Mount Shasta Trail Association (MSTA) is very pleased to announce that John
Harch was recently elected as the association’s new president. John has
been active on MSTA’s board of directors since 2013 – serving as its vice
president for the past three years. He
was elected president at a recent board meeting, assuming the reins that Barry
Price held for over three years.
retired general surgeon, Harch brought a good mix of humor and energy to the
MSTA. John has been very successful in
getting volunteers and other organizations out on the ground to cut brush, dig
trail tread, build rock walls and install trail signs. His core of hard workers has been nick-named
the “crazy old men,” but under John’s leadership they’re the hardest working
bunch of guys and gals you’ll ever meet.
John earned a degree in biology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, before going on to medical school at UCLA. He completed his surgical internship and residency at LA County/USC Medical Center. Before landing in Siskiyou County, John practiced surgery in the Bay Area and southern California. John is board certified in general surgery and critical care medicine.
Don’t be surprised to run into John on an area trail, hiking, riding his mountain bike or leading a group of volunteers working a trail. With surgical precision, John will use his skills and passion to lead the MSTA into the future!
There’s lots going on with the Mount Shasta Trail Association right now. Help us move forward on several big trail projects like the Gateway II and Mossbrae Falls Trails. Go to https://www.northstategives.org
Are you gathering with your friends and family for a traditional Thanksgiving feast and music? Just like you can pre-order your turkey, you can pre-schedule your Giving Tuesday donation to the Trail Association beginning November 19th. You can do that here: https://www.northstategives.org/mountshastatrailassociation
The Mount Shasta Trail Association is pleased to announce that John Thomson has joined its Board of Directors.
John has spent a good portion of his entire life in Mt Shasta. As a descendant of a true 49er, he has continued a family tradition of loving the California mountains (his great grandfather was photographing them before Ansel Adams). He learned to ski in the Old Ski Bowl, has climbed THE MOUNTAIN 4 times, and picked up his Dad’s love of exploring and navigating.
Back in 1967 John helped build a family cabin on Hill Rd. More recently, he and his wife Eugenie have remade the cabin into their home and have been true Mt. Shasta full-timers since 2017.
John followed his passion for public transit by getting both an BS and MS in Civil Engineering at Stanford. His career was entirely spent working as a consultant to public transportation agencies, generally in project management or related roles.
His favorite activities are hiking, bike riding, skiing, snow shoeing, photography, exploring and improving his home. Before an old neck injury stopped him, he was a champion sailor.
You can find John leading a hike (or other “wander”) somewhere in our area just about every week as Scribe for the Siskiyou Wanderers.
If you missed it, below is an article from the Mount Shasta Herald newspaper by Tim Hold and published on December 5, 2018.
A volunteer crew of the Mount Shasta Trail Association, they give up part of their weekends to clear brush, chainsaw fallen trees, and build water diversions to curb trail erosion.
The next time you’re out hiking in our region, maybe around Lake Siskiyou or up on the slopes of Mount Shasta, you might want to say a quiet thank you to John Harch and his crew of “crazy old men.” They’re the ones who give up part of their weekends to clear brush, chainsaw fallen trees, and build water diversions to curb trail erosion. They’re the volunteer crew of the Mount Shasta Trail Association, led by Harch, 62, a retired general surgeon.
He’s a man whose intense energy is leavened by a generous dollop of humor. “He’s got a magnetic personality,” adds trail volunteer Glenn Harvey, who’s 64. “He’s really good at getting people to come out and do all that hard work.”
Harch is also good at getting other organizations to come out and help with the trail work. At the Mount Shasta City Park in the spring of 2017 Harch and his “crazy old men” were joined by 20 volunteers from Wholesale Solar to spread chips on a trail. Harch and his Trail Association volunteers work with a local organization called Clean And Safe Mount Shasta to remove trash from abandoned transient camps and other litter dump sites in the region.
Last spring in Dunsmuir Harch led an effort to fix a portion of the river trail leading to the city park. Erosion had narrowed two portions of a trail carved out of a steep slope above the river, making it potentially dangerous for hikers. Harch’s crew, joined by several Dunsmuir residents, widened the trail at both locations and built rock steps at the steepest part, where it wound past the roots of a large tree.
Longtime trail crew member Mark Telegin, 70, takes pride in the work done that day, in what he calls “a beautiful blending of rock, roots and dirt.”
Volunteers like Telegin take their trail work seriously, spending a lot of time and thought in the placement of rocks for water diversions and steps so they’ll be there for years to come. Telegin himself has taken classes on trail maintenance by the Pacific Crest Trail Association in Ashland. He’s read manuals on the subject and gotten tips from park rangers at Castle Crags State Park, where he recently helped build a bridge over a small creek.
Telegin admits to being something of a trail fix fanatic, someone who can’t take a leisurely hike without at least picking up some litter or clearing some brush. He’s been a volunteer with the Trail Association since he retired as a railroad engineer eight years ago.
For big jobs, like the building of a new, 45-mile addition to the Gateway Trail on the lower slopes of Mount Shasta, the Trail Association uses contractors who come in with heavy equipment to carve out and clear hiking paths. But after that the volunteer crews are there year after year to make sure the trail stays clear, safe, and enjoyable to hike.
Looking to the future, Harch says, “I just want to remind folks that these ‘crazy old guys’ aren’t going to last forever, so if anyone is interested in joining our crew I encourage them to get in touch with me.” His email address is email@example.com.
For those of you that shop online at the Amazon website, here’s a way to make a portion of your purchase a donation to the Mount Shasta Trail Association. What a deal!
Instead of logging on the the regular Amazon website, log on to the smile.amazon.com site and register the Mount Shasta Trail Association as your chosen charity and bookmark the smile page. Then as you shop, 0.5% of your purchases will go towards trails in the Mount Shasta Area.
Fine print: this is not an endorsement of Amazon by MSTA, but simply an opportunity worth sharing.
Once again, for the most amazing views, join the Mt. Shasta Trail Association on a day hike to pristine Deadfall Lakes and to the top of Mt. Eddy slated for Saturday, August 4th. This 10-mile round-trip hike starts out gently on the Pacific Crest Trail to the multiple lakes and then becomes challenging as we gain 2,250 feet to the summit at 9,025 feet.
Mt. Eddy was formed some 400 million years ago from peridotite, a volcanic form of serpentine. This type of rock, ultramafic, is high in magnesium and low in calcium, and as such the soils derived from this material constitute a harsh growing medium for most plants.
Like with other serpentine areas, the result is that some plants adapt to the harsh conditions, taking advantage of the relative lack of competition, and evolve to become endemic to the site. The iron contained in the rock rusts, giving it its reddish tint.
It is the highest mountain in the Eddys – a subrange of the Klamath Mountains – the highest point in Trinity County, and the highest mountain W of Interstate 5. The mountain was named after Olive Paddock Eddy, the first woman to climb Mt. Shasta.
From this majestic peak hikers will be able to see Lassen Peak, Mt. Mc Loughlin, the Scott Mountains, the Eddy Range, Black Butte, Castle Crags Spire and of course Mt. Shasta towering over everything in sight.
Participants will meet at 9 am at 111 Morgan Way, in front of the Best Western Tree House Motor Inn. Bring lunch plus snack and water and if interested, a bathing suit for a very refreshing swim. Hiking poles are recommended. Expect to return by 6 pm.
Join us at 6:00 PM at the Sisson Museum for the Trail Association’s annual meeting where presentation will go over past accomplishments and future projects. Beer, wine and appetizers provided! Learn about the City of Mount Shasta being designated a Trail Town by the Pacific Crest Trail Association, and other exciting developments.