High Branch Pruners, Clippers, Sawyers

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Work started for a fifth season on Oct. 11, 2016 and wrapped up on Nov. 24, 2016. THANKS TO LARCH HILLS VOLUNTEERS WHO HELPED prune & brush track set trails.


WE PRUNED HIGH TREE BRANCHES using the Club’s five amazing, very effective 21 foot extendable Silky Pole Saws.      “Why Silky Pole Saws are so great” – 2min 50sec You Tube video.

We pruned lower branches and tree whips with long handled loppers and folding saws. We cleared the cut branches and stems off the trail. Safety-trained, experienced Volunteer chain saw operators cut small diameter trail–side trees which were removed from the trail. The Volunteer Trail Crew’s work wrapped up with a Pot Luck Dinner as the first big snowfall settles in on the trails, as the bears go to sleep and as we start skiing at Larch Hills! SINCE 2012 we’ve invested over 92 days and 1211 volunteer hours to high branch prune and brush about 24K of Larch Hill’s track set trails (approx. 5K per year). 24K represents over 65% of the estimated 37K of track set Larch Hills trails that would benefit from high branch pruning & brushing.

In January 2014, 2015, 2016 and Jan. 2017 a total of 230 hours were devoted to pre-Loppet “flash pruning” and brush sawing whips on the 17K and 30K Loppet routes. These hours are included in the 1211 hours total. See the map below showing trail work completed on Larch Hills’ track set trails: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and to Nov. 24, 2016.

Larch Hills Jr. Racing Team, parents and coaches clear pruned branches and stems off Cottonwood Cutoff – Oct. 29, 2016 “Take Back the Hills”   dsc_0335
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As of November 24 high branch pruning trail work for the 2016 pre-ski season wrapped up. Fourteen work parties were held on consecutive Tuesday and Thursday mornings. We car pooled from Salmon Arm at 8:30 a.m. or met at 9 a.m. at the Chalet Parking lot. We worked ’til about 1 p.m. or as your time allowed. For more info. and to confirm work day changes due to weather contact George Zorn at 250-832-9335 or Jim Nadler at 778-489-2273 to car pool from Salmon Arm.

Note: 2015/16 registered LHNS members who volunteer are covered by CCBC Insurance only until October 15, 2016. Please renew your LHNS membership for the coming season before October 15, 2016 to maintain CCBC Volunteer’s insurance coverage.

Thanks to Tom Hansen, Mark Corbett, the RAP Base Crew, Certification Course Fallers, John Thielman and Larch Hills HB Pruners for “Umbrella Tree” removal on lower Stig’s Loop and Chalet Loop in October 2015. Thanks to Mark Corbett’s RAP Base Crew for “Umbrella Tree” removal on Skytrail’s hills in June 2016 along with track set trails ‘speed junctions’ sight line improvements (e.g.: Hotshot – Ermine Frolic junction, bottom of Jay Walk Hill sharp corner on Ermine Frolic Loop).    


 Total 5.5K of high branch pruning & brusing trail work completed to Nov. 24, 2016


  • Cottonwood Cutoff (1.4K) –    completed Nov. 8 

  • Upper East Dales (0.6K) –       completed Oct. 25

  • Plantation Place (0.7K) – postponed to 2017

  • lower Baby Moonwalk (flats – 0.3K) –    completed Oct. 18 & 21

  • Larch Hills Rd: S. Hub. to Baby Moonwalk (1.7K) –   completed Oct. 11 & 12

  • Heart Break Hill (0.4K) –  postponed to 2017

  • East Dales Hill (0.3K) –   completed Nov. 17

  • Frodo’s Bog – east & west entrances (0.3K) – completed Nov. 22

  • Stig’s Loop – plateau and hills (0.8K) – completed Nov. 24


October & November 2016 Volunteers: Lynne Collins, Keith Cox, Thijs Dijkstra, Dave Evensen, Bent Kristensen, Craig McBride, Duncan Moore, Amos Nadler, Jim Nadler, Kerry & Leona Orchard, LHNS Ski Team members and Parents and Coaches, George Zorn

2012 – 2016 Volunteers (alphabetical order): Roger Beardmore, Frank Bristol, Jim Cadden, Ian Clay, Lynne Collins, Mark Corbett and RAP Crew, Keith Cox, Pat Danforth, Ken Earl, Kristen Earl, Mark Elamatha, Dave Evensen, Jim Hoskins, Pat Hutchins, Bent Kristensen, LHNS Ski Team with Parents and Coaches, Craig McBride, Mitch Milgram, Duncan Moore, Jim Nadler, Peter Navratil, Ron Neden, Blake Noble, Kerry Orchard, Leona Orchard, Birtie Ostby, Ray Ostby, Alois Schonenberger, Pat Shea, Shuswap Trail Alliance’s JCP Winter Trails Crew 2012, Gerda Sieg, Rob Taylor, Pauline Waelti, George Zorn


Map of track set trails treated to November 24, 2016:


Click to enlarge


What are we accomplishing? Some benefits of this work:

  1. Safer, slightly wider trails for skiers
  2. Increased light and snow interception on trails
  3. Fewer frozen “snow bombs” in the tracks and on the combed trail width from overhanging branches during freeze-thaw conditions (emphasis on the hills) – safer for skiers on the hills
  4. Improved sight lines for 2-way skier traffic on sharp corners and at junctions (e.g. Hot Shot – Ermine Frolic, sharp corner at the bottom of Jay Walk hill on Ermine Frolic Loop)
  5. In the fall of 2014, early January 2015 and 2016, just before the RK-S Loppet, 192 volunteer hours were also invested “dressing up” the 17K and 30K Recreational Loppet routes.
  6. Fewer branches obstructing the PB track setter
  7. Our work focus has been on track set trail hill sections to make these safer for skiers (eg. Baby Moonwalk hills, Sky Trail hills, Hot Shot, Stig’s Loop hill, upper Larch Hills Rd. hills to Cec’s Cabin plateau)
  8. We are currently (fall 2016) working on the “Core Area” trails (Chalet to South Hub plateau) where most skiers enjoy skiing most of the time (eg. Cottonwood Cutoff, East Dales, lower Baby Moonwalk…)

Work done and still to do:

24K pruned and brushed (2012 to Nov. 24, 2016) 70%.    10K still to do 30%.