We never anticipated the intensity of the ice storm on March 5 and it definitely came as a real surprise to all. It was as severe a storm as many long-time residents can remember, coating trees and branches with up to one-half inch of crystal clear ice. The result was numerous downed branches and limbs, though very few larger trees came down. Small birches and white pines were the hardest hit with many arching fully over obscuring the trails. It was feared that many would not recover but fortunately, most have sprung back to their original position. To get the North End Trail open, however, it did require many of these trees to be cut. The worst impacts were the many white pine “bombs,” pine branches and tops that hit the trail and exploded leaving small branches, tons of needles and other debris on the trail. These were particularly difficult to clean up, and even required raking or even shoveling the needles off the trail.
It took about a week to open up the entire trail, with teams of two to four volunteers working almost every day. Over 55 volunteer hours were put in to get the trail back to a point where we could groom and ski. Thanks to everyone who pitched in to resurrect the trail.
Given the late date and extensive scope of the needed work, it was decided to suspend grooming on the Tony Wise and North End Classic trails and tend to them in the spring.