A Day in the Life of a Groomer - 2.24.2016
If you're a cross-country skier and a winter storm rolls into the Snyderville Basin, you probably start laying out your equipment for your upcoming trek. But if you're on the Basin Recreation Trails Team, you're already plotting your route around the trails system for when the snow stops falling. Plowing the paved trails for commuters and grooming for skiers are two of our most rewarding jobs from November to April. Our patrons thoroughly enjoy using the winter trails, and we're proud to be a part of their maintenance.
Priority number one is Safe Routes to Schools. Two of our Trails team members pick up either a plow truck or the track steer at around 6:30am for plowing the trails surrounding Trailside Elementary, Jeremy Ranch Elementary, Weilenmann School of Discovery, and Ecker Hill Middle School. That's nearly all of Highland Drive, Bitner Road, Rasmussen Road, and Millennium Trail! Whoa! Watching families walk to school as we move onto the net set of trails is a fantastic way to start each day.
Then it's back to Willow Creek Park to swap out the trucks for the tracked up side-by-side or the tracked all-terrain vehicle for grooming 31 kilometers of multiuse trails. From the Willow Creek Trail, we branch in both directions to Park City Market and The Fieldhouse via the East 224 Connector Trail. At Whole Foods, we cross underneath the highway to groom to Park City Nursery in one direction and Liberty Peak in the other. Plus, we have two unconnected groomed trails at Ecker Hill Middle School and The Woods at Parleys Lane.
The craziest part of our jobs is unpredictable weather, which dictates the grooming schedule. We usually groom four days per week for six hours each day, but we might head out on the groomed trails every day if the snow keeps coming. This year, we haven't been able to catch up! We've learned that highly used trails are easier to groom, so we're lucky to work in a town where patrons enthusiastically recreate on our winter trails.
The Trails team finishes the job by posting and sending our Winter Grooming Report. Maybe you find out about trail conditions on our website or perhaps you're on our mailing list. Either way, the team heads back to the Trailside Admin Office after a long day of grooming to report the status of the trails. Where did we groom today? Are there classic lanes? Any other comments? We want you to get the scoop as soon as possible.
Every member of the Trails team is passionate about being outside and improving the trail system. Our entire staff uses the trails along with our patrons. What's more, it's always nice to have people in the community appreciate what we do.
If you've been meaning to try cross country skiing on the winter trails, the Silver Ski Nordic Extravaganza is the perfect opportunity. This Saturday, February 27th from 10am to 12pm at Willow Creek Park, we'll be touring around the surrounding trails followed by soup, coffee, and cocoa. Plus, we have a special gift for the first 50 skiers. We'll see you out there!
For more information about our trails or to receive our Grooming Report, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (435) 646-1564.
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