Trail Makers gearing up for hiking season

The directors of the Summit Trail Makers Society have been meeting regularly during the winter, readying for another positive hiking season.

SUMMIT TRAIL MAKERS SOCIETY

Submitted

The directors of the Summit Trail Makers Society (STMS) have been meeting regularly during the winter, readying for another positive summer with safe, sustainable hiking trails available in the Columbia Valley region.

STMS works in partnership with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Recreation Sites and Trails BC (MFLNRO-RSTBC) to maintain designated hiking trails on Crown land in and around the Columbia Valley. The society also advocates for hikers’ interests by working with government agencies and other organizations in promoting environmental stewardship and sustainable use of the backcountry.

Work parties are responsible for clearing deadfall and rebuilding portions of the trails up to Jumbo Pass, Brewer Lakes, McLean Lake, Welsh Lakes, Pedley Pass, Chalice Creek, Lake of the Hanging Glacier and Mt. Swansea.

The amazing work completed last summer included clearing 1.4-kilometres of the existing access road to the trailhead at Chalice Creek.

On June 30th, 2015 a team of four volunteers successfully replaced the aluminum bridge spans over Hell Roaring Creek, giving hikers easier access to the Lake of the Hanging Glacier. This major undertaking happens both spring and fall annually by STMS.

On the Jumbo Pass trail, a team of four volunteers repaired a section of the trail washed out by spring runoff, cleared four large dead falls across the trail, replaced faded trail markers and posted signs at the trail head junction.

Six volunteers cleared alder from the access road, dug new holes and reinstalled the BC Forest Service trailhead sign along with an STMS sign at Brewer Lakes. They also managed to clear a dozen deadfall trees from the trail.

On July 20th at Welsh Lakes, a volunteer team of four secured the log bridge on the first creek crossing, clipped back alders and cleared deadfall across the trail.

On Mt. Swansea, a team of nine volunteers successfully completed both their trail projects: the connector between the Uptrack and the Hula Girl, and the new Radio Tower Backside trail. Non-motorized signs have also been posted at these trailheads in co-operation with the Ministry of FLNRO.

In the fall, two trailhead signs were also installed at Gibraltar Lookout and Ptarmigan Lake by a dedicated team of two volunteers finishing off the end of the hiking season.

The Summit Trail Makers Society is hoping to attract new members of like-minded people who are interested in supporting the sustainable development and maintenance of hiking trails we all love. There is opportunity for those with all levels of skill and fitness, and it is always a fun day out.

After the work is completed, the group will often hike the rest of the trail and finish with beer and nachos! Many of the members have chosen to increase their skill level by taking courses in chainsaw management and Wilderness First Aid.

STMS membership is a worthwhile investment for all hikers in the valley at $15 per year per person or $20 per family.

We invite you to attend the AGM to find out more about the activities of this vibrant organization or contact us on our website at www.summittrailmakers.ca. Join us as Joe Lucas takes us through a wonderful slide presentation featuring five of Utah’s National Parks. As well, Mark Halwa from Greenways will be there to give us an update on the Greenways activities and the Legacy Trail.

The AGM will be held on Monday, May 30th at 7 p.m. at the David Thompson Secondary School Theatre.

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