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Finding the Mt Manuel Trail

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Re: Finding the Mt Manuel Trail

Postby Gonehiking on Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:32 am

The missing tread portion before Launtz was my favorite part..I would loop it over the nice limestone outcropping...the trail along the drainage in the redwoods before camp is great.. Getting back out there is going to be nuts, it will be a jungle for sure...
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Re: Finding the Mt Manuel Trail

Postby jack_glendening on Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:43 pm

Having foot problems, I'm not sure I'll ever get out there again. So for anyone interested in going along the Mt Manuel Trail between Launtz Creek Camp and Vado Camp I've now put on-line my findings of known and possible tread, rockwork, cuts, and cairns. The waypoint names indicate what is at each point and I've used different symbols to differentiate the "known" from "possible" findings. Hopefully this will prove useful to someone. This GPX file is located at

http://bigsurtrailmap.net/TRAILS/MTMANU ... =Known.gpx

Jack

PS: the points were taken on different hikes so, for example, "tread" locations may differ slightly due to GPS error.
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Re: Finding the Mt Manuel Trail

Postby jack_glendening on Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:21 am

Jean

After finding that stretch paralleling the creek I had great hopes for connecting it along an upper leg, as shown on Shaffer's map. That is what led to my many subsequent hikes trying to locate some evidence of where the trail lay there. But I could find nothing - no cuts, old tread, or rockwork. And that detailed acquaintance made me appreciate how steep and highly erodible sections of it are - which is why nothing remains and why the trail became "lost" long ago despite it being relatively accessible from the Scout Reservation.

I could not see any connecting route where I thought a decent trail could be established, i.e. one which would not take a lot of maintenance. So I decided that it was better to simply drop down to Launtz Creek Camp from the point where the trail lies above the camp, ala the trail down to Ventana Camp from the Pine Ridge Trail. The average slope there is smaller than in the "missing" section and the soil much better suited to holding a tread. So I flagged a zig-zag route down to the camp there and that is what I used in subsequent hikes.

Jack
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Re: Finding the Mt Manuel Trail

Postby jbl on Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:54 am

Jack: thanks, as always your attention to detail goes above and beyond. I very distinctly remember our December '15 adventure, and it truly was an adventure, especially once we got to the end of the visible track/trail on our way to Launtz Camp and then started exploring up and down the sidehill and down into that main drainage for any sign of a continuation (which we never really found). And then after we'd gotten to Launtz Camp, the excitement of discovering that cut track just after we left camp on our return trip which got us nearly back up to the level where the track/trail was (did you ever figure out who did that? it was pretty impressive).
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Re: Finding the Mt Manuel Trail

Postby jdoelman on Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:00 am

Wow ! Eleven hikes and counting. It seems like if we went to Launtz today we would encounter hillsides covered with fresh growth after the fire. I would anticipate great difficulty finding the trail in any area where tread was poor. It seems like it would have been a lot easier to follow the trail prior to this springs growth, and it will get much more difficult as brush recovers from the fire.
Regarding the trail from Vado south, that trail will have seen little/no traffic since before the 2008 fire. It will be and adventure to be sure.

As Boon says, "brush never sleeps".
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Finding the Mt Manuel Trail

Postby jack_glendening on Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:51 pm

In a previous thread
http://www.ventanawild.org/forums/trail ... 85?p=10517
Jean LeBlanc wanted to see an animated map of the hikes done to "find" the now-lost north end of the Mt Manuel Trail, one of which he - and Roger Beaudoin and Jesse Cude - went on.

So I've provided one looping through all 11 hikes - his is #4 (darker green). On #6 (purple) I finally made it to Vado Camp, with Gene Anderson. For me the most memorable one is #2 (orange), when Paul Danielson and I slogged our way through brush to reach Launtz Creek Camp. after having to abort our first hike because it was more difficult and time-consuming than we'd imagined.

http://bigsurtrailmap.net/TRAILS/MTMANU ... erlay.html

But the strongest memories come not from the hiking but from the resulting stories. #1: the thrill of finding a survey tree sign. showing we were actually on the previous trail route (since tread was non-existent). #1: trailing after Paul as he mysteriously follows a deer trail, even though it goes the wrong way (down instead of up). #2: encountering a lost couple camping along Launtz Ridge, far from water (the wife was _not_ a "happy camper"). #2: Paul literally unable to move, stuck while trying to push through the "apex of brushiness" #7: hearing a cry from a bewildered Wayne, far from any traveled trail and I thought far from any other hikers. #10: seeing old ribbons from my second hike still marking the route to Launtz Camp, now much more open. #11: finding Paul's "Ventana Trails Forever" card stuck in the Launtz Creek Camp grate, left there on our first visit.

Jack
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