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Mt Clinton Trailwork, Mt Jackson
May 25-26, 2006

Route: Crawford Path, Mizpah Cutoff,
Webster Cliff Trail, Mt Clinton Trail
Map:
 
Elevation: Mizpah Springs Hut/Naumann Tentsite - 3800 ft
Mt Jackson - 4052 ft
Mt Clinton trailwork - 2850-3800 ft
Vertical Climb: 3649 ft
Distance: 11.0 miles
Who Went: Paul (solo)

Day 1

At the AMC 4000-Footer dinner and awards ceremony in April, at which Muffin received her 4000-Footer award, I decided to sign up to be an AMC volunteer trail adopter. There weren't a lot of trails to choose from. However, a few wilderness trails had just been added to list because the AMC had recently taken over their maintenance from the Forest Service. From this group, I chose the Mt Clinton Trail, partly because I had hiked a portion of it a few years ago, but also because I could use Mizpah Springs Hut or the Naumann Tentsite as a base from which to work.

My trailwork training wasn't scheduled until September, and until then, I wasn't supposed to do any drainage maintenance. I was just allowed to remove blowdowns and do a little trimming, but only in accordance with wilderness guidelines, meaning that I was only to remove blowdowns that were not easy to step over to walk under.

The hut wasn't yet open for the season, so I brought my tent and planned to stay at the Naumann Tentsite. This was actually a busy weekend at the huts because the weather had been stormy, and the helicopters were rushing to deliver all of the summer supplies to the huts, especially the tanks of propane (known to the AMC as propane bombs). In addition, Mizpah was hosting the croos from all of the huts for a final staff meeting before opening for the busy summer season.

I drove up in the morning, and then started up the Crawford Path after lunch, intending to set up my tent and take a quick hike to Mt Jackson before cooking supper. I figured I could then begin my trail work early the next morning.

The trail was fairly wet. Even Gibb's Falls, which are usually barely a trickle over the rocks, were cascading noisily down the ravine. After passing the Mizpah Cutoff junction, I began to see a few patches of snow on the ground. When I finally reached the campsite, the tent platforms were covered with about an inch of wet slush. I had to clear off a small area in which to set up my tent.

Mizpah Springs Hut sign near the Trailhead. This colorful sign is right above the junction with the Crawford Connector.

Gibb's Falls. This is the first time I've seen these falls look this good. Usually, when I see them, they're either a pathetically thin ribbon or are frozen solid.

Mizpah Cutoff junction. The Mizpah Cutoff soon levels off and the hiking gets much easier, although there are a few wet spots.

Helicopter at Mizpah Springs Hut. The weather had been wet, and the AMC was rushing to deliver all of this summer supplies, in this case, mostly propane.

Naumann Campsite sign. The campsite, which has several tent platforms, is in the woods just beyond the hut clearing.

My tent at Naumann Campsite. It had snowed the night before and I had to clear an area in which to set up my tent.

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