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EJ’s Update – Ridge Trail & Phillips Canyon – 10-10-10



Hello everyone.  This update is for the last two weeks.  The mini-excavator is gone, and we still miss it greatly.  Trail work is much, much harder by hand.  It almost feels like we are living in the Dark Ages after seeing the light of modern trail building with modern machinery.

We had the first annual “Trail Crew Ride Your Bike at Work Day” two Tuesdays ago.  We had great attendance and a great day.  We rode the Ridge Trail in the morning.  The District Ranger Dale Deiter was able to attend.  He loved the trail and gave it a “R” rating, Ranger ready.  It was great to get everyone out to enjoy what we have been working so hard on for 4 years now.  The Ridge Trail is almost finally done and it is amazing.  10.8 miles of single-track is out there now connecting Teton Pass to Fish Creek road.  This includes sections of the Arrow and Snotel; and ,wow, what a ride.  In the afternoon we rode Phillips Canyon.  This trail is slated to have some work done to it next year.  We rode and then we talked.  There are a lot of views on what to do with this beloved canyon.  I will not get into it in this update, because it could go on forever.  I will say that the crew enjoyed the ride the way the trail was.  We enjoyed the downhill challenge.  We did agree that the line of sight could be improved and peddle clippers could be mitigated.   As I have said before, if anything happens to Phillips Canyon, there are going to have to be some public meetings.

We spent the rest of two weeks ago doing final touch-ups on the new sections of the Ridge Trail.  Roots we chopped out or covered in dirt, purgee’s were flush cut, line of sight was improved, and lots of tools and equipment were pulled of the hill.

Last week operation “Finish the last two switchbacks” on the upper Ridge trail commenced.  It will be nice to get these last two switchbacks finally done.  They are difficult switchbacks.  They are going to take quite a bit of time to complete by hand.  We miss Drew and the machine.  They could build these switchbacks in one day.  With some luck of good weather the switchbacks should be done by the end of the season, and the epic Ridge trail will be finally done.

Have a nice week everyone.  I’m taking the week off and leaving the switchbacks in the hands of my very capable and awesome crew.  If you are riding the Ridge trail this week don’t forget to bring the crew cookies.  I am going to have what Clay Curly calls a “stay-cation” and ride our awesome trails.  See you out there.

Erik Jacobson

USFS



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