Long John Widening
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Monday, April 17 was the start of a very exciting project...Long John widening. We've heard you and agree that Long John can get congested on a busy day. Being the easiest route down, Long John is a popular trail. We have had plans to widen this trail for many years so it feels very good to get this project started. I have to take a moment to thank the US Forest Service who has been involved from the beginning. They have made themselves available and have been very responsive to all of our questions and ideas. It has been a collaborative effort and we are grateful for their willingness. This project will take two years to complete. This summer we will clear trees and next year we will blast. Starting at the summit on the Long John trail, we are cutting back skier's right all the way down to the ledge on the flats. We are not widening any other trails. Widening will only take place on Long John from the summit to the top of Carinthia. The photos will help you understand the project.
(Above) Looking uphill from where Long John and Long John Natural (original Long John to many of you) meet. As you ski down Long John you have just passed the top of the Sundance lift and this spot is right at the bend to the left.
Looking down Long John flats. The Uncles trail sign helps to locate. The ledge on skiers right will be blasted during the 2018 off-season.
It took about one hour to produce one of those piles of wood chips. Wood chips will be spread to fill in holes, prevent erosion and promote growth. Unfortunately, my photos of Andrew and Jeremy did not come out - they were busy changing the blades on the chipper. It is an amazing piece of machinery that is chipping even the large trees. I will snap their photo on the next trip.
Alan operating the excavator. He's the guy who heads up our grooming dept, responsible for all of that cordoroy!
Kevin and Dave talking about the very strong progress.
Zach (heading up this project) and Rob follow Nate and Mike and take down the more mature trees.
Nate - Out ahead clearing the smaller growth.
As we head back down the hill, we stop to give you a point of reference. You can see the Uncles trail sign behind Dave. To the right is Long John Natural. If you have skied Long John Natural, you have seen the trail that extends straight, uphill and eventually connects to the top area of Bear Trap. That trail is part of a reforestation plan.
My compliment to the staff working on this project. They are very organized and are moving at a good rate, clearly working together. Dave and I remarked that everyone we talked to told us they were proud to be working on this job. That pride certainly showed through in their work. When was the last time we did trail claring of these proportions? Canyon?
Thank you to Elia Hamilton who provided some of these photos.
Our crew has made it to the summit, as you can see below. Thanks to Kevin for sharing these photos: