Official BALCH FEST Invite: Nov 16-17th

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Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 5, 2013 - 04:48pm PT
Matches are ineffective; use:



But, it's best not to post photos of the actual pruning work - people don't like to see that.
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 5, 2013 - 04:52pm PT
I agree Clint.

Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Nov 5, 2013 - 05:26pm PT
if it is manzanita, all you need is a pair of work gloves,

heat strained branches will snap like a dry twig in a stiff desert wind,

plus, the rangers won't catch you with implements of destruction,

and gloves make it easy to grab cougars by the tongue and swing them around,

Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 5, 2013 - 05:52pm PT

We need those guys from mid 50th who made controlled burn there.
JayBro could you call them up?

I believe the main one was at Oakdale the other weekend....

Hey Scuffy! You could come up after your sesh and I promise I could find you something your side in, to climb ( this time) on Sunday!
chill

climber
between the flat part and the blue wobbly thing
Nov 5, 2013 - 08:20pm PT
Alexey - you need to take a rack full of these:
Credit: chill
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 6, 2013 - 01:10am PT
Donutnational,

I sent you an email about Saturday. We could really use your help.
Did you get it?

Scott
doughnutnational

Gym climber
its nice here in the spring
Nov 6, 2013 - 09:30am PT
That is a defunct email. Call me at 417-2583 or I'll call Paul before Saturday.
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 6, 2013 - 11:01am PT
roger that
doughnutnational

Gym climber
its nice here in the spring
Nov 7, 2013 - 09:04pm PT
Before I commit to working on the trail i want to be assured that I wont be flamed like Joe Kinder if I cut some old growth poison oak. Barring that I plan to meet Paul and others at Trimmer on Saturday, tentatively at 7:30 am. I'm pretty sure it's not an exclusive party if others want to join.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Nov 8, 2013 - 02:01am PT
How "old growth" could the PO be?
The area was burned in the late 50s by the match folks,
and then it burned again in the late 80s / early 90s (before the later round of FAs).
To some people, the age of the plant doesn't matter, though....
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Nov 8, 2013 - 03:15am PT
don't shower for a few days before the hike so you get your skin oiled up a bit, plants will probably not have leaves this time of year, stems are more dangerous than leaves, carry water to rinse off if you brush up against a sprig,


there is also canyoneering in the same area if you are into that,
NF Kings should be low,

http://www.dankat.com/swhikes/nkings.htm

Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
Nov 8, 2013 - 03:40pm PT
Hey Dr. Sprock, you mention it periodically, so you must like the Jump Trip. Crazy stuff, hey?

I pioneered most of the canyoneering trips in that area, starting with the Jump Trip in 1985. Had no idea what I was getting into. Barry, of Barry's Resoles was a caving partner and natural partner for my first trips. We also canyoneered Dinkey Creek, before Phil Martin and I first kayaked the Dinkey Creek Waterfalls section. That is a very good canyoneering trip. Several sections of Dinkey are very interesting. Recently, I have been dropping down some of the side creeks into the NF Kings. Patterson Creek is worth doing.

After I introduced Leversee to canyoneering he went through from Wishon to Black Rock in the early 1990's, I think. About that time Leversee got his butt kicked in the Marble Fork of the Kaweah when the water was a bit too high. I finally went through the Marble Fork this summer at very low flows and highly recommend it. Super beautiful. But you need really low flows.

I am just spraying, but I am pretty proud of figuring that stuff out. It pleases me that these trips have become popular and that other people share my tastes.
Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
Nov 8, 2013 - 03:54pm PT
Old Growth Poison Oak

I do pretty well with poison oak these days, as I always clean up thoroughly after I am near it. I get a little bit most years, but not enough to drive me nuts. As long as the break out is a small enough area I can mentally ignore it.

About 1982, I got interested in a crack on the backside of a boulder on the Tollhouse Rd. There was a tree in the way, but I only had to remove one branch, maybe 4 inches in diameter. I forget how big the trunk was, but it was a full on tree, so maybe a foot in diameter. Somebody could go check and see how much I am exaggerating. I could not identify the tree, but it had a milky sap as I cut through it. I kept looking at the leaves wondering what kind of tree was similar to Poison Oak. I did not think it could be poison oak, because it was a tree.

I forget how the climbing was, but I sure remember the worst case of poison oak I ever had!
Rudbud

Gym climber
Grover Beach, CA
Nov 8, 2013 - 08:41pm PT
might go? im about 49% in.
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 10, 2013 - 07:05pm PT
Nice recon trip with Macronut, Donutnational and Paul Martzen. Paul and Kevin made it to the flake via a new bushwhak route up the falls and along the entire base, full on assault style while Adam and I cleaned up Jaybro's route a good bit following green tape till about the halfway point. We had four kids in the 6-10 year old range in tow so we stopped with plenty of daylight to spare.

We checked out the kirch Flat campsites and I'll be getting the large group site dialed in this week.

