The Friends of Tuckerman Ravine is the official trail adopter for the John Sherburne Ski Trail and the Gulf of Slides Ski Trail. We do not limit our trail maintenance activity to just these two trails as we do aim to provide stewardship for the entire trail system in the Cutler River drainage and on the eastern slopes of Mount Washington New Hampshire as time and resources permit. Our primary focus, in conjunction with oversight and review by the USFS White Mountain National Forest staff, is to preserve and protect the environment as well as the historic recreational legacy that these two heavily used backcountry ski trails provide to the general public.
To support our trail stewardship program we encourage volunteers to join our trail crew and to join us on designated trail maintenance projects that we coordinate each year. We also encourage donations to our Trail Fund to help us purchase equipment and supplies for trail maintenance projects. In conjunction and coordination with the USFS/WMNF staff we offer training to volunteers that want to become trail supervisors to help oversee other volunteers working on the trails we maintain.
Description of services performed by FOTR trail crews
As part of the Androscoggin Ranger District Adopt-A-Trail (AAT) program, the Friends of Tuckerman Ravine (FOTR) has officially adopted two trails, the John Sherburne Ski Trail and the Gulf of Slides Ski Trail. trail crew volunteers will work within the guidelines of the AAT program to complete Level 1 trail maintenance as outlined in the WMNF AAT manual. Level 1 maintenance includes:
- “Brushing in” or clearing vegetation encroaching into or growing within the existing boundaries of the ski trail, and removal of blowdowns from with the trail corridor. This work will be done with hand tools, such as loppers, hand saws, and axes. Axe and crosscut saw users are required to have attended a WMNF training prior to cutting. The use of power saws will be restricted to only those volunteers who have the appropriate level of training and current USFS certification.
- Ensuring proper functioning of drainage features such as waterbars, drainage dips, and side ditches. This work involved digging tools such as shovels, mattocks, and rock bars.
- Ensuring the trails are appropriately marked with signs, blazes, or ski trail markers. FOTR will monitor existing markers and notify the Androscoggin trails program supervisor or Snow Rangers if additional trail markers or signs need to be installed.
Further guidance may be found in the White Mountain National Forest Adopt-A-Trail manual or in consultation with Snow Rangers or the Androscoggin Ranger District trails program supervisor. Project work in addition to Level 1 maintenance may be performed under this agreement if arranged through WMNF staff.
Prior to engaging in volunteer work, volunteers must understand the risks involved in volunteer work of this type and how to protect themselves from harm. To this end:
- FOTR maintains a list of volunteers, including the dates and locations they worked. This list will be made available to the USFS staff (e.g. the Androscoggin District volunteer coordinator) upon request.
- FOTR will conduct a “tailgate safety meeting” before commencing work each day. In this meeting, A representative from FOTR will review the weather forecast and Job Hazard Analysis, ensure each participant is prepared for the day (PPE, food, water, clothing, etc.), and provide an opportunity for volunteers to voice any safety concerns or questions they may have.
- FOTR will have a “check-in/check-out” system to keep track of when volunteers are arriving and departing.
- A first aid kit must be carried by at least one member of the group. Each person in the group should know who is carrying it and where that person will be.
- FOTR will provide tools and equipment and maintain them in good working order. If necessary, USFS tools may be available upon request.
- Any accidents, incidents, or near-misses will be reported to WMNF staff as soon as possible.
- USFS will provide a Job Hazard Analysis. This document will be reviewed annually by WMNF staff.
- USFS will provide training to representatives of FOTR or to volunteers as appropriate.