Notes and Conditions for Memorial Day Weekend from Trail Crew ChrisP.
"The new 29” bikes have put a new twist on things. The new wheels, which everyone seems to love, are 11% bigger. So, as we look at the switchbacks on Ferrins and the Ridge Trail (which all have a very small turning platform) we find that the turning diameter, to work well, for these new wheels, should be 11% bigger. So….we are now going in and expanding over a half dozen of these turns. Now, think about it, that work, just to get another 6” on the turning platform, takes…lets see…15 man hours, per turn. We Just did one on Ferrins. The cut alone is full on pick work. This will be ongoing all summer, until, 31” bikes come on line and then we will do it again. Some of these switches are small to start out with, so it should be an improvement.
"Interesting to note, .37 “ of rain fell in the last 24 hours. We were working on Ferrins and my new theory is .25” in 24 hours is about the point at which the trails become a mess. Watching the rainfall can make the difference. I would suspect that this morning, after a fairly light showers last night, will put the trails in excellent condition. Add another .10 “ and they will be too wet. There is a tipping point from being super perfect to doing damage. It really doesn’t take that long to dry out, so have riders pay attention.
"No one sees it, but there are over 120 drainage features on Putt-Putt alone. This is what makes it all possible to ride after moderate rain showers, plus the GSKA soils are excellent for drainage. Hail the trailcrew, everyone of those drainage features is working.
"Enough science and self pats on the back.
"I was to the top of the Ridge Trail two days ago from the Fish Creek Trailhead. Two Towers is clear but once you get to the top of Phillips Ridge, numerous trees and snow patches make travel somewhat of an adventure. I was about 7 miles from the Fish Creek Trailhead when I turned around. I plan to get in there today to do some clearing and tread work, if…it does not start raining. Come Tuesday we will again attack the Ridge Trail, the trailcrew is going to be able to get a truck up the BPA road. The Ridge Trail right now is about as good as it can get, it is an excellent out and back.
"Phillips Canyon Trail has been cleared of trees, BTNF fire crew did that for us, lots and lots of downfall. Not only do these cool guys and girls keep your house from burning in a wildfire, they also love clearing trail. They cleared to almost the Arrow Junction from the bottom on the Phillips Canyon Trail.
"We are very close to getting the Phillips Ridge/Snotel/Phillips Canyon loop open, I am thinking the first of June, if we get good weather (This would be amazing since we didn’t get that loop until July last year). The Arrow Trail at the beginning is still snow bound but it is going fast. We may have the whole TPA show by June 1, minus Blacks.
"Best of my knowledge, GSKA is all open and conditions are excellent. The wilderness crew was past the Game Creek Junction on the Cache Creek Troad, they are going to be doing some light work on the last part of that trail before it becomes wilderness.
"Visited with Harlen, he is almost finished with Candyland, so all the DH stuff (minus Lithium) should be good to go for the weekend.
"The History Trail is nearly clear of snow. We have cleared the bottom half. Good place to carry bear spray, that trail just gives me the bear creeps every time I am up there.
Hey, sorry to be long winded, looking outside it is going to be a challenge to get out the door, but it will happen. This gives me an excuse to keep my feet warm for a little longer.
Have a great weekend.