Status of the 2023 AC100

Date: June 5, 2023

Hwy 2 has been closed from Mt Wilson RedBox Road to Grassy Hollow Campground (Grassy Hollow Campground is between Inspiration Point and Vincent Gap) after this year’s big winter storm that dropped record snowfall in the ANF, which closed 40 miles of Hwy 2 from Shortcut to Vincent Gap, that we need to put on a half dozen aid stations to put on this year’s race.

There has been three major damage/repair to Hwy 2 along the 40 mile stretch:

  1. West of Shortcut, a large steel and wooden retaining wall is backfilled with rock and debris.  Caltran has been trying to remove the rock/debris since March without much success.  They continue to work on it but progress is very slow.  Caltran video of the backfilled retaining wall with broken wood barriers is in a separate email. Look for Caltran District 7 dated May 26 and titled Mt Wilson RebBox to Grassy Hollow Campground … The barrier worked. Both lanes of Hwy 2 was not damaged by rocks and debris.  Caltrans has to remove the backfilled rock/debris before they will allow that section of Hwy 2 to be opened for vehicle traffic.
  2. West of Chilao there is major damage to Hwy 2.  One lane has been undermined and is gone. One lane is open for construction traffic.  Caltran is actively working on the repair of that section of the road and is progressing very slowly.  Caltran video of the repair to the damaged section is on the same video for the damage near the Shortcut retaining wall.  Estimated Completion Date is roughly June/July timeframe.
  3. Between Vincent Gap and Islip Saddle there is a lot of large rock/debris slide on Hwy 2.  The paved road doesn’t appear to be damaged.  It looks like Caltrans needs to run a bladed vehicle thru that section to clear it.  Typically, after every winter storm in the ANF, this section between VG and IS takes the brunt of the damage.

In my 36 years of putting on the race, I have never seen damage to Hwy 2 near the Shortcut or Chilao area.  I talked to USFS Chilao resident and he said there was over 12 feet of snow in the Chiao area.  Normally, it gets very little to no snow in the winter. But this year, it was a “once in a lifetime” snowfall.  Picture of typical rock slide between VG and IS on Hwy 2 is in a separate email.

So far as I know, Hwy 2 is only damaged in the section near Chilao (# 2) that is being actively repaired. However, since the entire section from Mt Wilson RedBox Road to Grassy Hollow Campground has rock/debris on it, the entire 40 mile section is closed.

We are using a new course this year that avoids Chantry Area which is closed to the public (and AC100).  On June 1, USFS issued a new Closure Notice which officially opened the Shortcut/RedBox/Newcomb Saddle/West Fork area that was damaged by the Bobcat Fire, to the public (and AC100).  The Closure Notice also emphasized that the Chantry Area that was heavily damaged by the Bobcat Fire will be closed for 3 to 5 years to allow the ground cover to recover.

I am told the barriers to Gabrielino Trail at RedBox has been removed allowing the public (and AC100) access to Gabrielino Trail at Redbox.

The new AC100 course passes from Shortcut to Newcomb East via the Edison Road (which is in excellent condition because it is maintained by SC Edison); from Newcomb East we take the Rincon RedBox Road (which is being cleared with bulldozer by USFS and should be in good condition by race weekend) to RedBox; from RedBox we take the Gabrielino Trail to the Kenyon Devore Trailhead on the Gabrielino Trail (which Gary and I led AC100 Trail Work Teams to clear) to Kenyon Devore Trail, to the top of Mt Wilson to the new Mt Wilson Aid Station at a large parking lot near Cosmic Restaurant.  The restaurant will make hot coffee (for purchase), rest rooms and wifi available for both volunteers and runners.  Leaving Mt Wilson, runner take the Mt Wilson Toll Road to Idlehour.  Since Idlehour is a relatively easy downhill run to Idlehour, we decided to not have Idlehour Aid Station.  Now we are back on the old AC100 course to Altadena, completely bypassing Chantry Area.  The USFS knows AC100 Trail Work Team along with other organization cleared the SC/NS/RB/WF area which prompted the USFS to issue the new Closure Notice that opened this area to the public on June 1.

So we are in good standings with the USFS for all the Trail Work we did.  Gary Hilliard and I led the AC100 Trail Work Team in April, May and June.  We will do more trail work when Hwy 2 is opened, giving us access to the remaining trails that is not available today.

We are completely staffed with Aid Station Leaders and the trails are in as good as shape as we can make it with the limited access we have, due to Hwy 2 closure.

We have four new aid station leaders this year: Victor Martinez/Inspiration Point, Angela Holder/Islip Saddle, Marshal Yale/Three Points, and Joe Nakamura /Chilao. Victor helped Jennifer at Inspiration Point last year so he should be familiar with the layout of IP. Angela Holder (President of A Runners Experience, a running club in Long Beach) is new to Islip Saddle, Marshall Yale is with Cal Tech Alpine Club is new to Three Points.  Normally, I would have met with both of them at there aid station by now, to show them how to setup there aid station but due to Hwy 2 closure, I haven’t been able to do it.  Hopefully, I can do it soon. Joe Nakamura (owns Run Republic running store in Walnut) helped Dave Emmons at Chilao last year, so he knows how Chilao is set up.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *