills behind my house from Hull and Snow Mt. All it takes to check out the snow levels on those peaks is to hop on the mt. bike and take a 30 min stroll and I can see Hull and Snow Mt.

1st descents - it just feels so good!
The Mendocino National Forest contains over 1 million acres. One of the largest roadless(paved) areas in the lower 48. There is no winter exploration in this area. I have the place all to myself!

Wanna go? Join the Coastal Crest Snow Patrol for exploring new areas, or hook up to ski/ride some of the more explored areas. You won't regret it!

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http://www.earnyourturns.com/3878/ccsp- ... mendocino/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDn6S5 ... frpoZ51OfA
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jibmaster/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:30 pm 
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Sounds pretty great to me... I'd love to check it out sometime.

When I started getting into splitting one of my friends told me I should visit Snow Mountain. He doesn't ride or ski or anything but he had been driving offroad in the area. I dutifully checked the maps but thought the elevations were too low and that his head was up his a$$. Ooops - guess I was wrong about that one. Let me know next time you're planning an excursion and I'll give it a try for sure.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:10 pm 
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i have been wanting to check out Mendocino Pass on sleds, I dont think there is a gate, just snow. Just waiting for a big dump, just got a Burton S 168


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:33 pm 
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Location: Howell Mt., Napa Valley
Snow Mountain is the perfect candidate for a snowmachine. 30 miles of approach on fire roads. I've done it in the early winter - now would be good. But it has much deeper snow in the spring - if you can figure out when the roads have melted out close enough to the TH. You know, Shasta style.
http://thebackcountry.net/bb/viewtopic. ... highlight=

I've also spent time at Mendocino Pass. Anthony Peak and Black Butte are accessable from there out of Covelo(Round Valley).
http://thebackcountry.net/bb/viewtopic. ... highlight=
http://thebackcountry.net/bb/viewtopic. ... highlight=
Tons of wildlife at Mendocino Pass. I always feel more comfortable when certain members of the CCSP accompany me and are packin' some heat.
Big foot sightings have occured here (those wacky, drunk Indians!).

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Coastal Crest Snow Patrol
http://www.earnyourturns.com/3878/ccsp- ... mendocino/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDn6S5 ... frpoZ51OfA
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jibmaster/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:01 pm 
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is there blower pow on Mendo Pass if you hit on the right day? i saw some steep mini golf lines near Snow Basin/Plasket Meadows, but i would want pow to do them


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 10:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:23 pm
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Location: Howell Mt., Napa Valley
Remember last March? We had something like 44 days of rain with snow levels down to 2000'. There was powder in the Coast Range. It can happen. Just keep your eye on the snow levels. Usually, the snow falls around 4-5 thousand feet.

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Coastal Crest Snow Patrol
http://www.earnyourturns.com/3878/ccsp- ... mendocino/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDn6S5 ... frpoZ51OfA
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jibmaster/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:37 pm
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Location: in between
Jib gets out there way more than me, but I've found you gotta get there that day or at most the day after to get pow.

I've dissappointed myself many times thinking I was gonna get pow, but got death crust or hardpack.

Don't forget this backcountry.net classic.

http://www.thebackcountry.net/bb/viewtopic.php?t=138


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