xc ski trail grooming

xc ski trail grooming

Post by Mitch Collinswor » Wed, 23 Apr 2003 02:15:58


Hi Doug,

Great, thanks.  I guess the other thing I wonder about and which
really needs to be the first step, is pre-season trail prep.  In
order to have good trails in the winter we need to first take care
of grading, drainage, etc, issues during the summer.  I hear a lot
more talk about snow grooming equipment than about earth/stone
grooming, but it's the latter that I need to start on first.  Again
this is still probably still at least a few years off for me.

How much of this can I expect to accomplish by writing specific
requirements into lumber sale contracts?  Is this a useful place to
start if logging is happening periodically or is the usefulness of
these folks and their equipment limited?  (Due either to equipment
limitations or operator unwillingness to work to the required level
of detail?)

What equipment do XC places normally use for trail grading?  Standard
bulldozers and backhoes?  Do the operators require special training
or coaching for our needs or is their normal skill set adequate?
Can the average non-professional rent the equipment and do an adequate
job as a do-it-yourself project or does it require special skills?
Is there a good place to read up on how to go about designing and
building a trail system?

I know, loads of questions.  But if I've got a few years before I
really dig into this I might as well spend them doing the homework
so I don't make a real mess of it when the time comes!  :-)

-Mitch

 
 
 

xc ski trail grooming

Post by Douglas Dieh » Wed, 23 Apr 2003 06:52:59

Mitch,
There was an excellent article about starting a trail system posted at
www.xcskiworld.coml. last year I believe. Go through their news archive for
this article. In regards to trail building, logging, drainage ect. I would
talk to Han's at SH. He worked very closely with a logger. Food for
thought... Han's said he has $50,000 into just the trail preparation i.e.
logging, stump removal, culvert pipes, bridge, and seeding. As you probably
already know loggers use skidders, bull dozers, and escavators. One way to
save cost is to ask the logger if they would build trails in exchange for
taking the lumber. Finally, today I saw at Tidd Tech's web site they are
making something similiar to the YTS Ginzo Groomer. Good luck.

Quote:

> Hi Doug,

> Great, thanks.  I guess the other thing I wonder about and which
> really needs to be the first step, is pre-season trail prep.  In
> order to have good trails in the winter we need to first take care
> of grading, drainage, etc, issues during the summer.  I hear a lot
> more talk about snow grooming equipment than about earth/stone
> grooming, but it's the latter that I need to start on first.  Again
> this is still probably still at least a few years off for me.

> How much of this can I expect to accomplish by writing specific
> requirements into lumber sale contracts?  Is this a useful place to
> start if logging is happening periodically or is the usefulness of
> these folks and their equipment limited?  (Due either to equipment
> limitations or operator unwillingness to work to the required level
> of detail?)

> What equipment do XC places normally use for trail grading?  Standard
> bulldozers and backhoes?  Do the operators require special training
> or coaching for our needs or is their normal skill set adequate?
> Can the average non-professional rent the equipment and do an adequate
> job as a do-it-yourself project or does it require special skills?
> Is there a good place to read up on how to go about designing and
> building a trail system?

> I know, loads of questions.  But if I've got a few years before I
> really dig into this I might as well spend them doing the homework
> so I don't make a real mess of it when the time comes!  :-)

> -Mitch


 
 
 

xc ski trail grooming

Post by Scott Ellio » Wed, 23 Apr 2003 11:21:56

A year ago my ski club built a few kilometers of new trails and we hired
some young logging contractors to do the work.  The system they worked out
for logging and trail building was much more efficient than anything I had
seen in the past.

They used a large tracked log loader, a grapple skidder and a small
Caterpillar tractor with a blade.  They used the log loader to actually push
the standing trees over,causing the roots to lift out of the ground.  They
then had a man with a chainsaw cut the trees off the stumps when they were
lying on the ground.  The loader then picked up the stumps and put them off
the trail or placed them where they could be buried.  It also aligned the
trees so that the grapple skidder could grab them and drag them out to a log
landing where they were limbed and piled.  Because the trees had been pushed
over the soil was loose so that even a small Cat could do the grading to
groom the trail.  This was such an efficient operation that we made more
money from log sales than the cost of building the trail.

In previous years we hired a logging contractor who simply cut the trees
leaving low stumps.  Then we had to get a large excavator or cat to do the
trail building because of the power needed to remove the stumps.  This was a
much slower and expensive process.  In this case the excavator with a
skilled operator seemed to be much more efficient that a Caterpillar
tractor.  The trick was to get the operator to realize he was building ski
trails, not roads.  If you don't supervise him he wants to crown and ditch
the trail like a road and cut an fill every little hill or hollow.  A ski
trail does not need that quality of construction because it takes away the
natural ambiance of a trail.

