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BALDY - Archive of Mt. Baldy-related discussions
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bcrowell



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:58 am    Post subject: Re: Arrows  Reply with quote

RichardK wrote:
The arrows are the product of some idiot hiker. The Icehouse Canyon trail was similarly marked a few years ago with white and orange stripes. Volunteers removed a lot of those tags with electric Dewalt wire brushes, but remnants remain. It's tough to get rid of paint.


I would be interested in getting together a group to try to undo the damage. A lot of the arrows are on small rocks, and I have already turned some of those over so the arrows didn't show. Most of the rest are on rocks that are larger but could still be flipped with a crowbar. I only recall a few cases where the arrows were on huge boulders. These were mostly in the talus field at the foot of the bowl. If you know the people who own the electric brushes, maybe those could be done that way. Or as a less complete fix, they could be painted over with gray paint.

Some dates I could do are Oct. 2, 9, or 29.
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RichardK



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Arrows Reply with quote

bcrowell wrote:
I would be interested in getting together a group to try to undo the damage..


I would love to join you, but I moved to Florida last year. I will always have a place in my heart for the Mt. Baldy trails. Dewalt is a line of battery powered construction tools. They are common on construction sites, but probably are not owned by many individuals. One of the businesses that rent construction equipment may have them available.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Arrows Reply with quote

I tried to learn more about the Icehouse Canyon vandalism. This blog post seems to suggest it happened around 2007-8. This post has photos of what it looked like in 2010. This discussion makes it sounds like it was still there in 2012. I couldn't find any info on who cleaned it up or when. It would be interesting to talk to them.

Anyone else interested in getting together a work party to clean up the yellow arrows, say on Oct. 29?

I'm putting out feelers to people I know through Sierra Mountaineering Club and SCMA.
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bcrowell



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:32 pm    Post subject: permission Reply with quote

The trail is partly in the San Bernardino National Forest and partly in the Angeles National Forest, but SBNF tells me that ANF manages the whole trail. I talked to the district office in Glendora, and they suggested I talk to an ANF person named Freddie Duncan, basically to make sure that there wasn't already some other group planning to do this cleanup. (There is a "trail builders" group or organization, and I guess groups like the Sierra Club often do this sort of thing.) I left a voice mail for Duncan.

I also came across this meetup group, which seems to be active on this sort of stuff, so I applied to join. It's run by someone named Kim Carroll, and I noticed that Freddie Duncan also seems to participate on a volunteer basis.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders might have some equipment that could be brought to bear.  I know they've done some trail work in Icehouse Canyon recently, so they do get over to the Baldy area even though their main focus appears to be Crystal Lake and surrounds.

Fred, who used to post here, works with the SGMTB and might be a good contact.  I'm going to shoot him a message.

HJ
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:10 am    Post subject: Trailbuilders Reply with quote

Excellent, thanks, Hikin Jim! The person I spoke with at ANF also mentioned that group.

I've been looking at info online about wire brushes. If I'm understanding correctly, the wire brush isn't a whole separate tool, it's just a drill bit attachment that goes in a regular drill. The brushes are fairly cheap, about $7. But we would need to buy or borrow an electric drill, presumably one with a lot of torque and long battery life. These seem to run about $80-$400, and I would guess it's the high-end ones that would have enough battery life for our task.
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SGMTBs



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:09 am    Post subject: I will see if we can get crews in there to clean that up Reply with quote

Greetings, Fred from the Trailbuilders -- thanks, Jim, for letting us know about this problem on Facebook.

Let me see if we can get crews in there with Kover Kote and paint brushes to cover up the spray paint that remains, we will need to see if we have volunteers who are willing to brave this heat.

Does anyone have GPS coordinates for the start of and the end of the spray painted arrows? Usually if we can get GPS, we can bring up Google Earth and plan for trail maintenance as well as spray paint mitigation.

The material we use is Kover Kote, when it dries it looks like natural rock, it's got a rough surface and it blends in so it's not as ugly and annoying as other methods of covering up spray paint usually are.

If anyone plans to hike up any time soon (like next weekend, October 1st or 2nd) and would like to cover it up with Kover Kote, would you please email me at fred@sgmtrailbuilders.org and I will bring Kover Kote to you along with a paint brush?  All you must do is add 50% water and the mortar mix / ash / finely-ground gray paint flakes mixes well and an be applied easily.

