This year has been another busy year and the late snowfall and the devastation caused to my many walks at first seemed like a huge burden. So many trees had fallen in March that many of my marked routes were impassable and the usual clearance after winter was intensified. Every year the pine trees suffer on this steep rocky mountain, the winds topple them as do landslides, but the huge weight of snowfall in just one night was immense. Many trees had literally snapped in half and clearing the road was the most important thing so routes for hikers had to take a back seat. When I was able to make a start, I had to reroute in a lot of places meaning extra markers to be made, fixed in place and maps changed.
One walk was using a timber track where a whole row of pine trees had fallen across it. I managed to climb over and under and counted 40 trees in one stretch of about 10 meters. Lee is very handy with a chainsaw and can tackle most things but after working on the roadway, tackling forest fires and clearing other walks, it was summertime and attempting this one in high temperatures was decidedly crazy! So I gave up the idea of trying to clear it and completely rerouted a large section of the walk.
It wasn’t until today, while out mushroom picking Saffron Milk Caps and Slippery Jacks nearby, I though I’d take another look to assess just how much hard work it would entail. Thankfully the fallen trees are now over 6 months dead and have become very brittle so I could easily snap branches off and break my way though. You still need to climb over and under but the dead wood is also lighter so when Lee tackles it with his chainsaw, I will be able to help drag them out of the track. Then rerouting can begin again, though as our season is nearly over, maybe I’ll wait to see what this winter brings…