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Author Topic: Castle to Red Byrd  (Read 632 times)

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kymyers

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Castle to Red Byrd
« on: March 18, 2017, 08:48:38 AM »

The trip report to Castle Arch sparked my thoughts.  Am now planning to try for Red Byrd from the ridgetop behind Castle.  Any one on the forum have current information on conditions, etc...?  Everything I can find is at least a couple of years old.
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thedayhascome

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Re: Castle to Red Byrd
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 09:39:11 AM »

When I visited Castle Arch, my intentions were to head towards Red Byrd for my first trip out there. However, I was by myself and have never been, so I decided to head to Copperas to a more established trail. Same findings from my research, nothing new posted and everything that I've seen recently states that the user trail somewhat dissipates as you leave Castle Arch along the ridge, however you do pick up the old forest service road and some 4x4 trails to eventually connect with the Risner Cemetery. From my understanding, that trek is bushwhacking, scrambling over blowdowns and relying on topos and GPS to head north and locate the arch. It sounds fairly straightforward, just not a significant trail leading to Red Byrd from the cemetery, so may take a little additional time.

I'm actually planning a trip and intend to go to Red Byrd from Castle Arch within the next 1-2 weeks. If anyone is interested in a group outing, I would love to join.

Perhaps someone has recently been and can provide a better update?
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bluemkiii

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Re: Castle to Red Byrd
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2017, 12:36:58 PM »

I've hiked the castle arch to red Byrd route twice in the last couple of years. This last time the "trail" was much easier to follow.  Someone has tied pink ribbon to trees you can follow fairly well.  That being said I wouldn't feel comfortable trying that one with out gps.  At least getting to the cemetery route finding can be a bit confusing.  It's not a bad hike, just bring some safety glasses so you don't take too many tree limbs to the face.
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KYhiker40

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Re: Castle to Red Byrd
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2017, 07:15:51 PM »

I've seen a lot of these pink ribbons off trail lately.  Probably the same person I'd bet.
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Mark W

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Re: Castle to Red Byrd
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2017, 09:45:18 AM »

I've seen a lot of these pink ribbons off trail lately.  Probably the same person I'd bet.

Not to play ethics police or anything, but what are everyone's thoughts about flagging user trails in designated wilderness areas?

Personally, the idea turns my stomach and the action is completely at odds with Wilderness values as outlined in the Wildernrss Act, which is one of the most beautiful pieces of legislation ever written.

Especially in the days of GPS and smartphones, cluttering up the forest with pink ribbon seems tacky and unnecessary at best.

Thoughts?
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ShifuCareaga

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Re: Castle to Red Byrd
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2017, 09:54:16 AM »

human lives > the need to avoid tackiness.
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laurelwanderer

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Re: Castle to Red Byrd
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2017, 10:25:41 AM »

I agree that with gps now it should be easy to get around and not much of a need for the ribbons.

On my last 2 visits to the rrg, down Copperas Creek and SCC, I noticed that there was notches in the trees at almost every intersection of a point of interest.  It made finding Copperas Falls and several of the arches a breeze. Same sort of notch was down SCC as well. I don't imagine the marks were made by the FS.

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Mark W

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Re: Castle to Red Byrd
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2017, 10:40:02 AM »

human lives > the need to avoid tackiness.

I agree.

However, I don't see how pink ribbons marking a user trail saves lives. Fatalities from getting lost in the RRG and dying of exposure, starvation, etc. are virtually unheard of. If anything, I think flagging a user trail (especially one that might require scrambling) tempts people to follow a trail that might be beyond their ability.
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RCKT_RCCN

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Re: Castle to Red Byrd
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2017, 11:09:18 AM »

I agree.

However, I don't see how pink ribbons marking a user trail saves lives. Fatalities from getting lost in the RRG and dying of exposure, starvation, etc. are virtually unheard of. If anything, I think flagging a user trail (especially one that might require scrambling) tempts people to follow a trail that might be beyond their ability.

I agree with Mark on this last part. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people take off on the trails at the gorge ill-prepared for the terrain or conditions and ill-equipped to get themselves back to their car if they should get turned around, which is quite easy to do. Any time I see a person with one of those FS paper maps I make sure to stop and help them.

You can't do anything about notched trees, however, if we encounter those ribbons, should they come down??
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 11:10:52 AM by RCKT_RCCN »
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Mark W

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Re: Castle to Red Byrd
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2017, 12:33:03 PM »

I agree.

However, I don't see how pink ribbons marking a user trail saves lives. Fatalities from getting lost in the RRG and dying of exposure, starvation, etc. are virtually unheard of. If anything, I think flagging a user trail (especially one that might require scrambling) tempts people to follow a trail that might be beyond their ability.
You can't do anything about notched trees, however, if we encounter those ribbons, should they come down??

The way I look at it, the ribbons are simply "litter with a purpose" -- but litter nonetheless -- and should be treated as such. It seems a bit contradictory to support Leave No Trace in regard to trash such as candy bar wrappers and beer cans, but be OK with unsightly fluorescent ribbons flagging user trails in wilderness areas.
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Bazinga

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Re: Castle to Red Byrd
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2017, 09:22:50 PM »

Funny ya'll talking bout the ribbons.  Found some new pink ones on Tarr Ridge (sadly many of those have dissappeared  ;) ). 
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wsp_scott

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Re: Castle to Red Byrd
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2017, 09:01:41 AM »

I tend to pull flags when I see them, it is just more garbage to carry out with me.
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bluemkiii

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Re: Castle to Red Byrd
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2017, 04:10:44 PM »

I'm still split on the ribbons.  They do detract from some of the adventure of finding the route yourself and yes, technically are litter.  However, in heavy tree canopy with my older model gps the ribbons have come in handy a couple of times.  I have wondered though if someone were to set ribbons but not get to planned destination themselves, are they really going to take down the bad makers? Like copying homework from a kid that had no idea what they were doing. Lol
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Bazinga

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Re: Castle to Red Byrd
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2017, 08:51:57 AM »

Some of the lesser used paths (not a huge trail, but a well defined path) have markers and I always think...if you need markers to follow the path, should you really be out here?

But the folks that chop on the trees, what are they thinking?  They're just slowly killing the trees.  :'(
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wsp_scott

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Re: Castle to Red Byrd
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2017, 10:08:42 AM »

I just pulled some garbage out of trees yesterday on the Douglas Trail. This was the part of the trail before the turnoff to Eagle Falls. Who needs a flag for that trail?

P.S. the gorge was more full than I have ever seen it. There were about 30 cars along the road near the canoe launch and I passed a ton of people on the Douglas Trail. I was the one with the 3 small kids if we passed you :)
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