"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." - John Muir
The Sierra Club and the U.S. Forest Service have partnered to reestablish the historic ungroomed Blue Diamond Nordic ski and snowshoe routes in the Inyo National Forest. In 1981, before the Scenic Loop Road was constructed, the Young Adult Conservation Corp. (YACC) joined forces with the Forest Service to establish twenty-five miles of Nordic trails by placing Blue Diamond markers in trees along designated routes in the Mammoth area and Obsidian Dome.
More than two decades later, cross-country skiers participating in Sierra Club Winter Outings noticed that many of the Blue Diamond markers were missing or in disrepair, making it very difficult to follow these routes. Local Sierra Club leaders wondered, “Shouldn’t these old trails be preserved?” The Range of Light Group (ROLG) approached Ed Armenta, the Inyo Forest Supervisor, with this idea. He was supportive and gave his approval. Jon Regelbrugge, Mammoth District Ranger, asked if ROLG was willing to be a partner on the project. The local group agreed and began planning the restoration.
For the past 3 years, Sierra Club volunteers have been busy cutting and painting new metal Blue Diamonds. Out in the forest, these volunteers scaled tall ladders to attach the new diamonds to trees and to repaint faded diamonds already on the routes. To date, approximately twelve miles of the old routes have been restored. The final step was to record the routes using GPS. This positioning data was then sent to a cartographer, so that updated maps could be prepared. The new maps are available (free of charge) at the Mammoth Welcome Center and at select businesses.
Range of Light Group hopes everyone will enjoy and explore the Forest using this map. They invite other out-door enthusiasts to help sustain the project.
Important Dates - Click the Activities Tab for details on the following:
Next Monthly Meeting – February 16
Winter Outings - Winter outings underway.Next Highway Clean Up -- TBD once the snow is gone in the spring.