Friday, January 14

From Peggy —

The Forest Service has approved the addition of a sledding hill along the West Elk Trails. We hope to begin work on it as soon as this weekend. The sledding hill will be located next to (on the right side heading out from trailhead)  the Hwy 819 section of the trail in the open area where the Ginzugroomer is parked. This area is a short, 10 minute walk from the parking lot and trailhead. Sledders will be allowed to walk on the trail to the sledding hill. The plan is to construct a “bunny hill” with a gentle, groomed slope. The sledding hill will be open to the public. Watch this blog for more information and updates.

Why a sledding hill? Several factors contributed to the decision to add a sledding hill.

1.  Better management of our recreation areas. While the Forest Service doesn’t object to families sledding on the slopes next to the Buford Road, parking on the Buford Road is hazardous and creates hazardous conditions, especially as the snow banks grow in size.

2.  Recreational sledding is not permitted on the ski trails. Sleds, toboggans, tubes, saucers — you name it — may be pulled on the trails. However we cannot allow people to use trail sections as sledding hills. It is dangerous for both sledders and skiers.

3.  The addition of a sledding hill will open up the West Elk Trails to more users. We want to offer families a safe place to enjoy sledding.

4.  There is a need for a sledding hill. WEMUC Board Member and Founder, Kay Robinson requested the addition of a sledding hill, along with other WEMUC members and non-members with kids.

Eventually we would like to add a picnic table, a shelter, and a fire pit to the base of the sledding area. We would also like to put a picnic table out at Dorothy’s View, on Kay’s Loop.

We are currently in need of two aluminum picnic tables and a ski patrol-type rescue sled. If you can help with finding these items, please email Peggy Tibbetts: peggyt@siltnet.net

From Tod —

I snowshoed James’ Loop this morning and did a little cleanup in the area where the trees had blown down over the trail.  It’s passable now, but use caution in that area.  There was about 2-3 inches of fresh snow last night and the trail is in supurb shape.  The fresh snow on top of the grooming Anthony did on Thursday makes for a great ski.  It’s a great weekend to get out and enjoy the scenery.

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