If not, we'll try to get crews in there and get it done.

Fred@SGMTrailbuilders.Org
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed wrote:
The wonder is that they could have done it without being seen and rebuked, the traffic there is so heavy.  I would like to think they were clueless and unaware how objectionable it is, but some degree of covertness seems likely.


Crying or Very sad A lot of times people do see it being done but they don't feel empowered to speak up and condemn or stop the person. It is usually done by someone who is not a long-time hiker who feels insecure and uncomfortable hiking, even with friends, so they spray paint the way they went so they feel safe knowing how to get back down, usually with a "background story" running in their heads about how they're helping other hikers stay safe and not get lost by their act of "charity."

This problem has been studied, there are academic research papers, clinical studies of people who have been cited for doing this, the people who do it really do think they're being helpful.

When one year there was the 100 mile endurance run, someone spray painted numbers on boulders and trees, we're not sure if they were mile markers for the person's use or whether they were used to station photographers, but whatever the motivation for that was, it also was not malicious, the person probably thought they were being helpful.

Some of the studies I read years ago found that even some of the people who had been cited for doing this had read Leave No Trace and agreed with it.  Mad
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bcrowell



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:15 pm    Post subject: kover kote Reply with quote

[cross-posting my email to Fred]

> Does anyone have GPS coordinates for the start of and the end of the spray painted arrows? Usually if we can get GPS, we can bring up Google Earth and plan for trail maintenance as well as spray paint mitigation.

I haven't worked out GPS coordinates, but it's on the section of trail that starts from the summit of Baldy and runs down along the Ski Hut trail to the rubble field at the bottom of the bowl.

> If anyone plans to hike up any time soon (like next weekend, October 1st or 2nd) and would like to cover it up with Kover Kote, would you please email me at fred@sgmtrailbuilders.org and I will bring Kover Kote to you along with a paint brush?  All you must do is add 50% water and the mortar mix / ash / finely-ground gray paint flakes mixes well and an be applied easily.

That sounds super easy. I had been working on organizing a group to do the work Oct. 29. However, if it's really as simple a one-man job as you're describing, I could go out and do it either this Friday, Sep. 30, or Sunday, Oct. 2. Since I haven't got experience doing this kind of thing, I want to make sure we're accurately estimating the amount of labor. It's a huge amount of paint -- I would estimate 20-30 yellow arrows spray-painted on rocks, along a long section of trail. In your experience, do you think I could get that done solo in a day?

If you think it's going to be more work than that, then we might want to do it Oct 29. I already have four volunteers for that date.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:41 pm    Post subject: Ah, thank you Reply with quote

Thanks, Ben, I got your message via email and replied. If you and maybe some of your hiking  friends want to attack that annoying spray paint, absolutely that would be epic times 12, I'll bring you a bucket of Kover Kote if you want to have enough material to last and want to cover spray paint where you find it, or I can bring you a smaller container with more than enough material to cover 20 or 30 arrows. I'll also bring paint brushes and 3 coffee cans if you have people enough to use them.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGMTBs wrote:
A lot of times people do see it being done but they don't feel empowered to speak up and condemn or stop the person. It is usually done by someone who is not a long-time hiker who feels insecure and uncomfortable hiking, even with friends, so they spray paint the way they went so they feel safe knowing how to get back down, usually with a "background story" running in their heads about how they're helping other hikers stay safe and not get lost by their act of "charity."


When similar graffiti appeared on the Icehouse Canyon trail, it seemed to be high up on trees and rocks, and the speculation was that the people did it so that they could go there in winter and not get lost because the trail was covered with snow. However, this new graffiti on the Ski Hut trail is almost all low down near the ground.

I ran into a guy once lower down on the Ski Hut trail who did seem to have embodied the kind of insecure/rationalizing psychology you're describing. This was at the spot where you leave the road and start up that steep hillside, with switchbacks leading up to the metal trail register. He had a pick axe in his hand and had just finished widening the switchbacks. He was very indignant because he'd complained to the forest service about how the switchbacks were narrow, and he perceived them as dangerous, but the forest service hadn't done anything about it. So he decided that for other people's safety, he needed to go out there and widen it. It wasn't actually disfiguring the landscape like the spray painters have been doing, but it was totally unnecessary IMO, since the foot tread was plenty wide enough to walk up safely if you watched your feet.

