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BCHC Mid Valley Unit

Kibbie Ridge Trail Clearing

We cleared just under 100 fallen trees from the trail to Kibbie Ridge on a long weekend (July 8 - 11), 2011.
All photos courtesy of Dennis Serpa.
You may jump to the newsletter article below the pictures.

Trail sign - Kibbie Ridge

01) Here we go!

Trail marker - Styx Pass

02) Styx Pass

Man on horseback, two pack mules

03) Doc Brooks on call!

Man on horseback, three pack mules

04) Carl and string - packin out

Cowboy on a horse


Mule with pack boxes

06) Blacky with tools of the trade

Cherry lake from a ridge

07) looking back at Cherry lake

Trail sign - Kibbie Lake

08) On to Kibbie Lake

Two men using a log as a lever

09) Big Jim McCabe lending leverage to job

Men cutting a downed tree


Crew of 7 with cross-cut saws

11) Happy crew after clearing a few logs, makes you feel goood!

Four-man crew prying a fallen tree

12) We cut the log in two to enable moving

Crew using grip hoist on fallen tree

13) Photo 12, different angle

Crew using grip hoist on fallen tree

14) The log keeps moving

Man in jeans standing on cleared trail

15) Trail now open

Two men in cowboy hats hooking griphoist to tree

16) Hooking up the griphoist

Man using griphoist

17) Using leverage

Man using griphoist

18) Saving the saw

Man in cowboy hat looking into Dutch oven

19) Checking the dessert

Group of men around campfire

20) Trick of light makes Ron look like an angel. He is, but the earthly kind.

People camping in the high Sierra


Men using cross-cut saw


Sache Springs cabin

23) Sache Springs cabin - end of trip

Kibbie Ridge Trail Clearing

by Dennis Serpa

On Friday, August 8, 2012, nine Mid Valley members packed up 13 head and started up the Kibbie Ridge trail. We made camp about a half mile into the Emigrant Wilderness. We had camp set up by 2pm so we decided to go back and clear up to the wilderness boundary with the chainsaw. We cut through 20 downed trees. [Ed. Note: USFS regulations forbid using motors inside a wilderness area, even if they are as small as a chainsaw and the cause is as worthy as ours.]

On Saturday we started up the trail with three crosscut saws and three members of the Stanislaus Wilderness Volunteers. The 12 of us made for quite a trail crew, sawing, brushing and tossing off logs that didn't need sawing.

What we were up against is what I would like to call "pickup sticks"; they reminded me of the toys we used to play with, but these sticks were anywhere from 6 to 30 inches in diameter. There had been a fire in this area many years ago and the logs were really piled up.

I was amazed by how our two crews sawed through those logs and made sawdust out of them. We just kept jumping ahead as each crew cleared the logs, and by the end of the day we had cleared nearly 70 logs.

Then back to camp and the cool creek baths. Our dinner was Dutch oven tamale pie and apple cobbler. On Sunday morning, after giving thanks for being able to get out of bed, we continued up the trail. This day was a lot easier as the terrain changed to a more typical trail work, with logs being more scattered; but the brush was thick.

We were planning to knock off early, then ride up to Sache springs cabin to survey the trail and find a campsite for the August project. But, we came across a huge log blocking the trail with large rocks on either side giving us nowhere to roll it. So, out came the grip hoist. {Ed note: something like a large come-along.] We cut the log into two pieces and were able to pull both of them up on top of the rocks. The grip hoist again proved to be invaluable at a place where nothing else would work!

We were still able to make the cabin and survey the area, but we didn't get back to camp until 6pm. Our Dutch oven dinner of country spare ribs and potatoes with berry cobbler was served by lantern light and enjoyed by all, including our SWV partners.

The full crew included Carl and Julie Perry, Dan Prine, Gary Cain, Ernie Warzyca, Dennis Weatherington, Bob Cooper, Loretta and I. Those coming to help for the day were Devin Nelson, Don Butler, Vicki Morales, Steve Tucker, and Doug Decker. The SW Volunteers were Jim McCabe, Ron Davenport, and Dick Chimenti. Four of our crew were new to the trail clearing project and were also new members and I believe they have proven to be true assets to Mid Valley.

A big thanks to all involved!
Dennis Serpa

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Backcountry Horsemen of California - Mid Valley Unit
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Modesto CA 95353-1709

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