The January 6th social hike will be at the newly accessible (as of Nov. 10, 2017) Sabinoso Wilderness Area (SWA), administered by BLM and located in NE San Miguel Co., approx.. 1 3/4 hours from the shed.
This will be a somewhat longer hike-day than usual, due to the travel time to and from, and the exploratory nature of this hike. I will try and get us back to the shed NLT 4 p.m. There are apparently no official trails as of yet within the SWA, only some old retired jeep 2-tracks. Comm is expected to be challenging, as the area is a long way from a repeater, and there are many canyons where comm on our typical frequencies will be difficult, probably requiring relays. Cell phone service is not available at the Sabinoso, at least for Verizon users.
We will depart from the shed at 07:15am in a caravan to the TH. Only high-clearance AWD or 4WD vehicles will be taken, as there are 10 miles of narrow and lightly improved dirt roads to be driven to the TH. Bring a lunch, or if you prefer, some highly recommend gathering at Charlie’s Spic and Span Café in Las Vegas for a late lunch.
If the road conditions are expected to be wet and impassable on Jan. 6 at SWA, there will be a contingency plan offered as an alternative for the day.
Elevation change within the SWA is from 4500 ft. to 6000 ft., but only about 600-800 ft. change is expected on any of the routes we will traverse. I expect the length of the hike to be between 6-8 miles round trip from the TH. We will likely break into multiple teams to scout and explore and collect data.
IMT staff, Comm, and ground personnel are encouraged to attend this hike to gain familiarity with this wilderness. The BLM has been receiving a lot of calls about this wilderness since it opened to the public on Nov. 10th , so it is logical to assume SFSAR will be called out for missions there in the future. SFSAR is probably the closest SAR team to this wilderness. While there, we might want to set up a Comm Base at the TH and document where radio communications are successful and unsuccessful from within the portions of the wilderness area that we hike. Likewise, we will be recording coordinates of significant features or landmarks that may be useful to know should we have an actual mission there. If anyone on the team has actually hiked into the Sabinoso Wilderness, please contact me directly, as you would be a valuable resource in planning out the hike routes.
This should be a fun adventure, as it is not often we get to explore a relatively unknown, newly designated wilderness area.
Please respond directly to me by email if you are going to make this hike. I will provide an update to the team by Friday, Jan. 5th. Sponsors and mentors, please pass this email on to any prospective or new members that may not be on the Group Forum.
I have included a few web references to the SWA (below) and attached an unofficial draft BLM map (not georeferenced) of the SWA. The coordinates at the TH parking area are: 13S 0534759E 3938857N, WGS 84.
And Happy Holidays!
Click Here to download an overview map of the area.