And it's true that I didn't feel empowered to tell him he'd done something unnecessary. He had already done it, it wasn't that horrific anyway, and I didn't really take the time to stop and process it mentally, because we were just passing each other on the trail.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fred Rice is going to drop off some Kover Kote at my house during the week, and I'm going to go up this weekend and see if I can just get all the arrows covered in one day of solo work. It sounds like a lot less hand labor than using a wire brush, and Fred thinks it sounds reasonable to try to knock it off as a one-day solo project. I'll see how it goes. I have three other people who volunteered to help on Oct. 29, and if it turns out that I can't do everything, I may still ask them to come help me on that date as well. I've also sent an email to Freddie Duncan at the Forest Service to see if he thinks there are any objections to this plan.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Confused  Yeah, the widening of switch backs, there are actually training classes that are expected before people are asked to volunteer for serious trail work, people get in trouble doing trail work without training or spending time getting details of erosion and other best practices from joining trained groups.

It's why there are trail boss training sessions going on. People want to help, which is good.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Fred,

Thanks for jumping in and helping out.

HJ
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hikin_Jim wrote:
Hi, Fred, Thanks for jumping in and helping out.
HJ


No problem! We delivered the Kover Kote about an hour ago.  Smile  Driving the 57 freeway is almost as difficult as hiking up and down Ski Hut.  Smile

If we get informed about trail problems and spray paint, it gets fixed faster than calling the Forest Service.  Smile  Some times.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a couple of drills with two batteries each and some wire brush attachments. When are you going to attempt the cleanup?
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JeffH wrote:
I have a couple of drills with two batteries each and some wire brush attachments. When are you going to attempt the cleanup?


Thanks for the offer, but I ended up doing it today with Kover Kote. I obscured all the yellow arrows I could find (42 of them). There may be some that I've missed. If anyone sees any that I missed, please email me with GPS coordinates and I'll take care of them.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Ben. Well done Sir.  Cool
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome. Kudos for getting this done.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:02 am    Post subject: Thank you Reply with quote

You have done a great service for the hiking community. Thank you!
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lye works wonders on some colors of spray paint. I've seen it lift silver paint off like with was watercolors, but it had no effect on black or red. Might be worth a try. As far as the environment goes it's pretty benign if neutralized with some muriatic acid. The reaction of the two produces salt water.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:10 am    Post subject: missed arrows, new graffiti, wire brush with goof-off Reply with quote

A few more recent notes...

I was hiking downhill when I did the kover kote, so I missed about four of the yellow arrows that were on the downhill-facing sides of rocks.

Within the last month or so, someone has done a couple of really unsightly new graffitis. These are big hearts done with white spray paint and initials inside. Both face uphill on the Ski Hut trail. One is on a huge boulder at the bottom of the bowl, the other on a tree near the bottom of the trail where it starts at the road.

I ran into an old hiking friend, Ed Nemeth, on this trail Saturday. He was out doing stuff with S&R, and it turns out he also does some trail maintenance. He doesn't like kover kote because it can look bad. He has access to a wire brush, and he likes to use it with a spray-on solvent called goof-off. He says that combo of techniques makes it pretty efficient to get off graffiti, and the results look better. However, it won't work for the tree.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen sandpaper work wonders on bark, or even a file. In a pinch I've used a very sharp knife to carefully scrape the graffiti off without leaving a visible mark.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:12 am    Post subject: Video Footage of Mt. Baldy that's not Avalanche/SAR-Related Reply with quote

"Turkey Shoot Ridge" skiing clip on Baldy from Feb. 10, 2017.  Toward the end of the short clip there's a promo for This Is Baldy: The Movie, coming out in the Fall of 2017.  Does anyone know anything more about the movie?

Intriguing documentary chronicling the five years that the late great Leonard Cohen spent living in humble abodes at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center, circa mid-to-late 1990s.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great shot looking out toward the ocean as they are riding up the lift, around the 4:10 mark.
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