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Burlington Section News and Notes (7/01)

Long Trail Walk-Through 2001

This year we held five trail work outings to hike and clear our section of the Long Trail (from the Winooski River to Smugglers Notch). Volunteer response was good, averaging 11 workers per hike (an increase from last year).

We started with a beautiful day on May 6. Unfortunately the rest of the outings featured cloudy skies and some rain. At least the bugs were at a minimum and we didn't get too hot!

Clearing the Long Trail from Jonesville to Butler Lodge on Mt. Mansfield, we found quite a few trees that required cutting. We also cleared water bars and drainage channels and added a few rocks to mud puddles. Above Bolton Valley, the trail was extremely wet, the result of recent snow melt and heavy rain.

Many, many thanks to all the volunteers, most of whom are Burlington Section members. We had a nice mix of “regulars”, who come year after year, and new people.

On National Trails Day, our last clearing, folks from the Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington helped. Everyone put in a lot of effort!

As you hike this year, please let us know of any trail problems you find. To report on trails between Rte. 2 to Rte. 108:

email; or call Pam (802 879-1457), or John Sharp (802 862-3941).

To report on other trails, contact the GMC office in Waterbury Center:, or call 802 244-7037.

    Pam Gillis, Trails Co-Chair

GMC Annual Meeting and Board of Directors Meeting
June 9, 2001

Newly elected Burlington Section Director Deborah Brown reports on the GMC annual meeting and her first Board of Directors meeting.

A Snapshot of the Club This Year

Seven-tenths of a mile of the LT and 4026 back country acres were protected with the crowning glory being the Black Falls acquisition (see Long Trail News Summer 2001 ). Two shelters were rebuilt (Butler and Peru Peak) and many more privies! The fiscal year ended in the black, but barely. Ben Rose, GMC executive director, proposed boosting the club's endowment by $5 million to create self-sustaining income for trails and shelters.

Burlington Section Member Awards

  • Service Award 5 years - Deborah Brown
  • Buchanan Award 10 years - Herm Hoffman, Leo Leach, Peter Alden, Len Carpenter, John Brown
  • President's Award - Pam Gillis, Leo Leach
  • Volunteer of the Year Award from the American Hiking Society - Leo Leach

Board Meeting Highlights

We welcomed new directors Megan Epler Wood, Fred Gilbert, and Harris Roen, and thanked retiring directors Pam Gillis, Allen Jacobs, and Bob Northrup. Minutes from the 3/17/01 meeting were approved. The GMC officers were re-elected without change. Brattleboro Section's new and improved bylaws were submitted and approved by the Board.

Field Projects

At the request of the Johnson Planning Commission, we are looking at alternate LT crossings of the Lamoille River in Johnson. Though there are other structurally favorable sites, they seem unlikely to be available because of private land ownership.

Smuggler's Notch relocation is still being planned this year, with construction due to occur next year.

The Winooski Valley relocation of the LT has been flagged on the south side with plans to finish a proposed flagline on the north side of the river this summer and fall, and to develop a ferry for the 2002 season. For this year, the Jonesville bridge will be open until November.

As many folks know, Shooting Star Shelter was crushed by heavy snow; plans are to replace it this summer. Gorham Lodge is closed because of snow damage and will probably be replaced on a new site next summer.

Emily Proctor Shelter is being removed this year though the site can still be used as a tenting area. Long-term plans: new shelters on the Pico Peak relocation and south of Bromley.

GMC President Marty Lawthers plans to distribute a list of GMC committees and their current members to the Board. She encouraged people to sign up if they have an interest in one of these committees.

The meeting was held at Bolton Valley Resort and hosted by the Montpelier Section.

    —Deborah Brown

Wolfgang Goes SOLO

Sure, why not? I do a lot of solo hiking.

This was my first thought when I heard about the Burlington Section offer to sponsor a trip leader to attend the SOLO Wilderness First Aid workshop. Little did I know that"SOLO” stands for Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities, a professional school for outdoor leadership, rescue, and medical emergencies.

Although I have taken general first aid and Red Cross classes in my native Germany, I wasn't sure what to expect from a course taught in the United States. I half expected to hear warnings about how you could be sued for pretty much anything and that you were better to leave all but the most basic tasks to a well-insured specialist who would eventually show up.

Was I wrong! The two instructors focused on wilderness emergencies, defined as those for which the response time is greater than one hour. I learned to use my judgment based on the circumstances and to perform confidently tasks normally left to professionals.

My second mistake in my expectations was to forget the American way of making learning also entertaining. Both instructors did an excellent job, compared to my old-fashioned Red Cross class. You can talk about emergencies and serious injuries and still have fun. Bravo to that one!

Because the weather was fair, we did most of the practical exercises outdoors. We took turns being"patients” or” rescuers”. The first group of patients didn't have to do much pretending when it came to hypothermia. They lay down on remaining patches of snow and waited while we"wannabe rescuers” took our time evaluating and discussing the situation. Finally, the supposed-to-be-unconscious patients complained:"How about putting one of those pads under me. I'm getting cold.” So much for quick response!

I learned the importance of carrying pencil and a"SOAP note” in my pack."SOAP” stands for Subjective, Objective, Assessment Plan. This piece of paper contains an overview of what needs to be done in what order, and is also a place for notes. That is certainly helpful guidance in a real emergency situation where panic is likely to have the upper hand.

The quality of the instruction was well worth the price. The certification is valid for two years from the date of the class. This makes sense considering how fast we forget things we don't practice regularly. Which is fine with me — not having to use my first aid training, that is.

    Wolfgang Hokenmaier

Take A Trip

If you would like to lead a hike, or help with planning the outing schedule, Paul and Phil would like to hear from you.