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Rae Lakes loop: Upper Paradise Valley bridge damaged

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Re: Rae Lakes loop: Upper Paradise Valley bridge damaged

Postby Hobbes » Fri May 26, 2017 1:38 pm

Brian, if the Woods creek bridge is also damaged, maybe Adventure Alan's Baxter bypass might get some action:

http://highsierratopix.com/community/vi ... 8&p=116967

At what point do the PCTers give up and come back after the situation is a little more under control?



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Re: Rae Lakes loop: Upper Paradise Valley bridge damaged

Postby schmalz » Fri May 26, 2017 1:42 pm

Hobbes wrote:Brian, if the Woods creek bridge is also damaged, maybe Adventure Alan's Baxter bypass might get some action:

viewtopic.php?t=15598&p=116967

At what point do the PCTers give up and come back after the situation is a little more under control?


Tough call. In terms of snow travel, there's nowhere else to really skip to right now if you want to flip flop the trail. Waiting until the snow is gone is not an option if you want to get to Canada before October. Right now the Sierra might be easier than it will be in a few weeks because a) creeks aren't raging as much as they will be soon b) snow travel gets harder as the temps rise and the snow softens up.

I'm convinced that Northern Yosemite is the hardest stretch and people will be walking through deep snow there with swollen rivers no matter how they time it out.
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Re: Rae Lakes loop: Upper Paradise Valley bridge damaged

Postby Phiker » Fri May 26, 2017 2:21 pm

schmalz is right, here is the link from PCTA:

https://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail ... icant-way/

They also mention "temporary bridges" may be installed but no timeline for that...

https://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail ... -junction/
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Re: Rae Lakes loop: Upper Paradise Valley bridge damaged

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri May 26, 2017 8:57 pm

The Pacific Northwest has also received record snowfall. Just look at the Mt. Rainier web cam! I suppose you could skip the Sierra, then go through northern CA and Oregon, back to the Sierra, then Washington Cascades. CDT hikers have the same problem. Record snowfall in Wyoming along their route.

The Sierra melt has just started. More bridges could wash out in the next month. It would be a good idea to check any bridge before you cross. I would sure hate to be that "straw that broke the back" of a damaged bridge.
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Re: Rae Lakes loop: Upper Paradise Valley bridge damaged

Postby haus » Sun May 28, 2017 12:18 pm

Hobbes wrote:I would imagine anyone showing up to do the Rae lakes loop over the next 2 months should be prepared for an in/out up Bubbs. Only if, after checking with a ranger to get a current situational assessment, they seemed ok with the ford, then I would consider doing the full loop.


Thank you for that assessment. Rae Lakes is on our list for later in the summer, but even then I'm not sure those crossings are something we want to tackle given what I'm hearing so far and our level of experience. We'll be watching trail reports and following closely.
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Re: Rae Lakes loop: Upper Paradise Valley bridge damaged

Postby schmalz » Sun May 28, 2017 5:25 pm

It seems that the PCTA and possibly SEKI was possibly spreading some mis-information regarding the suspension bridge being out.

I have seen photographic evidence that indicates otherwise.
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Re: Rae Lakes loop: Upper Paradise Valley bridge damaged

Postby Langostino » Mon May 29, 2017 12:45 am

Just read a post from a PCT walker (John Colver) that news reports of damage to the Woods Creek suspension bridge are premature. He found it intact and in great condition! Wonder where that news originated?
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Re: Rae Lakes loop: Upper Paradise Valley bridge damaged

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon May 29, 2017 7:35 am

The bridge itself could be in good condition to the casual observer, but the footings may be under-cutting, other structural damage that is not that easily seen. Every day presents new conditions. Was the PCT hiker's observation before or after an observation from the NPS? OR was the NPS observation based on an overflight, not feet on the ground? Not enough information at this point to say one way or the other. The officials will often deem a structure unsafe before it actually becomes unusable.
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Re: Rae Lakes loop: Upper Paradise Valley bridge damaged

Postby Cross Country » Mon May 29, 2017 11:11 am

I crossed the log over the river several times. I can't imagine it's still there.
Probable the only time to do the complete Rae Lakes Loop should be late August or later.
Anyone doing it in the future better hope for a low snow year because I imagine there won't be any money to repaid any bridges in the wilderness for the next four years.
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Re: Rae Lakes loop: Upper Paradise Valley bridge damaged

Postby oncloudsrest » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:53 pm

Pfiker, in response to your question whether the park service will fix that bridge by early July, there is zero chance of that happening. They are dealing with higher priority issues resulting from this winters snowfall that is affecting more park visitors - landslides, damaged roads, downed trees, etc. I suspect they won't have that bridge fixed until next year earliest.

We have the same permit for Rae Lakes but it's not until late September and we are actually concerned the south fork may still have serious flow then. Early July?, as others mentioned go for a backup plan as soon as you can.

Good luck!
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