Destruction on ROA - 3/19/16

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
Post Reply
User avatar
Bosterson
Posts: 2016
Joined: May 18th, 2009, 3:17 pm
Location: Portland

Destruction on ROA - 3/19/16

Post by Bosterson » March 20th, 2016, 2:01 pm

Ben and I were out doing some off trail nonsense but decided to descend ROA. I haven't seen anything mentioned about this previously, but the lower part of the trail was absolutely obliterated by the recent winter storms.

Here's the bottom of Devil's Backbone:

Image

Right below that, before you start going down the hillside again:

Image

Below this on the hillside:

Image

Looking over towards the Horsetail Creek drainage, you can see that swaths of the forest were snapped like toothpicks:

Image

There are large additional blowdowns almost all the way to the top of Ponytail Falls. Unfortunately, with the ROA Arch on Google maps :evil:, now that the trail is gone, tons of people are tromping all over the hillside, creating lots of new eroded paths every which way.

Image

Image

This is clearly unsustainable, as those paths are going to turn into the same kind of highly eroded chutes that you find cutting between switchbacks on lower Munra. This is a non-maintained trail (note: the "not maintained" sign at the bottom is now missing...), but it's clear that trails like ROA and Munra are not going to get less popular in an age of Google Maps and Instagram hashtags, and the vast majority of the new people visiting these places will be less experienced and have less respect for the surrounding foliage. If reducing impact is a priority, it seems like maybe the Forest Service needs to step in to permanently adopt and maintain these trails? I will be sad to lose Munra to the crowds (though realistically this has already happened), but things can't go on as they currently are.
Will hike off trail for fun.

User avatar
Peder
Posts: 3397
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: Lake Oswego

Re: Destruction on ROA - 3/19/16

Post by Peder » March 20th, 2016, 5:29 pm

:( That is indeed not good news Nat!
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

User avatar
BurnsideBob
Posts: 397
Joined: May 6th, 2014, 3:15 pm
Location: Mount Angel, Oregon

Re: Destruction on ROA - 3/19/16

Post by BurnsideBob » March 21st, 2016, 7:52 am

If reducing impact is a priority, it seems like maybe the Forest Service needs to step in to permanently adopt and maintain these trails?
I agree--they are the agency with management responsibility for the resource. But probably they have neither personnel nor funding.

Do you think the added challenge of blowdown impedes or invigorates the #instagram crowd??

Thanks for your report.
I keep making protein shakes but they always turn out like margaritas.

User avatar
Bosterson
Posts: 2016
Joined: May 18th, 2009, 3:17 pm
Location: Portland

Re: Destruction on ROA - 3/19/16

Post by Bosterson » March 22nd, 2016, 10:30 am

BurnsideBob wrote: Do you think the added challenge of blowdown impedes or invigorates the #instagram crowd??
Maybe both. About half of it is above the arch, and I don't think the #hashtag crowd goes past the arch. However, the lower stuff definitely obliterated the trail, which is leading people to go straight up the hillside. As each slippery user trail/chute thins out, people will move over and create a new one next to it (like on Munra). I'm sure some people will be deterred by the blowdown, as it forces them to go off trail into the foliage, but we saw a couple of groups on the hillside above us who looked extremely out of their element (no packs, breaks after every couple of steps) yet were still diligently climbing towards the arch.

I keep putting in requests to have the arch removed from Google maps. Realistically, both the ROA and Munra trails should probably be removed from the Field Guide to reduce impact if the Forest Service is not willing or able to adopt them.
Will hike off trail for fun.

User avatar
Eric Peterson
Posts: 4082
Joined: May 11th, 2009, 5:39 am
Location: Oregon
Contact:

Re: Destruction on ROA - 3/19/16

Post by Eric Peterson » March 27th, 2016, 7:46 pm

Ugh, wonder what the old RJ looks like - might have to check it out could be a fun little OT styler now!

User avatar
kepPNW
Posts: 6365
Joined: June 21st, 2012, 9:55 am
Location: Salmon Creek

Re: Destruction on ROA - 3/19/16

Post by kepPNW » April 3rd, 2016, 7:13 am

Bosterson wrote:
BurnsideBob wrote: Do you think the added challenge of blowdown impedes or invigorates the #instagram crowd??
Maybe both. About half of it is above the arch, and I don't think the #hashtag crowd goes past the arch. However, the lower stuff definitely obliterated the trail, which is leading people to go straight up the hillside. As each slippery user trail/chute thins out, people will move over and create a new one next to it (like on Munra). I'm sure some people will be deterred by the blowdown, as it forces them to go off trail into the foliage, but we saw a couple of groups on the hillside above us who looked extremely out of their element (no packs, breaks after every couple of steps) yet were still diligently climbing towards the arch.

I keep putting in requests to have the arch removed from Google maps. Realistically, both the ROA and Munra trails should probably be removed from the Field Guide to reduce impact if the Forest Service is not willing or able to adopt them.
The #InstagramEffect in action...
  • Image
The demo here doesn't skew anything near that, so I'd suggest this (in large part) exculpates the FG.
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

(Photos · PortlandHikers)

Lurch
Posts: 1259
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Aurora
Contact:

Re: Destruction on ROA - 3/19/16

Post by Lurch » April 3rd, 2016, 2:15 pm

kepPNW wrote:The demo here doesn't skew anything near that, so I'd suggest this (in large part) exculpates the FG.
The demo in the forum doesn't skew that way... I'm still curious about the analytics on the fieldguide itself and it's traffic load, sources, and demographics

User avatar
kepPNW
Posts: 6365
Joined: June 21st, 2012, 9:55 am
Location: Salmon Creek

Re: Destruction on ROA - 3/19/16

Post by kepPNW » April 4th, 2016, 6:04 am

Lurch wrote:
kepPNW wrote:The demo here doesn't skew anything near that, so I'd suggest this (in large part) exculpates the FG.
The demo in the forum doesn't skew that way... I'm still curious about the analytics on the fieldguide itself and it's traffic load, sources, and demographics
It'd be fun to pick through, yeah. Today's contribution to Bosterson's cause...
  • Image
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

(Photos · PortlandHikers)

User avatar
Chip Down
Posts: 1866
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Destruction on ROA - 3/19/16

Post by Chip Down » April 9th, 2016, 12:01 am

Yikes. Took my first trip up there today, and found it to be similar to Munra in that even if you want to do the right thing and stay on trail, it's damn hard, because some of the alternate routes look to be the natural way to go at first, until you get a little higher and realize they're not.

Still messy between arch and backbone, but after backbone it's lovely, really nice clean fun trail in very good condition.
Eric Peterson wrote:Ugh, wonder what the old RJ looks like - might have to check it out could be a fun little OT styler now!
It's in great shape. Slightly tricky to spot the junction, if you don't know what to watch for. That was my turnaround point today, and I nearly went right by it.
Attachments
RoAarrow.jpg
I don't think this is making a difference.

Post Reply