Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trail Work Begins

Well, Tom gave me a good segue with his report. Great photos too (see below).....
Indeed, we are going to need some volunteers to help us with the removal of burned tree hazards. We have removed a few of the most obvious hazards, but now we need to get down to business and clean up the hazards that will be posing a safety threat this winter and next spring. All of this is in anticipation of getting the Stage 3 restriction lifted on the SWNSC trail system (stopping at the trail out to Pipeline and Guaje Canyon) in time for winter ski season.
As Tom pointed out, much of the trail system is not in too bad of shape, but the early portions from the upper part of the front-hill access road, to just about Point C on the upper trail, and Point Q on the lower road need to have the hazard trees removed.
The club has a few authorized & certified tree fellers, and we are allowed to work in two teams, separated by a pre-determined distance (>200 meters apart). This creates a large spread, and with the size of the trees and the fact that they will be falling across the trails in most cases, we need to have volunteer trail sentinels to monitor the foot and bike traffic that exists out there, despite the closure. We will have to station folks on the trails in either two, three, or even four points, depending on the work location of the felling teams. We have some two-way radios, safety vests and hard hats for everyone helping out. If you have any of this equipment, PLEASE bring it along.
We will need to conduct a safety briefing prior to embarking on the trail, and go over the work plan of the day. Anyone interested will need to sign up in advance and show up at the specified time to be involved. This isn't quite like the normal trail work days, where it's possible just to hike out and start helping.
At first, it won't be very exciting work, but as we get more of the hazards down, we will need help with the clearing, so that will be a bit more "hands-on." There are also some other work items related to the fire, such as some grading, hole-filling, log rolling, limb-lopping, etc. We will move on to those items as we phase out of the hazard clearing.
I think our first work days will be this coming Friday, Saturday, and possibly Sunday. Email me at tclaynm@juno.com if you would like to help out. I'll send out a confirmation with a list of things to bring and what to expect. Friday will likely be a half-day afternoon work session, with Saturday and Sunday possibly being longer hours. We will probably be working like this every week until the ski season.
Thanks in advance!

---------- Original Message ----------
From: Tom Berg Ski Trail Conditions
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2011 15:24:46 -0600

Friday Clay and I did a walk through of the currently closed ski trails, led by 4 USFS Rangers. I have added a link of a few photos of the destroyed area, which is primarily from just below Point "A" to Point "C" on the upper trail, and From Point "A" to Point "Q" on the "road" portion of the trail, which includes a large portion of our new snowshoe trails.

Here are the photos:

I was surprised at how much of our trails are left, and in good shape in spite of spot fires here and there. But the large area from A-C and A to Q is pretty much destroyed, and the groomers are working like mad to cut all the dead hazard trees there so that the trails can be re opened for the ski season.

Here's a link to the map from the SWNSC website:

Right now the trails are still closed to the public, and much work remains to be done after the guys have finished the heavy cutting, so I hope you will all respond when Clay calls for volunteers to help for our trail work days in the next few weeks.... there is a lot of work up there that must be done if we're going to get to ski and snowshoe this Winter.


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