To Hell and Back again…

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    • #1458
      Hikin Jim
      Participant

      I took a trip to a little known and seldom visited part of the SGW last week.  Here’s my trip report:

      To Hell and Back again…
      http://hikinjim.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-road-to-hell-is-paved-with-weather.html

      HJ

    • #1464
      chris in redlands
      Participant

      Great writeup, and looked like quite an adventure!

      That balloon couldn’t have picked a more challenging place to land, except if it had landed higher up in that drainage!

      Thanks for the post and the pictures.

      Did you happen to record a tracklog? Sharing that would probably help anyone else who might plan to head up there to look around for the equipment.

       

      Chris

      • #1465
        Hikin Jim
        Participant

        Chris,

        Good idea.  I ran out of time, but when I get a chance, I will update my post to include notes for those who might want to continue my search.

        HJ

    • #1472
      Hikin Jim
      Participant

      I have updated my post to include topo maps and a GPS track of the balloon plotted onto Google Earth.    Also included are photos of the balloon, parachute, and payload.

      HJ

    • #1473
      chris in redlands
      Participant

      Hey! That’s great!

      I had assumed you’d started in from the Whitewater Preserve, but seeing now that you started from Mission Creek, it makes total sense! Smart move.

      I’ve made my way to Walthier Landing via the wash starting at the trout ponds and it’s a lot of work.

      Now I have to go check out that old road. The wilderness up there is remote, and far from established trails. Looking forward to trying out this more reasonable ingress to it, though I don’t know if I’ll be following your route to look for that balloon! Ha! I know that terrain…We’re not great friends. 🙂

       

      Thanks again for sharing.

       

      • #1475
        Hikin Jim
        Participant

        Oh, yeah, going up the riverbed is no fun.  Here’s were studying the map before starting really paid off.  The old road is a way better way to get back in there.

        You can tell that some people are using the old road as a trail; there’s a discernible foot path.  It’s generally followable although when you reach the saddle at the head of Catclaw Flat, where the road divides, the branch to the right is barely followable.  The branch to the right is the one to take to get up river.

        If you look at my “Notes for Potential Searchers” section, you’ll see that I don’t recommend my route up Stairmaster Ridge to get back into the Hell For Sure drainage.  It was a reasonable first scouting route, but, based on that scouting, there’s a better route up the ridge immediately west of the falls.  The west ridge route is shorter and has less gain.

        HJ

      • #1477
        chris in redlands
        Participant

        I’ll give it a more thorough read. Sounds like I might have to look for that balloon and it’s cargo after all! Ha! Gonna be heating up in that area soon though. Wonder how long that equipment will last out there…

      • #1479
        Hikin Jim
        Participant

        The young man had a Grandpa who I suspect was an engineer or something of that ilk.  This was a pretty thorough going job.  Grade school kids don’t launch weather balloons that ascend to 70,000′ without, oh, just a little help.  The electronics package looked pretty professional and was well padded.  I suspect that it will remain in good condition for some time (assuming that the box survived landing, which I suspect it did).

        HJ

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