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XC Ski Trail Maintenance — An Update from Eric Ness

CONC volunteers have  carried out a lot of ski trail maintenance over the last few weeks. 

On Sunday, November 14, Dennis Krakow organized a rugged team to clear downed logs from the trails at Vista Butte. Charlie Kearns, Roz O’Donoghue and Jacque Tennant assisted.

There is now a new sign post at the junction of the Nordeen loop with Tangent loop. The tree that these signs used to be attached to was one of the victims of the latest wind storm. Sue Sullivan and Charlie Kearns completed the installation on November 17. 

Earlier this fall, survey work done in the Edison Sno-Park trail system revealed that many of the trails needed to be brushed to make them usable in low snow conditions. Eric Ness volunteered to take on coordination of this work. 

On Sunday, November 21, a CONC volunteer group of 9 people converged on the Edison Sno-Park for brushing and clearing the final section of trails.  Warren Preston and Charlie Kearns led two groups of brushers, armed mostly with loppers and hand saws, while Eric Ness led a group to cut any downed trees.  

All groups first attacked the lower trail section of the Direct Current (DC) trail, then headed up towards High Voltage.  The earlier trail survey indicated that significant brushing was needed on Supercharger near the snowmobile crossing, so the brushing crews split up so one could come down Supercharger from Alternating Current (AC), while the other found the quickest way there along the snowmobile trail.  The saw group seemed to make a sneak attack up Supercharger from High Voltage and Dynamo, armed with a single hand saw and one lopper.  The groups met up at the snowmobile crossing, and after lunch finished the trail clearing.

The Edison Sno-Park is challenging to clear, as it takes four separate days of hiking loops of six to nine miles per day to cover all the trails.  Sunday’s effort started at 8:30 with a tailgate safety meeting in the parking lot, and ended back there at 3:00.  Certainly a strenuous day, even though the weather was quite beautiful.  Kudos to new club members Sandy Robinson, Warren Preston, Ron Padgett, Isabel Milkovitch, Stephanie and Gary Kessler, and “JB” Biel.  

Eric emphasized that trail work volunteering is a great way to become involved not just with CONC, but also with the Bend community.  Eric noted that Warren walked every inch of trail at Edison with him – more than 30 miles – over the last three weeks.

Photos by Louise Brown, Warren Preston, & Sandy Robinson