PCT 1 - 11/12 - 11/20 Hitch #13 Silverwood Gnar 2, part 1

Over our three days off we headed up to Idyllwild to get a little relaxation time in the quaint little mountain town…and of course to visit our new friend and PCTA contact, Greg Baxter. The first night Greg hooked us up with the keys to the state park campground, which of course was closed because it was a Tuesday. Yes, in case you were wondering the California State Parks are closed Tuesdays through Thursdays. So we started the night off strong by doing the “Party Hard Challenge” (no explanation necessary…it speaks for itself).

The next two nights Tim, Kristen, Tony, and Matt stayed in the cutest, coziest cabins at the Idyllwild Inn relaxing, climbing, and cooking…a lot. Nate and Carolyn headed down the grade to meet up with Nate’s dad, Mike, who was flying in from Washington to work with us for a few days. The two yahoos took Mike to a climbing gym in Riverside and very intensely encouraged him up some killer 5.5 and 5.6 routes. Woooo! Go Nate’s dad!

…of course it rained on us as we left San Bernadino and headed up toward Silverwood Lake…we love setting up camp in the rain! We had such a long commute to work this tour; we had to walk about 200 hundred yards across the road from our campsite to our worksite. We wasted no time in jumping right into some intense rock work. There were enough rock projects to have multiple teams of two to three people working on different structures throughout the day

We cleared the corridor using a brush saw, loppers, and hand saws as well as redefined the tread, debermed and cut the back slope, and placed rock structures to help slow erosion stretching from Highway 138 near Silverwood Lake northbound about two and one half miles. We had a total of nine unique rock projects and one log out that we completed throughout the course of the hitch. We built 21 check steps, 3 retaining walls, 4 French drains to help slow erosion and one gigantic 3’ x 3’ x 3’ rock cairn. There were four different sets of down trees crossing the trail about 2.5 miles north of Highway 138, two of which required the use of our cross-cut saw, Eliza. All in all, we put in a lot of meticulous hard work to build outstanding structures that will last a very long time.