Monday, January 5, 2009

XC Skiing, Trail Maintenance - Featherstonehaugh State Forest

I had an afternoon open and it was sunny and warm, so I headed back to Featherstonehaugh for a short ski. Conditions were crunchy and fast after last night's light freezing rain episode, and I avoided the few hills there are because the existing icy ski trenches would have been treacherous.

My main purpose for this trip was to take a second look at a fallen tree or trees that we saw when we skied on Saturday. It was right across the trail in the middle of one of those few downhills, robbing us of the delight of schussing down it. Today I packed a small saw and hoped that it was the smaller branches of the tree's crown that were across the trail. Alas, that turned out not to be the case, and there wasn't much I could do with the two 10" trunks that blocked the way. Instead, I moved off to the side with the crown and cleared a path through it that allows an albeit tricky descent of at least part of the hill. I went down it a couple of times, and it was better than the existing workarounds. With the fast conditions, it was actually a little challenging, more so than on a day with better snow.

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