Through the end of October, CONC volunteers completed survey and clearing of 20 of the 23.5 miles of snowshoe trail. Substantially fewer blowdown was encountered than in previous year’s pre-season sweeps. In part because much of the beetle-killed pine from the early 2000’s infestation is already on the ground and has been cleared previously. Junction signs and trail markers are in good shape. The YAH maps on the Swampy Porcupine snowshoe trail junctions survived 3 seasons; but not a 4th. Replacements have arrived and will be installed in the next couple of weeks.
Then the wind blew and blew! Last Friday, volunteers cut 3 new blowdown from the first mile of the Swampy Porcupine snowshoe trail before continuing up the Ridge Trail to assist with clearing 100+ blowdown from the Ridge, Vista Butte, and Flagline ski trails. This week, 3 new blowdown were cleared from the Meissner snowshoe trail (Yes, CONC maintains that trail) and 16 new blowdown from the Long Loop and Nordeen Tie snowshoe trails at Swampy.
Similarly for the ski trails, which were all cleared by mid-summer. But after the big blow last week, 13 trees were found to be down on the Nordeen Loop. All of these were removed this week. Trail clearing has also begun on the Edison and Dutchman trails. Particularly at the higher elevations of Dutchman, it has become a race against the snow.
Photos by Chuck Delcambre & Louise Brown