A new season is nearly here so once again here are the basics and reminders for driving in the Ghost River Valley and this is your thread for road conditions this winter.
As in previous seasons, lets keep road conditions in one thread. Once again I'll summarize the access situation and pertinent pointers for both a reminder and for climbers not familiar with the area.
Access to #39 is relatively status quo. It's important to note that driving up to #39 is year round but then you're supposed to park and walk from there until 1-December. At that time it will be legal to drive back to Claw Creek until the seasonal access closes on 31-March.Keep this in mind when posting road conditions. While I welcome reports posted on road conditions observed on foot, nobody is allowed to drive back there until December so please make it clear you didn't drive when posting before December.
Formal access is officially unchanged. For the more specific access related thread see here -> >> Ghost Access Information Etc. <<
That thread is about legal access not approach beta. For access related discussion, look in the forum list for Ghost Access regs - discuss here
Nobody wants to damage vehicles in there including AESRD so avoiding busted oil pans or other fluids spilled is a good thing to protect access. In the meantime it is still recommended that driving into the Ghost should only be done with 4x4 and good clearance. Stock vehicles may safely navigate some sections but the more clearance you have, the better your chances. The north Ghost area requires significant capabilities currently (ie lifted vehicles are preferable).
As I noted previous years, we should try to make the track in there well defined and use one trail. The reasoning is fairly simple - access is contingent on traffic following a defined track, thereby reducing braiding of trails and off track damage. As climbers it is also better to have an established track where errant rocks will not damage your vehicle. Losing an oil pan will not make for a stellar day, and no doubt would not sit well with any environmentalists who might want to cite it as reason to close our access again. We have to be seen as stewards of the area, not irresponsible yahoos.
And remember - walking beyond #39 is legal, driving beyond #39 is legal after 1-December, posting observations of conditions/problems before 1-December is welcome if you were walking, and posting that you made it to Claw Creek in your Smart Car at any time is just plain unbelievable unless you carried it in.
Last year I posted some info to better orient someone to the area. See last years post
for original details but below is a summary for everyone and the map.
The Ghost has three areas according to JoJo's guide. North Ghost
is basically beyond Wulley. Devils Gap
is Wicked Wanda/Malignant Mushroom and west.South Ghost
is Orient Point, Big Drip, Polaris, etc.
River crossings change during the season and can dry up or become immensely challenging. Here are the current crossings you'll encounter prior to #39Big Hill crossing
- bottom of the hill.Crossing #35
- so named for the old marker that defined a track over to Blackrock but the marker was lost in the 2013 flood and we got a river in its place.Wulley crossing
- fords the river aiming you at Wulley Wall/Canyon.#38 plus crossing
- the old diversion structure and intersection is #38 and this crossing is a short way beyond it.The Ramp crossing
- just after #38+ another crossing leads to a ramp into trees. >> Link to the map <<
...or click on the image for a full size map
I hope that last info and terminology helps clarify information for posts this winter.