Trans-Kalmiopsis Route

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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ghsmith76
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Trans-Kalmiopsis Route

Post by ghsmith76 » November 26th, 2017, 8:54 am

When looking for a Winter/Spring backpacking trip I tend to look south. I did the Wild Rogue Loop in May of 2015 which turned out to be a great Spring backpacking trip. Now I have come across the Trans-Kalmiopsis Route which appears to be another trail system that is just now recovering from the Biscuit fire in 2002. However, I am concerned that this area has taken another hit from the Chetco Fire this year. Anyone have any feedback on this area? The
Siskiyou Mountain Club has definitely been working hard in this area, http://www.siskiyoumountainclub.org/wil ... escription
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drm
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Re: Trans-Kalmiopsis Route

Post by drm » November 30th, 2017, 11:35 am

I doubt anybody has even had the chance to get in there and see what conditions are yet. I bet locals there are just as curious as we are about Gorge trails.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Trans-Kalmiopsis Route

Post by VanMarmot » November 30th, 2017, 7:09 pm

The Kalmiopsis was hit HARD by the Chetco Fire. It burned over a lot of the same ground as the Biscuit Fire. The Siskiyou Mountain Club - bless them - have a lot of work to do to just recover the trails they just got through fixing over the last few years.

The Trans-K is a tough trail - much tougher than the Rogue River Trail - even when it's in good condition. One key issue is that you have to cross the Chetco (no bridges) which may be hard/impossible at Spring high water or if it rains.

A cautionary tale: June 2017 rescue

I'm certainly not trying to dissuade you from giving the Trans-K a try; just offering some perspective.
Last edited by VanMarmot on December 1st, 2017, 7:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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retired jerry
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Re: Trans-Kalmiopsis Route

Post by retired jerry » November 30th, 2017, 7:54 pm

"It burned over a lot of the same ground as the Biscuit Fire"

Maybe the idea that our problems with forest fires are totally because of past over use of fire suppression is overly simplistic.

The Biscuit Fire is a large fire even though portions were recently burned

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VanMarmot
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Re: Trans-Kalmiopsis Route

Post by VanMarmot » December 1st, 2017, 7:07 am

retired jerry wrote:
Maybe the idea that our problems with forest fires are totally because of past over use of fire suppression is overly simplistic.
The question is what would have happened in the Kalmiopsis if we hadn't been suppressing natural (lightning) fires for 100+ years? Would we have had a Biscuit Fire? It's speculation, but I don't think we would have. It seems to me that the Kalmiopsis was there - with lots of live trees and not 500,000+ acres of burned snags - for eons before we started fooling with its fire regime. Once we did that, we made possible much more severe outcomes from natural fires than had occurred in the past.
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ghsmith76
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Re: Trans-Kalmiopsis Route

Post by ghsmith76 » December 1st, 2017, 4:24 pm

Thanks for your feedback. I just received my Thumb Drive of all the maps of the Kalmiopsis, Wild Rogue, Soda Mountain, Red Buttes, Siskiyou, Grassy Knob and Sky Lakes Wilderness Areas thanks to becoming a member of the Siskiyou Mountain Club. I may not be able to do the Trans-Kalmiopsis Route but @aussiebrook and I will definitely put together some sort of multi-day trip in Southern Oregon this Spring.
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Re: Trans-Kalmiopsis Route

Post by Webfoot » December 1st, 2017, 9:35 pm

retired jerry wrote: Maybe the idea that our problems with forest fires are totally because of past over use of fire suppression is overly simplistic.
Who is saying this? Didn't fire suppression policy start largely because of massive fires?

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retired jerry
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Re: Trans-Kalmiopsis Route

Post by retired jerry » December 2nd, 2017, 6:30 am

I heard a story on Oregon Public radio. The google has failed me in finding it or something similar.

Ponderosa Pine forests are unhealthy because of past fire suppression resulting in more brush on the ground. A healthy forest has spread out trees with little ground growth. This would be east of cascades and much of the Rocky Mountains. Nationally, this is a major factor.

Not so for forests on the west side of cascades including the Columbia Gorge. Because there's a lot of rain, brush quickly grows back after a fire.

The Eagle Creek fire was so bad because of the long dry season. This will be worse in the future because summers are getting warmer. There was a similar fire 100 (?) years ago.

Also, the interface between city and forest. We keep building closer to the forest. There needs to be a buffer, and buildings need to be fire proof.

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retired jerry
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Re: Trans-Kalmiopsis Route

Post by retired jerry » December 2nd, 2017, 7:47 am

Here's an article that talks about it a little

http://registerguard.com/rg/opinion/359 ... s.html.csp

"In Oregon, it’s a tale of two sides: east and west.

There is increasing public understanding of the role of active forest management in the dry, fire-adapted forests of Eastern and Southwest Oregon. These are forests that historically saw frequent low-intensity fire that took out the underbrush while the thick-barked Ponderosa pines survived. But by suppressing fire, we have not allowed it to function naturally, causing forest density to increase to unnatural, unhealthy conditions.


In Oregon’s moist west-side forests, there’s not the consensus that forest restoration efforts are necessary — but this is a false conclusion. Even in our lush fir, hemlock, spruce and cedar forests of the Cascade and Coast ranges, fire has played a historic role. To ignore this role and simply let nature take its course is a pathway to peril."


They say there isn't consensus that forest restoration efforts are necessary.

I think maybe they have a pro logging perspective which explains "but this is a false conclusion"


"Today’s mega-wildfires are the result of multiple influences. Many of these are human-­caused, including a century of aggressive fire suppression accompanied by discontinued active management of national forests, development near forests and climate change."

I think they're talking nation wide for which past fire suppression is a major factor.

But also human development next to forests and the fact that it's getting warmer are also major factors.

I think we should in general not fight fires on federal forest land but don't think that will magically solve everything. Focus on the interface between forest and development. Accept that fires will get worse. Maybe some areas that are currently forested will no longer support that type of forest.

Also, reduce the amount of fossil fuels we burn.

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Re: Trans-Kalmiopsis Route

Post by drm » December 2nd, 2017, 4:03 pm

I went to the "After the Fire" event in Hood River a couple of days ago. There were parallel events in Portland and Troutdale. One of the presenters said that normal fire frequency in wet western forests was 1-3 centuries, so this person claimed that modern fire suppression has had no effect on the forest structure and that in fact we probably couldn't have any effect. He said eastern forests burn every 5-15 years without suppression so we've had extreme impacts there.

But I wonder how Kalmiopsis fits into this. It's western and gets a lot of rain, but summers are so hot and dry there that I'm not sure his "western forest" description applies.

One thing many presenters said: post-fire salvage logging has no ecological benefit, it is an economic activity to salvage economic value from timber.

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