The Lyndon Outing Club held its annual cleanup day on Saturday, October 24th, 2020 with the help of students enrolled in Sean Doll’s Mountain Resort Management Outdoor Education, Leadership, and Tourism class at Northern Vermont University, members of the Northeast Kingdom community, and several of our Board Members. Between 9:00 am-3:30 pm more than twenty volunteers worked in wet and rainy conditions completing various tasks across the hill or spent their day inside the lodge preparing it for visitors for the forthcoming ski season.
A Collaboration Between the Lyndon Outing Club and NVU Lyndon Since 2011
A former LOC director, Sean Doll began teaching at Lyndon State (now NVU Lyndon) back in 2011. To give back both to the community and Lyndon Outing Club Sean had his students spend a day per year volunteering at the LOC in exchange for use of the facilities (base lodge, etc.) as a “classroom”. However, due to COVID-19, this is the first year his students have not been able to utilize the facilities. The pandemic didn’t prevent them from coming and spending the day working outside in the fresh air.
Really it seemed like the only change was the masks. Other than that, it felt pretty normal. It was about the only normal(ish) thing that has happened in 2020. Social distancing was not much of an issue either, as students needed to keep their distance just because it is inherent in the type of work we do on that day.Sean Doll
Bringing the Old Ski Jump Landing Back to Life
A large crew spent the morning clearing saplings and shrubs that had overgrown the steep landing area of the old ski jump. This terrain had not been accessible in years, but thanks to their hard work will now be skiable again. If you’ve stopped by the Outing Club in the past couple of weeks, this may be the most noticeable change.
Former LOC President and current board member Sue Russell spent the morning on the tractor manicuring the LOC grounds. We have been lucky this year to have several board members volunteer their time to mow the hill. Thanks to their efforts it is looking better than it has in years!
Opening up more Terrain on the Face
Along skiers left of the Face, an area of Birch trees was thinned out and brush was removed to open up more options for skiing and riding this winter. We have been discussing cutting more glades in the future so this is a step in that direction.
Preventative Maintenance, Cleaning Up and adding Elements along Suicide
Jan Eric Welch, his girlfriend Megan Mayo, Scott Desjardins, and his kids worked on clearing hazardous and fallen trees along Suicide. They brought down one large damaged tree that was at risk of falling onto the trail and cleared several large trees on the ground right before Suicide intersects with Wheeler’s Way. After clearing up the mess, pruning trees, and removing saplings, they managed to open up several new options for skiing and riding.
Firewood Retrieval and X/C Bridge Removal
After the chainsaw crews wrapped up their work LOC Vice President Joe Peters used his tractor to pull freshly cut trees down the hill to be cut and split. One of our new directors, Matthew Schade, and his kids split and stacked several pieces of old pine as well. In the meantime, Nate Davis along with a crew of NVU students removed the last cross country ski bridge on Fisher’s property. He had previously helped remove the other bridges last month, as they began to deteriorate and become both a hazard and a nuisance.
Preparing the Lodge
Director Sam Gale, along with several students, spent the day preparing the lodge to welcome visitors. They cleaned the kitchen, washed the windows, and moved outdated cross country ski equipment that had been piling up in the basement to the dumpster. While students were staying busy with these tasks, directors Paul Cranmer and Tom Frackleton cleaned the fireplace and made it ready to keep us warm this winter.
A Benefit to the Students of NVU Lyndon
Our Mountain Resort Management Practicum students have a lead role on planning the event, so they see what it is like to plan something dependent on volunteer participation, something that they will all need to do at some point in their careers in the resort industry. But the two overarching themes of the class are communication and empathy. Their communication skills are tested on multiple levels; communication with each other, communication with their volunteers, and communication with the LOC. Empathy is tapped, because some of these students may never do this type of work again, and it is always good to know what the men and women who work on trails actually do.
As for the first-year students, it acts as an opportunity to get some of the volunteer hours they need to complete for a couple of our classes.Sean Doll
Looking Ahead to the Ski Season
All of us here at the Lyndon Outing Club are very excited about the forthcoming ski season. With the sharp rise of COVID-19 in our region we are unfortunately entering a harsh new reality of how we will have to operate at the LOC. To ensure the safety of our volunteers and guests, we are required to adhere to strict guidelines for ski areas mandated by the State of Vermont. Once we near our opening date, we will let you know what changes to expect and what our operating procedures will be. We are working hard to create both a safe and pleasant skiing experience for our friends and family in the Northeast Kingdom.
Article by Jan Eric Welch
Photos by Stephen Garfield, Megan Mayo, Matthew Schade and Sue Russell
Video by Jan Eric Welch
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Lyndon Outing Club
P.O. Box 112
Lyndonville, VT 05851