Adventure Projects is hiring an Android engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Mountain Project Logo

Mission Gorge Blaze


Original Post
Mannamedstan Smith · · Carpinteria, CA · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 35

Any idea of how the crag is affected? Fire looks to be more on the Middle Earth side of things.

MonikaM. · · san diego, ca · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 35

I agree. My friend may try to go out tonight to inspect. But I am also concerned about long term implications, ie soil erosion once the rains hit. If there is significant damage to the plant life, whos roots help hold in the soil, there could be significant issues with trail maintenance.

Lou Cerutti · · Carlsbad, California · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 209

When was the fire?

ColinM · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 50

Today. Can't tell much from the shots they show, but it sounds sizable enough to affect the climbing area. 10news.com/news/crews-battl…

Chris Norwood · · San Diego, CA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 80

I was up at the cliffs climbing with a friend on Sunday afternoon and saw the fire, well within the first 5 minutes of it starting. We called it in and watched as the wind quickly stoked the fire from an area of less than a hundred sq. feet into many acres within minutes. Before the first helicopters arrived, the blaze had flames probably 20 ft tall, quickly approaching the south side of the climbers approach trail. It is insane how fast the fire grew, and I speculate that the likely culprit was probably a tossed cigarette butt, as the fire began very close to a trailhead by the road. The fire crews seemed to get it under control rather quickly (by the evening), all things considered. Pretty insane to watch how fast it grew, and as we watched with morbid fascination, I definitely had my concerns that it might damage the cliffs. After we got down from the trail and drove out the loop, I passed the main entrance again and the flames were pretty damn close to the edge of Middle Earth, but I haven't been back to check anything out there yet.

Be careful out there guys!!!! (and stomp your butts away from dry brush!!! [just speculation, but justified imo])

MonikaM. · · san diego, ca · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 35
Chris Norwood wrote: Be careful out there guys!!!! (and stomp your butts away from dry brush!!! [just speculation, but justified imo])


It astonishes me to find cigarette butts at all along trails and other areas of wilderness.

Disgusting, careless, attitudes are nastier than the smoking habit itself. >:(
MonikaM. · · san diego, ca · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 35
mtrp.org/news.asp?idno=254625 https://www.mtrp.org/news.asp?idno=254625

"there will be no access to the following trail heads: Climbers Loop and Kwaay Paay, and the north portion of the Oak Grove Loop until further notice."
Michael Colby · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 15

Well that sucks. Thanks Monika for the update.

Mannamedstan Smith · · Carpinteria, CA · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 35

Thanks for the play by play and updates.

Although I don't climb at the Gorge as much as other SD cliffs, I would be super bummed if Middle Earth was charred. I have no outstanding projects over there, but it could change the climbing scene around the county if access is disrupted. And, one of my personal favorites (Black Rider) maybe the first to be damaged.

Seems like fires leave the rock more brittle. I blew a hold free soloing yesterday at Cougar Crag, it looked a little charred and there was a roasted stump at the base, but the hold didn't flex, sound hollow or seem suspect until it popped. It was low and I was fine, but still a fan of solid granite.

Maybe this will scuff up the polish? Any ideas to the effect on rock quality?

Michael Colby · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 15

I don't know about how it affects the rock quality, but I did drive by this morning on my way to work. It looks like the fire did make it pretty close to the lower climbs of Middle Earth (Black Rider/Easy Rider). Also, you can clearly see the climbers loop trail now as all the vegetation is burnt. More than likely the biggest concern will be mudslides when this epic El Niño comes.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 310
Mannamedstan wrote: Maybe this will scuff up the polish? Any ideas to the effect on rock quality?
Ever notice why you dont find nice knobby boulders in the chaparal?
Or in hot burn areas, like Black Mt.?

FIRE

About 12 years ago up around Kern at Elephant Knob, a fire burned all the dead trees and cow brush and the live trees too.... the whole surface pealed away, the holds were lying on the ground, the bolts were sticking out of the stone and most could be pulled by hand. I reckon the place will be climbale in about 150 years.

I don't think that thin grass fires will do this kind damage. I hope your place is ok and the dumb rules about closing a place off due to fire damage stop. Its really amazing to get out the next day and see how the landscape returns.
Lou Cerutti · · Carlsbad, California · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 209

Thanks for the kind words Guy. It's been quite the week for our local areas between the accidents at Tahquitz, the fence at Riverside Quarry and the Gorge fire.

Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 215
Chris Norwood wrote:I was up at the cliffs climbing with a friend on Sunday afternoon and saw the fire, well within the first 5 minutes of it starting. We called it in and watched as the wind quickly stoked the fire from an area of less than a hundred sq. feet into many acres within minutes. Before the first helicopters arrived, the blaze had flames probably 20 ft tall, quickly approaching the south side of the climbers approach trail. It is insane how fast the fire grew, and I speculate that the likely culprit was probably a tossed cigarette butt, as the fire began very close to a trailhead by the road. The fire crews seemed to get it under control rather quickly (by the evening), all things considered. Pretty insane to watch how fast it grew, and as we watched with morbid fascination, I definitely had my concerns that it might damage the cliffs. After we got down from the trail and drove out the loop, I passed the main entrance again and the flames were pretty damn close to the edge of Middle Earth, but I haven't been back to check anything out there yet. Be careful out there guys!!!! (and stomp your butts away from dry brush!!! [just speculation, but justified imo])
Saw it start, called it in??? Sounds pretty damn fish to me Chris :)
I think you were just trying to burn off the over growth to make access to the rock easier. Hows your schedule for the Fall? Interested in doing El Cap? Glad to hear you are getting out. I'm heading up Angeles Crest tomorrow for a day of climbing, lets try and get together soon.
Mannamedstan Smith · · Carpinteria, CA · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 35

I got ansy and called the office. She said the flames went over the cliff. There are loose boulders falling as a result, so they are sending a team to evaluate whats the next step. She also said tomorrow afternoon they hope to have a reopen date for the loop.

MonikaM. · · san diego, ca · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 35
twitter.com/missiontralsprk…
Climber's Trail open, one side only
wing thing · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 80
Mission Trails Regional Park after the fire. Burn area closed down climbing from Middle Earth to Limbo area. This is a picture of the affected area. Only the Main Wall is open for climbing.
Mannamedstan Smith · · Carpinteria, CA · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 35

Couple pitches around the Gorge this morning, great day for climbing, and a few parties out, most classics were occupied per usual. Things are far from the same though, lots of climbs are dirtier than I remember them and the landscape is half of how Mars appears.

Limbo post burn

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply to "Mission Gorge Blaze"
in the Southern California

Log In to Reply