Winter 2011 Newsletter

GROOMING UPDATE

Tod Tibbetts will be the head groomer this season. Bruce Kime and Art Dahl have volunteered to run snowmobiles. Eric & Donna Boley moved to Eagle. Anthony Benham is unavailable this season. We appreciate Eric and Anthony’s years of work and dedication to the West Elk trails and we miss them. We are still looking for volunteers to help with the grooming program.

This will be our third season with the Ginzugroomer, and we have learned a few things along the trail. Before we can run the Ginzugroomer, we need a snow depth of at least 24 inches, preferably 30, to cover all the rocks, shrubs, and stumps. Once the hazards have been buried, the trail has to be packed with snowmobiles several times over to make it wide enough for the groomer to pass.

After the trail has been packed sufficiently some shoveling is necessary. The section called Dorothy’s View on Kay’s Loop is sloped. In order for the groomer to pass safely through there without sliding sideways, the trail has to be leveled with shovels for a couple hundred feet. We always need volunteers to help with shoveling.

Because of the labor intensity of the grooming process, we have decided this season Tod will run the Ginzu on Hwy 819 and Kay’s Loop, and Anthony’s Maze, once the shrubs are covered. Eric’s Loop will be snowmobile packed and the trail will be widened as snowfall permits. We will not run the Ginzugroomer on Eric’s Loop. We implemented that plan last March and it worked out well.

VOLUNTARY MEMBERSHIP FEE INCREASED

As of November 3, the voluntary membership fee has been increased to $25/person.

Currently the club has a $4,000 annual budget — $3,000 GarCo grant and about $1,000 in voluntary member donations. However the club has not been able to meet rising fuel expenses. That means we not only ask volunteers to donate their time, but have expected them to pay for their fuel expenses. Raising the fee is the way to do that.

The GarCo grant money the club receives does not come from taxpayer funds. It comes from monies received by Garfield County from Colorado lottery proceeds.

As always, the fee is voluntary. Some people are unable to pay. Others might feel they don’t use the trails enough to justify a donation. We welcome contributions of time and money from those who can help out. We are so fortunate to have access to such a beautiful trail system!

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