The Gibson family works on a 900+ year old Douglas fir tree that fell in the storm creating a giant crater in one part of the trail while covering a large portion of the trail with its branches and trunk. The loss of such beautiful old trees is devastating. The clean up is time consuming, labor intensive and dangerous. Photo by Dina Pesenson
BY DINA PESENSON
Southwest Nordic Ski Club
The wind storm that hit our area on December 15 did a lot of damage on the popular Canada Bonita trails. Southwest Nordic Ski Club (SWNSC) volunteers responded immediately, working mornings, evenings, weekends and taking time off work between December 16 and December 23 to clear the fallen trees, fix the trail and the damaged shade fencing in time for the snow forecast December 24-25. It was a herculean undertaking and took hundreds of volunteer hours during the most busy time of the year for everyone. Amazingly, just enough was cleared and fixed by evening of December 23 to provide a passable and groomable trail just when the snowflakes started to fly. Certainly a great holiday present for everyone! SWNSC is very grateful for the amazing volunteers in our community! Photos below attempt to show the scale of damage and the effort that went into fixing it as well as the final result.
Southwest Nordic Ski Club is a 501c3 non-profit with a special cooperative agreement with the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) to maintain the Nordic trails at Canada Bonita. SWNSC provides free cross-country skiing and snowshoe opportunities by grooming the Cañada Bonita trail system in the winter months, and maintains the entire trail system for all users during the rest of the year. SWNSC will be helping clear other trails around the county come spring.
SWNSC junior ski team members helping clear the trails December 22 Photo by Dina Pesenson.
Volunteers with chainsaws cut trees while standing on other fallen trees. Photo by Dina Pesenson
Volunteers loading up equipment for another evening of work on the trails. Photo by Dina Pesenson
Some of the fallen branches on the trail. Photo by Dina Pesenson
One of the heavier trunks that had to be cut and moved. Photo by Dina Pesenson
Travis Gibson was one of the many volunteers who put in days of chainsaw and repair work. Photo by Dina Pesenson
Smiling volunteers raking to clear the trail once the larger tree portions are cleared. Photo by Dina Pesenson
Trail reappearing as raking progresses. Photo by Dina Pesenson
These ‘smaller’ pieces are a lot heavier than they look! Photo by Dina Pesenson
Four volunteers polishing out a bad section after big portions of trees were cleared and deeper holes filled. Photo by Dina Pesenson
Levi, Luke and Zach spent more than 6 hours working on the trail with their parents on December 22. Photo by Dina Pesenson
One of SWNSC’s grooming machines ‘Kermit’ on the trail by another trail-blocking downed tree cluster. Photo by Dina Pesenson
Juan Saenz and Clay Moseley sharpening chainsaws in the club shed by the trailhead. Photo by Dina Pesenson
All that work paid off allowing for rolling of the trails Christmas Eve and on Christmas! Photo by Dina Pesenson
Rosie Frankowski, US Ski Team member and 2018 Olympian was in the area on Christmas weekend and was able to utilize the groomed Canada Bonita trails for some much needed on-snow training for the upcoming US Nationals in her bid to make the 2022 Olympic team! She is pictured here (center, blue jacket) with some of the SWNSC junior nordic team who were up training on the trails the same day. Photo by Dina Pesenson