Scott Elliot
http://www3.telus.net/selliot/


Quote:

> Hi Doug,

> Great, thanks.  I guess the other thing I wonder about and which
> really needs to be the first step, is pre-season trail prep.  In
> order to have good trails in the winter we need to first take care
> of grading, drainage, etc, issues during the summer.  I hear a lot
> more talk about snow grooming equipment than about earth/stone
> grooming, but it's the latter that I need to start on first.  Again
> this is still probably still at least a few years off for me.

> How much of this can I expect to accomplish by writing specific
> requirements into lumber sale contracts?  Is this a useful place to
> start if logging is happening periodically or is the usefulness of
> these folks and their equipment limited?  (Due either to equipment
> limitations or operator unwillingness to work to the required level
> of detail?)

> What equipment do XC places normally use for trail grading?  Standard
> bulldozers and backhoes?  Do the operators require special training
> or coaching for our needs or is their normal skill set adequate?
> Can the average non-professional rent the equipment and do an adequate
> job as a do-it-yourself project or does it require special skills?
> Is there a good place to read up on how to go about designing and
> building a trail system?

> I know, loads of questions.  But if I've got a few years before I
> really dig into this I might as well spend them doing the homework
> so I don't make a real mess of it when the time comes!  :-)

> -Mitch


 
 
 

xc ski trail grooming

Post by Douglas Dieh » Wed, 23 Apr 2003 20:00:46

Scott,

Thanks for the excellent advice on building trails. We will use the metho
you mentioned this summer for trail building. Trying to convince loggers to
change their methods is very difficult, but we'll give it a try.

Quote:
> A year ago my ski club built a few kilometers of new trails and we hired
> some young logging contractors to do the work.  The system they worked out
> for logging and trail building was much more efficient than anything I had
> seen in the past.

> They used a large tracked log loader, a grapple skidder and a small
> Caterpillar tractor with a blade.  They used the log loader to actually
push
> the standing trees over,causing the roots to lift out of the ground.  They
> then had a man with a chainsaw cut the trees off the stumps when they were
> lying on the ground.  The loader then picked up the stumps and put them
off
> the trail or placed them where they could be buried.  It also aligned the
> trees so that the grapple skidder could grab them and drag them out to a
log
> landing where they were limbed and piled.  Because the trees had been
pushed
> over the soil was loose so that even a small Cat could do the grading to
> groom the trail.  This was such an efficient operation that we made more
> money from log sales than the cost of building the trail.

> In previous years we hired a logging contractor who simply cut the trees
> leaving low stumps.  Then we had to get a large excavator or cat to do the
> trail building because of the power needed to remove the stumps.  This was
a
> much slower and expensive process.  In this case the excavator with a
> skilled operator seemed to be much more efficient that a Caterpillar
> tractor.  The trick was to get the operator to realize he was building ski
> trails, not roads.  If you don't supervise him he wants to crown and ditch
> the trail like a road and cut an fill every little hill or hollow.  A ski
> trail does not need that quality of construction because it takes away the
> natural ambiance of a trail.

> Scott Elliot
> http://www3.telus.net/selliot/



> > Hi Doug,

> > Great, thanks.  I guess the other thing I wonder about and which
> > really needs to be the first step, is pre-season trail prep.  In
> > order to have good trails in the winter we need to first take care
> > of grading, drainage, etc, issues during the summer.  I hear a lot
> > more talk about snow grooming equipment than about earth/stone
> > grooming, but it's the latter that I need to start on first.  Again
> > this is still probably still at least a few years off for me.

> > How much of this can I expect to accomplish by writing specific
> > requirements into lumber sale contracts?  Is this a useful place to
> > start if logging is happening periodically or is the usefulness of
> > these folks and their equipment limited?  (Due either to equipment
> > limitations or operator unwillingness to work to the required level
> > of detail?)

> > What equipment do XC places normally use for trail grading?  Standard
> > bulldozers and backhoes?  Do the operators require special training
> > or coaching for our needs or is their normal skill set adequate?
> > Can the average non-professional rent the equipment and do an adequate
> > job as a do-it-yourself project or does it require special skills?
> > Is there a good place to read up on how to go about designing and
> > building a trail system?

> > I know, loads of questions.  But if I've got a few years before I
> > really dig into this I might as well spend them doing the homework
> > so I don't make a real mess of it when the time comes!  :-)

> > -Mitch