Tevis Trail Maintenance Report
Watson Monument through the Granite Chief Wilderness Area vicinity of Tevis Milepost 14.5 to 19 — Tuesday, July 17, 2012 Tahoe National Forest
by Robert H. Sydnor, Engineering Geologist
AERC Trail Master & Tevis Trail Maintenance Crew
The Tevis Trail Maintenance Crew carpooled from Auburn, assembled in Squaw Valley, then began work at the historic Watson Monument.
The six-person Tevis Trail Maintenance Crew included: Michael Shackelford (Trail Crew Boss), Phyllis Keller (deputy leader), Austin Violette, Rob Habel, Zachary Brankline, and Robert H. Sydnor. The team included two AERC Trail Masters.
Phyllis Keller (M-AERC), resides with her husband Bryce Keller (retired CDF Battalion Chief) in Truckee, and is a highly-experienced rider in the Robie Park — Squaw Valley — Truckee area. Her knowledge was valuable for cleverly navigating the complicated network of unmarked jeep roads used in the summertime for ski-lift repair and installation of new ski-lifts. Phyllis Keller has faithfully and diligently served for many years on the Tevis Trail Crew, particularly in the eastern 36 mile-segment from Robie Park to Robinson Flat.
We were able to adroitly ascend on steep gravel roads in a 4-wheel drive truck to a ski-lift terminal that is above High Camp, and only one-half mile from the summit of Emigrant Pass. We parked the truck at about elevation 8,400 feet, and quickly hiked to the Watson Monument at elevation 8,675 feet. During our trail work, we would drop more than 1,100 feet, then return and hike back out over Emigrant Pass.
It was about 68°F with a brisk steady wind at 10 to 15 m.p.h., with bright sunshine and intermittent cumulus clouds; alpine visibility about 40 miles. We used sunblock for ultraviolet protection at high altitude.
The six-person Tevis Trail Maintenance Crew carried three long-handled loppers, hand-held hedge- trimmers, a bow-rake, a machete for chopping brush, and hand-held cross-cut saws.
Hand-Held Trail Tools for the Granite Chief Wilderness Area
Gas-powered engines are not allowed in the wilderness area, so that precluded weed-eaters, high- reach pole-saws, and chainsaws for fallen trees.
U.S. Forest Service officer Mary Sullivan of the American River Ranger District (in Foresthill), Tahoe National Forest, generously lent us a cross-cut saw.
The focus of our work was to improve lateral and vertical clearance for our horses, and to ascertain that there were no newly-fallen trees across the Tevis Trail. Minimal work was performed on the trail-bed.
We carried our daypacks with ample water and lunches, plus an AERC Trail Master carried a "wilderness" First-Aid Kit (that is considerably larger and more specialized than a "standard" First-Aid Kit).
The Tevis Trail Crew paused briefly at the summit of Emigrant Pass to pay homage to the pioneer sheriff Robert Montgomery Watson, who marked this historic route in September 1931...
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