The Snowshoe Trail Maintenance crew, under the leaderhsip of Bob Timmer, has had a busy and productive January! The first two Tuesday work sessions focussed on the snowshoe trails at Swampy. The crew installed new snowshoe trailhead markers at the kiosk at the Swampy Trailhead, hoping to help new snowshoers find their way easily from the busy trailhead. The crews cleared all the snowshoe trails of blowdown and sapling leaners, recovered and re-installed some assurance markers from blowdown, and trimmed branches for greater reassurance marker visibility. After clearing the Nordeen Tie to the Nordeen Shelter, the crew shoed the re-route of the Nordeen Tie to Meissner. Although it is still a hill, it is now a much safer route.
Then the crews turned thier attention to the snowshoe trails at Edison. They accomplished much marking work, including raising the kiosks out of of the snow at the Edison Sno-Park, installing new Snowshoe Trail Daimonds at the trailhead for the Edison Loops and Tesla Trails, installing junction letters at the Tesla Short Tie Junctions, and limbing some trees for better marker visibility on the new Tesla Snowshoe Tie trail. They also cleared blowdown on the trails.
With that work done, the crews had surveyed and cleared all of the snowshoe trails since the first of the year. Rather than going on “unemployment”, they turned their attention to the shared use trails at Newberry, attending to reports of downed trees and sapling leaners. Heading up the Pondersoa Rim trail, they encountered just a few bent-over saplings and two blowdown. The trail was in good condition and for the most part, wide enough to enable separate skier and snowshoe tracks. The story was different heading down the Paulina View Trail where they encountered an additional 6 blowdown and more bent-over and bent-in saplings than they could count on thier combined fingers, thumbs and toes. Some estimated that they cut 300 saplings in the 1/3rd mile just east of Trail #2 crossing and in the last half mile of trail before crossing the highway. Both of these sections of trail are in need of off-season clearing to widen the corridor.
Next up for the crew will be scouting of the new trails that are planned. Additional volunteers are always welcome. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
And a reminder from Bob — check your gear! There are reports of MSR snowshoes losing rivets, and while this is easily repairable at home, it’s not something you want to deal with on the trail. Check your gear!