Monday, October 24, 2005

North Stars Ski Touring Club Take-on the Trail and Weather

Again this fall as they have done for over fifteen years, members of the Twin Cities' North Stars Ski Touring Club traveled to the Gunflint to work on the Banadad Ski Trail. This is their tale-

Friday, October 21, the sky was overcast and the forecast was for rain, twelve club member climb into four canoes and headed west down Tucker Lake. Near the west end of the lake the crew landed their canoes. From here they "bushwacked" through the woods along an unmarked section line 3/4 mile climbing over trees and through the thick brush- their destination a remote interior section of the Banadad four miles west of the Midtrail junction.

By noon the rain had started.

On the trail the maintenance crew divided into two groups- the larger group, armed with loppers, nippers and pole saw headed east to cut the side brush and trees that was slowly chocking off the ski trail's right-away. The smaller group headed west - their assignment was to cut out any major trail brush or down trees one and one and half miles to the west up to an old beaver pond.

The crews worked all day; the rain continued. By the days end the soaked crew had successfully widen one remote mile and opened another mile and one-half of the Banadad. Then it was "bushwhacking" back through the woods to the lake, paddling back down the lake to the canoe landing and return to their home base.

The next day, Saturday, with the rain still coming down the crew's assignment was to widen the most heavily skied section of the Banadad from the eastern trailhead to the Lizz Lake Portage. Another wet day with another socking wet crew at days end but the job was completed.

According to Ted Young, Banadad Trail Coordinator, "For those of you skiing the Banadad this winter- plan to give thanks for the over two hundred hard-wet hours of volunteer labor contributed this year by the North Stars Ski Touring Club. It was their labor that helped to make your ski along the trail possible. You might also think about joining the club or consider making a donation to their trail development fund."

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