Rim Trail report from 8/31

The brook bed relocation on Rim Trail, Mt Sunapee, is done except for two more steps and some scree beside the newest flight of steps.  Since June 10 in 200 hours of work over 8 days, we have set 43 rock steps and 10 pavers.  A very high percentage of this new trail is protected against erosion, because we believe erosion is better prevented than fixed when we have the crew to do so.

Fortunately, the crew was willing and the results are impressive.  Of course. we are a small crew of local volunteers who work with the rocks they can quarry and the trees they can fell. It is always a pleasure to see people apply a few basic techniques to create stable and beautiful structures that blend in with the landscape. Seven of us worked here for one or more days, and everyone did valuable and necessary work.

This is not our first building job, but it is the first time we made intensive use of our rope puller, which is like a come-along save that it has a spool slotted to match the twists in 120′ of 1/2″ nylon rope rated at a safe working load (SWL) of 1000 lbs.  We used 5′ loops of nylon webbing and 3 1/4-ton SWL shackles to anchor the rope puller at the base of a tree, anchor a pulley 6′ up in a tree, anchor a bigger pulley to the rocks we wanted to move, then anchor the hook end of the rope to the base of another tree.  We ran the rope through the pulleys so we had a 2:1 mechanical advantage to move rocks up to 400 lbs. up a ramp of two 35′ striped maple trees (they will be re-used as waterbars).  With a cable around the trees we adjusted their width to the size of the rocks. When the set-up was ready and tested we moved about a dozen rocks uphill to the new trail in four hours. Without the crew’s skill and this set-up we could not have finished this job, for we ran out of good step rocks close to the trail.

The volunteers in the Cardigan Highlanders deserve much praise for their work ethic and skills in most all aspects of trail work. This is just the latest example.  Here’s to them!

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