There weren't really any indications of snow down low on the hill, but once I was a third of the way up the snow and slush appeared on the climb. I decided to avoid the inevitable death march through the snow that would greet me at the powerlines so I climbed to Blood Donor.
At Donor I started my descent with few patches of snow here and there in the corners which made for a few exciting corner drifts as I negotiated the upper part of the trail. Given that there had been a lot of wind lately, I was pleasantly surprised there weren't any blow downs on the trail at all.
I then stopped at the top of Giant Killer to have a look at a few 'problem areas' that I hope to be able to address with Ryan in the coming weeks. Apart fromthe very top of Giant Killer I'd say the trails has not been in this good of shape for MANY years. The trail has seen a fair amount of drainage work and sculpting that has made the trail gain back the flow it's lacked for quite some time. I was truly impressed the work that has been done lately.
I then made my way over to Snakes and Ladders and along the way it began to rain. I guess the gods knew I intended to do some trail work and deserved to be rained on. I rode down the to bridge that was broken a few weeks ago and began working on bracing the bridge I had built. Due to the length of the span this bridge covers and the lack of large diameter stringers available, I had to used mid size wood for the bridge. These mid size stringers flex a little too much for my peace of mind, so I put in a large brace near the center of the span. The bridge is now solid as a rock and only needs a hour or so to finish the approach and clean-up and it will be open for business.
The remainder of Snakes is in okay shape and really only needs a little little raking and TLC to be buff once again. Considering I have not needed to touch the trail for close to a year I'd say I am quite pleased. Next time I come up, I need to bring some gas, bar oil and a chain file for my saw and a few trail supplies (nails and a rake).
The ride down Shotgun was a drift fest for me. I seem to have picked up a few corner techniques that is allowing me to ride a lot faster in turns and drift my bike trough the corners with a little more confidence.
Good times in the wet muck.