Month: July 2016

7/27 rock rolling on Rim Trail

   Last Thu 7/21 two of us found enough usable rock at and near a gully on Winslow Trail that we were able to set 6 new rock steps on the right side of the gully.  We then picked and shoveled mineral soil from the left side under a ledge that sheds a lot of water (when we have any), re-establishing a ditch to catch that water and carry it down to where it crosses the trail at a stone waterbar.  We set two slabs beside the steps at narrow points to ensure the water doesn’t undermine them.  We used the soil from the ditch to backfill around the new steps and under some old ones just above that have been undermined since being set 29 years ago.  Next worksites on Winslow Trail are a wee ways uphill, adding steps and revetting under the trail tread.
   On Sat 7/23 three of us quarried 10 rocks from slopes both above and below the brook bed relocation we are building on Rim Trail.  Thus on our weekday  this week I plan to bring our rope puller and webbing so we can move those rocks along a terrace and more particularly up a slope to the trail route.  For this we will need at least three and preferably four people, to carry the tools and to rig and operate the system.  I would like to see four of our 4′ 10-lb. bars used as rails as we wrap the rock with a choker hitch, attach a snatch block to it for a 2 to one mechanical advantage, hang a second snatch block to a tree to make it easier to pull uphill, and anchor the rope puller to the base of a tree to ensure it stays there.  Most pulls will be straight line although our gear is light enough in weight that it is relatively easy to move and set up in a different place to change the direction of pull.  Now, who can tell us how to avoid getting bitten?
    Those of you who have the AT Fieldbook please review pp. 94-96.  We will have a formal safety briefing before we start to set up our rigging. Hard hats will be issued, and worn while operating the setup.
    If all we do is get the rocks safely staged handy to the trail route, that will be a good productive day (I personally have no desire to lug all that hardware up there again).  If there is time, we can set some rocks too.
   As always, please wear long pants and leather boots, BYO work gloves, lunch, and 2 qt. water.  If you have no work gloves I will issue you a pair, which you can turn in for a new pair when worn out.  However, everyone’s hands are different and people are usually most comfortable with gear that fits them.
     Meeting place is parking lot of Mt. Sunapee ski area by Sunapee Lodge.
     Now for the earlier start.  Forecast is for 60 degrees at sunrise and 85 degrees by 1 PM.  Under the forest canopy it is 10 degrees cooler and the day heats much slower.  We can prolong that relative comfort if we start an hour earlier than our usual 9 AM, so I am asking those who can attend to please reply on the question of starting at 8 AM and finishing by 2 PM.  I will follow the will of the majority.
    This is a bit different from our usual set of tasks, but I hope you find it interesting.  Please email with any questions.
Yours,  Craig

Thu 7/21 and Sat 7/23, & a surprise.

Last Tuesday July 12 we added 2 rock steps and a drainage dip, then hiked up to the next worksite. There we re-dug a side ditch and re-set a three-rock toast waterbar using soil from the ditch. Next we’ll set some rock steps beside the ditch.  There is plenty of other types of work if we are so lucky as to have more crew than can fit on that narrow site.

This week’s choice of volunteer trailwork days with CHVTC runs as below. Please email if interested. Please forward to your email lists.  Thank you.
 – Winslow Trail at Winslow State Park 0900h Thu 7/21. Hike about 0.4 miles uphill to continue rebuilding a rock staircase in a gully, and other work as we have people and interest.
 – Mt. Sunapee at the ski area parking near Sunapee Lodge 0900h Sat 7/23.  If we are few, we will go up Rim Trail to quarry rock for the brook bed relocation we are building.  If we are many, we spot cars at Andrew Brook trailhead, then ride the Summit chairlift at 1000h.  Thence we hike to the White Ledges for a break, thence down Andrew Brook Trail brushing and adding waterbars and steps until quitting time.  Then we hike down to our waiting cars and stop for cold drinks on our way back to the ski area.
On both of these days, please BYO lunch, 2 qt. water, work gloves. Wear long pants and leather boots. Steady rain cancels, and I will notify signups of changes.
    The surprise is that I have just adopted a neglected one-mile trail in Enfield to rehabilitate. We’ll restore old drains, add new ones, add pavers and bog bridges, and generally bring it to normal specs.  I still have to write the worklist and flag it before we have workdays there; please reply if you want to help.
    We are halfway through the usual season with about 340 hours of work accomplished.  Hurray for you, trail crew!

Tue July 12 & Sat July 16.

Greetings from the heart of SUMMER!

Last Thursday June 30 four of us added six large rock steps to climb slopes on the Rim Trail brook relocation. There is plenty of small jagged rock thereabouts and we used it to scree in beside the steps.  Rock of the right size and shape for steps is running low thereabouts, so next time we go there we will need a large crew to quarry and move rock.

    We have taken the last 10 days off from trailwork due to appointments, travel, and summer weather.  Now that the earth has had a good drink, we’ll meet at Winslow State Park on Mt. Kearsarge at 9 AM Tue July 12.  There we will carry on up Winslow Trail, rebuilding old fixtures until quitting time around 3 PM. Usual gear: Wear long pants, leather boots.  BYO lunch, 2 qt. water, work gloves.  Tools supplied or BYO.
   On our other day of trailwork this week we will join SPNHF at Mt. Monadnock at 9 AM Sat July 16 (arrive early for coffee and doughnuts).  We will build steps or waterbars or bridges as they may direct us.  Same quit time and gear as Tuesday.
    I really hope you can turn out for these days, especially Saturday.  It is fun to go to places we seldom see. Please reply so I can bring enough of our tools. As always, please write me at with your concerns and questions, I want you to work safe and have a fun time.
Yours,  Craig