Salty's 04/21/2012 Trip Reports


Distance: 3.8 miles

Low Elevation: 1320 feet
High Elevation: 2820 feet
Elevation Gain: 1596 feet
Elevation Loss: 1596 feet

Start Location: Chippewa TH
Finish Location: Chippewa TH
Route: Chippewa Trail to summit and back

Weather: Mostly sunny, warm, breezy up top, cloudy near end
Companions: (none)


Another day of trail maintenance. Had a very busy day planned, was supposed to be at Fenway at 4 PM, so had to be out of the woods at 11:30. So up at 4 AM, and arrived at 6:15. Was going to have to push it to get everything done in 5 hours. Right away brushing needed and a blowdown removal (new short handled axe works nice!). Once again brushing out of a bogus path replaced. Argh. Up to the road then once off it, the woods were in good shape. Hmm, this work is paying off despite I haven't been here since May.

Another blowdown, then waterbar hell. There's a section before the big red pine forest that's loaded with them. No problem at first, but it gets very tiring by the end of the line. Moreso, there were a few that had to be dug out. One I swore I did last year, guess it filled in. OK, red pine forest, steeeeeeeeep. Always fun with a load of tools. A few waterbars now providing a nice rest. Rebrushed another detour. Viewpoint, marking the end of the worst steepness, was decent today, despite warm temps. Especially fine, since the forecast had improved markedly from showers to mostly sunny. The breeze didn't suck either.

Next up, the brushy section. Out come the shears. I really call this the glorified trimming of the hedges section. Time was getting tight, and I was doubtful I could get all that was needed done. I decided last time that from today on I would shear the right side going up, then do the other side coming down, avoiding backtracking up and down. Worked like a charm, and better yet, this was even in good shape. Figured they would've grown in a lot more over the summer. Made the summit (or really just below it) at 10:00 or so. OK, only had one blowdown that I left, a little brushing up top, and the hedges. This went quick, but I kept getting caught up in good conversation with folks coming up. Did a little more brushing of stuff I missed on the way down, and was out at 11:00. All set until fall, where I'll check up on the brushing, but main goal is to get the blazing all set. Some yahoo overblazed this trail (and badly blazed in section). It's now fading, so looking forward to getting a proper job done one this. There's still sections that screw even me up.

No apparent Irene damage, although it seems to me to be more eroded than I remember, but my memory is very much not clear on that point. I suppose some work on the eroded sections should be done at some point (causing a lot of detours), but I need to take a serious look at how badly it's needed before I drag out the Forest Service pro crew. Just nice to finally see my work paying off in less maintenance needed every season. Good stuff, and despite all the work, I'm just happy to free up the FS, and give something back to hikers.