Green Mountain Club
Montpelier Section

This is a working draft. There is no guarantee that it is up-to-date.
Summary for the 2002 season

This report covers the period 03 November 2001 to 20 November 2002. There were 4 events of note for the year:

The winter's snows held off until the new year, allowing us to search the area north of Camels Hump for a shelter location to replace Gorham Lodge. The spring and summer weather was about average.

The regular maintenance activities continued. As in 2001, we scheduled 5 work hikes. The "walk-through" approach of cleaning drainage and clipping was gradually replaced by specific tasks, like installing puncheon. We are leaving more routine maintenance to the adopters.

We have 9 adoptable sites, 8 of which have been adopted. (The exception is Watson Camp.) We don't have specific expectations for adopters' work and the submission of a report, nor a clear-cut separation of responsibilities between Forest, Parks, and Recreation, GMC, and the section. Administration of the adopter program remains informal. Having said that, we note that 7 adopters have done their work and submitted reports without prompting. Duncan W is the oldest-serving adopter. The 7 others have become adopters since the summer of 2001.

1. Workforce
We scheduled 5 work hikes. None were cancelled because of weather-- although we encountered rain twice. The average work party had 10 members (versus 11 in 2001). As usual, we had help from members of other sections.

The Bamforth Ridge Shelter attracted many workers, as expected. The high point was 2 and 3 August, when 27 and 26 workers appeared. Of these two-thirds were section members. In addition, the Gorham Relocation Committee met 6 times for 2 hours each with about 6-8 members from the section.

The involvement of section members was in the range of what we expected. It was about the same order of magnitude as the interest which the "ice storm" of 1999 generated.

2. Effort
The 5 work hikes provided 368.5 hours of effort (672 in 2001). Unplanned activities added 83.25 hours. We accounted for 1300.75 hours of volunteer work for the Bamforth Ridge Shelter. The total for the year was 1751 hours.

The most significant efforts on the Bamforth Ridge Shelter were not tallied. They included the work of Bill C and Eric S, who planned the structure and organized logistics. Ann B coordinated volunteers. Duncan W oversaw construction of the tent platforms. Andrew and Reidun N were the site greeters/overseers/work-assigners.

Although much of the work was accomplished by section members, the efforts of many others were important:

The total hours devoted to maintenance--about 1 full-time year-round worker-- was significant. We should not forget that much of the Bamforth Ridge work was done by a few people. Further, significant work was done by non-section members who performed work for several sections as well as the GMC.

3. Results
The Bamforth Ridge Shelter was built within the budget. It was opened a week later than the anticipated. Although the site-clearing part of the project fell 4 weeks behind schedule, the time was recovered by the day of the helicopter flight.

The amount of labor required was much less than had been anticipated in the fall of 2001, and somewhat less than budgeted for the summer of 2002. That is, the Long Trail Patrol devoted less time than expected. (The Vermont Youth Conservation Corps did nothing.) The section picked up the shortfall by building the spur path, clearing the site, and doing the finishing touches on the rock work.

Puncheons were installed at one spot on Bamforth Ridge and 8 spots on Elephants Head. The Long Trail Patrol built staircases on the trail south of the Elephants Head view.

The Long Trail in Smugglers Notch was relocated as scheduled in the fall.

We have evolved a division of labor. Adopters make sure the trail is passable and are encouraged to identify problem areas. The section helps adopters and does "light" jobs which improve the trail. A "flying squad" of GMC-wide volunteers performs specialized tasks, such as building a privy. The Long Trail Patrol (funded mostly by the State of Vermont) performs the "heavy" rock work of building staircase. The result of this combination of effort during 2002 has been a significant improvement of the Long Trail and its overnight accommodations in our sector.

4. Status of our trails and shelters

The trails continue to be passable under the 4x8-foot corridor and "no widening" rules. Routine maintenance was done as scheduled.

The items needing attention, divided into our 9 adoptable areas:

Shelter or TrailStatusAdopterLast visit
Montclair Glen LodgeSill work and other reconstruction within 5 yearsDuncan WOctober?
LT: Alpine Trail - Bamforth Ridge ShelterInstall 1 puncheon north of BRSSteve TOctober
Bamforth Ridge ShelterNew: no problemsFred J29 Oct
LT: Bamforth Ridge Shelter - Duxbury RoadNo problemsReidun & Andrew N12 Nov
Sterling Pond TrailHeavy traffic: will require rock work within 3 yearsScott & Patricia B
LT: Vermont 108 - Sterling PondAdditional rock work by LTP 2003; install 5 puncheons (material is cached)Bill C03-Nov
Sterling Pond ShelterSlightly un-plumbDavid P15 Sep
Watson CampRoof leak; bad stairsOrphan
LT: Sterling Pond - Chilcoot PassPuncheon at Chilcoot, perhapsKeith L25 Oct

We have identified 3 possible sites for the Watson Camp replacement in 2004. The sites will be monitored and evaluated in 2003.

5. Projects for the remainder of the year.
  1. Planning of spring 2003 work schedule
  2. Monitoring of candidate sites for the Watson Camp replacement. This includes a snowshoe hike to Sterling Pond 14 December.
6. Other information
Additional reports:

Trails and Shelter Committee membership. In 2001, I proposed that the committee be composed of regular workers. The official membership includes Bill C, Eric S, Fred J, Thomas W, Michael C, and probably others. We "meet" at lunch on work hikes and quite informally while hiking to and from work sites. Since I have been sending announcements of trip plans and the subsequent reports to anyone who has worked or is likely to work, I do not feel that a formal meeting is necessary. Note also that the principals happened to meet monthly throughout last winter to plan the Bamforth Ridge Shelter.

John Buddington

Trails & Shelter Coordinator

Submitted 19-Nov-02

Edited for the website 26-Feb-03 and 17-Oct-03

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