Newbie Alert: First time in the Silver Peak Wilderness

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dknapp1
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:09 am

Re: Newbie Alert: First time in the Silver Peak Wilderness

Post by dknapp1 »

If you are in a larger metropolitan area, there are often people who enjoy orienteering, and have classes and things like that.
For more info, use your favorite search engine or start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orienteering
David Knapp, Trail Crew Chief
Greg

Re: Newbie Alert: First time in the Silver Peak Wilderness

Post by Greg »

Hear, hear, Lori! You could not be more spot on.

One thing to consider when using a map is that sometimes MAPS LIE! Remember that when you use a map, you're looking at a man-made two dimensional rendering of a God-made three dimensional world. Also, while trails shown on some maps are meticulously drawn, such as on the USGS quads, other trails drawn on other maps are seemingly arbitrary lines swathed across some contours, if the map in question even shows contour lines. Even on the vaunted USGS quads, mistakes occur.

The best strategy for navigation in the wilderness is to use all the skills, experience and tools one has. Map - definitely. Compass - definitely. GPS - an excellent tool but not specifically necessary. Common sense and open eyes - mandatory. Our own sense and perception of the physical world is one of the best tools we have for navigation, especially when matched with a good map and compass, and knowledge of how to use them.

While working with a map and compass, always keep in mind the world you're actually looking at and apply that perception to your map to refine your location and position. Use prominent landmarks to triangulate your position not only on your map, but in relation to the real world you're experiencing in real time. Don't be a slave to the map; realize that the real world is constantly changing, and the theoretical world depicted on the map is frozen in time. If the map doesn't jibe with what you're seeing, you either think you're somewhere where you're actually not, or the map is just plain wrong: What you see is where you are.

SAR is composed of dedicated people like Lori who volunteer their time and energy to locate people in true distress. By combining our own intelligence, common sense, and experience with strong tools like a detailed map and quality compass, and the skills to use the tools, the likelihood of Lori and company searching for you on your next backcountry adventure diminishes significantly.

THIS lecture brought to you by someone who's been lost a few times himself.
lori
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:30 pm

Re: Newbie Alert: First time in the Silver Peak Wilderness

Post by lori »

supracuhz wrote:Wow, you guys just answered all my questions. Thanks a lot!
One more question, do you guys normally bring maps? If its not detailed or accurate enough, does a map really matter? I was taught to always carry a map - IN CASE - but it seems kind of useless :\
I started volunteering for Search and Rescue last year, and this comment made my hair stand on end.

You ideally would have a basic understanding of navigating with a compass and map - it reduces a lot of risk IF YOU KNOW HOW TO USE THEM. It would in no way be useless. It might prevent loss of life. People get lost ALL THE TIME in spite of the presence of clear trails -- people get turned around walking twenty-fifty feet out of a campground for whatever reason, and while the majority of those results in a few minutes of disorientation and a good laugh back at the car.... Every once in a while a SAR mission is on, just because the person wasn't paying attention and walked the wrong direction. Experienced backpackers for this reason will create a ten essentials pouch and keep it with them at all times - potty break, run to the creek, picking up firewood, everywhere!

Last fall I was hiking in Sequoia on a very, very popular trail that's often dayhiked. We ran across a couple of backpackers who were worried about their friend. They had stopped to filter water and let him know, he had walked on ahead - and they never saw him again. Worse, he had no map, no idea how to navigate with one, no compass. They met up with us on the trail and we hadn't seen him, either, and we were headed the other direction. I can only assume that he made it out because there was no newspaper article about him the following week. He could very easily have tripped over a rock, hurt himself, and died out there of exposure or dehydration, or both.

People rely on GPS units over maps - that is another mistake. Hikers who followed a GPS in a storm in an attempt to hurry back to the truck were airlifted off a ledge on the top of a mountain, because they did not look at the map and realize that the gradient was such that they would be quickly stranded if they went straight cross country.

This lecture brought to you by someone who feels very fortunate to have survived years of wandering on trails without incident despite ignorance of topographical maps and their use.... But I am now hyper-aware of how dangerous that can be. The Ventana is rugged and steep. Conditions can change rapidly. A map and compass class at REI should be one of the next purchases you make if you spend more time in the wilderness.

SAR like to be under-used. Don't make us come looking for you. 8-)
supracuhz
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Re: Newbie Alert: First time in the Silver Peak Wilderness

Post by supracuhz »

Thanks!

one more question


I'm gonna bring a lens.
12-24 or 28-75mm? (crop body, xsi)
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jbl
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Re: Newbie Alert: First time in the Silver Peak Wilderness

Post by jbl »

With respect to the original poster's question about bringing a map, it is always good practice to have one, especially in the Ventana/Silver Peak area where trails sometimes have some a way of disappearing. And although the Wilderness Press map identified in my first response isn't perfect, it's depiction of the Cruikshank and Buckeye trails is reasonably accurate and it is topographical with UTM and degree measurements for cross-references to a GPS if you've got one.

I'd be surprised if anyone was at Buckeye midweek at this time of year.

Please do provide a trail report as I haven't seen any reporting since the October and December storms.
bigsurbob
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:54 am

Re: Newbie Alert: First time in the Silver Peak Wilderness

Post by bigsurbob »

Just a fire permit. Parking is free for that trailhead. You can pick up that fire permit at the Big Sur Station or :

http://fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinterne ... n%20Passes
supracuhz
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Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:53 pm

Re: Newbie Alert: First time in the Silver Peak Wilderness

Post by supracuhz »

jbl wrote:Welcome to the area.

With respect to parking, the trailhead is at or near Monterey County mile marker 6.55 on Highway 1 and there is plenty of room to park on either side of Highway 1 at that spot.
permit or passes necessary?
supracuhz
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Re: Newbie Alert: First time in the Silver Peak Wilderness

Post by supracuhz »

Wow, you guys just answered all my questions. Thanks a lot!
One more question, do you guys normally bring maps? If its not detailed or accurate enough, does a map really matter? I was taught to always carry a map - IN CASE - but it seems kind of useless :\

I might consider the Buckeye camp. I'm going midweek so I hope it wont be too populated; if not we can just traverse back somewhere more quiet.
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mikesplain
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Re: Newbie Alert: First time in the Silver Peak Wilderness

Post by mikesplain »

In that particularl area-
Upper Cruikshank Camp & Lion Den Springs Camps get a good deal of sun,
Silver Creek Camp getes partial sun;
Buckeye is definitely the nicest camp, but also the most popular.
A CA campfire permit is all that's required for backcountry camping.
For detailed maps, you'll need the USGS topographic quadrangles-
I *think* that area is covered by the Villa Creek quad,
maybe a little bit of Cape San Martin to the north
& Burro Mountain to the south???
I don't know of any map that accurately depicts the Silver Peak Wilderness trails,
but the topos will give you the lay of the land
& a compass or GPS will ensure that you stay on course.
Please submit trail reports when you return!
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dknapp1
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Re: Newbie Alert: First time in the Silver Peak Wilderness

Post by dknapp1 »

Looks like you accidently dropped the last half of the question about rules. What rule information were you looking for?
If it was fires, Boon just posted a link that has the campfire restrictions lifted, but you still need a permit.

dbk
David Knapp, Trail Crew Chief
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