Sunday, October 31, 2010

New trailwork posting from Clay

Spent most of the day cutting out downfall with Orion Staples. We cleaned out the lower road and hacked our way through the snowshoe trail...again. It's clear through there, if not a little rough and not as neat as it was before the wind storm. The stuff that came down near the intersection out at point O made it a bit messy through there. But, we were also able to improve some of the other sections that we didn't have very clean before, so it's probably nicer as a whole.

Interesting thing happened while we were cleaning out the snowshoe trail: we actually heard another big aspen fall down on the lower road. We found it later and cleaned it out.

After getting the lower road clear out, we went up the R-to-B connector (cleaned it out) and started hiking up the upper trails, finding trees down every couple of hundred meters. Many things down on TJ's and Dave's. TJ's had a huge [still live] tree come down, but fell in a very fortunate direction (makes the trail look entirely different there now). There is a massive root ball that peeled up a large section of trail that we'll need to go reclaim with the Pulaski/axe/shovel/saw. The hole left by the root ball is impressive. Orion got pictures on his cell phone -- one with me down in the bottom of it below the root ball. There's also one other tree that I think Pete Stilwell cut part of when he cleaned out the E-to-P connector, but still needs a couple more cuts to clear out of the trail's full width. We skipped it, as we were running out of time and needed to go see the rest of the damage.

At J, we found a huge mess, or two actually. We did our best to clean out the first one, but there's still a lot of boughs on the trail. There's another big cluster mess above J. The old big dead trees were all breaking off near the tops and brought other stuff down with them. There's another down tree at J itself that needs another cut, but my [brand new] chain had finally had enough after cutting out more than 20 trees.

Further up, we cleared out what we could without a saw, but there's a couple more places that need some cuts: one near the first short cut, and one at almost Point-K. There's some stuff that came down on the side of the inner meadow trail (below L heading to M) and is in need of trimming back too. I noticed a big Doug Fir that fell out in the meadow island of trees about where the meadow trail might track. It's worth looking at closer.

Closer to home, there's a green spruce tree down just beyond Point-A. It's a pretty small cut.

That was ONE HELL of a wind storm. It brought down a lot of stuff, not only into/across the trails, but more out in the surrounding forest. I could see many places where clusters of trees had come down and changed the characteristics of what things looked like. All things considered, I think we got fairly lucky. Two big trees came down right next to our trails but fell such that we didn't have to clean them out except for a relative little. Point-J still needs some work, though. I sure hope this cleared most of the weak stuff out so that it doesn't happen during the winter.

If you're looking to do a little evening trail work, take a trip up to Point-J (among those others)and get after it. Looks like dry, warm weather for the next several days. Some parts of the trails are quite muddy after last week's snow; around point-L, there was still some lingering snow and icy trail.

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