Here's some shots from the day to whet yall's whistles. The Fest is gonna rock. Sooooo much stone up there!

Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut

Credit: micronut

Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut
Credit: micronut

Credit: micronut
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Nov 10, 2013 - 08:28pm PT
Looks like fun!

Except of hours of bushwacking ;)

Have fun!
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Nov 10, 2013 - 08:52pm PT
Bummed I can't make it bump!

Looking forward to the pics, there better be lots!
AlexC

climber
Bay Area, CA
Nov 10, 2013 - 09:19pm PT
Linda Jarit and I and __ come on, you know who you are, speak up! (He took photos at zanderland once works for Nikon in the South Bay and whose name slips my mind. Sorry, man.) hiked in that way and it took as long as alexey's epic just to get to the top of the rappells- talk about overgrown!

That would have been me... and quite the bushwhack it was! I'll post a picture or two when I have access to my pictures on Tuesday evening.

Unfortunately I'm not in climbing shape, but I'd like to come out for the day on Saturday, to heckle if nothing else :)

Alex
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 11, 2013 - 01:35am PT
Alex! Ok I knew you were out here somewhere! That was a fun trip!!
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 11, 2013 - 02:45pm PT
Hooooweeee! Its upon us! The First Ever and Probably Not the Last Balch Fest Widestravaganza!

We spent the weekend getting the trail dialed in to Balch Camp Flake and the campsite figured out. Here's some beta.



1. I will be leaving Fresno at about 2:30 on Friday and will be arriving at KIRCH FLAT Campground at about 4:00-4:30, with daylight to spare to get things organized a bit. There will be a BALCH FEST sign at the campground and I drive a grey Toyota FJ with climber stickers on the back.



2. I am bringing all firewood for evening festivities



3. Adam and I are throwing the BBQ Saturday evening with succulent marinated chicken breasts, roasted veggies, pilaf and French bread with massive group s'mores for dessert. You are only responsible for your own drinks Saturday night. All paper and plastic ware will be provided.



4. All other camping gear and food is on your own for the weekend. The group site has tables, toilet and fire ring. BRING YOUR OWN CAMPCHAIR.



5. There is Poison oak in the area due to the low elevation. The trail is pretty clear, but contact may happen, since there are no leaves this time of year. We bushwhacked all day Saturday and aren't suffering, so we've done a good job prepping the approach. I'd recommend a new change of clothes each day, and a plastic bag to put your day end clothes in so you can wash them separately when you get home. New socks each day for sure. New pants and tshirt for each day and the drive home is better!



6. If you want to drive with me from Fresno on Friday, text me or call me.



7. Directions to Kirch Flat Campground. Can be GOOGLE EARTHED and PRINTED!

It is three or four miles BEFORE Balch Camp. The Parking area to the Flake Area for the climbing is 11.5 miles uphill from Kirch Flat Campground. The actual trail start is on the LEFT side of the road, 1/2 mile past a "SCENIC OVERLOOK". Its best to park downhill, a bit before the trail cut, as there isn't much of a shoulder right at the trail cut. There will be a small, Balch Camp Flake Sign by a cairn at the trail "head".



8. THERE IS NO CELL SERVICE shortly after Fresno, other than at one turn out near Kirch Flat that I can show you when we're there.



9. Basically, to get to Kirch Flat form Fresno area, take BELMONT AVE way out east past Fresno, merge onto TRIMMER SPRINGS Rd which will take you way on back along the west side of Pine Flat Lake all the way to Kirch Flat CG, which is immediately before the Kings River Crossing Bridge at the end of the lake. You can also take HWY 180 out of Fresno, to PIEDRA Rd, then turn RIGHT on TRIMMER SPRINGS when Piedra Dead Ends at the river at Winton Park.



10. To Get to Balch Camp Flake and Patterson Bluff from Kirch Flat (We'll mostly go together Saturday morning after coffee and donuts). You head up the road for a few minutes to the small "town" of Balch Camp, make a hard left across a bridge onto BLACK ROCK Rd, and follow that along a crazy cliff cut paved road that belongs in Nepal for about 7 miles. You might want to change your shorts after the drive. The drop offs are not for the faint of heart. You'll want a local guide for the hike in. Its about an hour, and is like something out of a Tolkein novel. Thank you Jaybro and Macronut for your trail work!



11. I'll be handing out some chicken scratch topos and some of the "locals" can show folks around some of the more roadside style areas other than The Flake. In the meantime, check out the "Patterson Bluff Online Guide" thread on Supertopo. It's a freakin bottomless pit of intel on this area.



12. The t-shirts are rad. I'm footing most of the cost, but if you want to give me ten bucks, I'll be stoked. If not, consider it my Balchcare Stimulus Packacge. An early Christmas gift if you're strapped.



Ok, I now have carpal tunnel from typing this monster. My cell number is (559)974-2662 call me or text me this week with any questions. And I'll see you there! Its gonna be a great weekend and the weather should be splitter!


See you in the hills.

Scott
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