Annual Report 1996
- Executive Director
- Bait and Bullet
- Cabin and Trail (C&T)
- Dartmouth Mountaineering Club (DMC)
- Environmental Students at Dartmouth (ESD)
- Ledyard Canoe Club
- Ski Patrol
- Snowboarding Club
- Women in the Wilderness
I never thought a year ago today that I would be sitting here now writing this report so calmly. As I recall, at about this time, I was frantically trying to understand how Sara Greenberg and I were ever going to figure out everything that needed to be done at the DOC. Needless to say, learning all the ins and outs of how the Outing Club operates was quite a project -- at times a bit stressful, but always rewarding and worthwhile. Out of that initial confusion, though, rose a very strong desire to build on the positive work of Amy Barnhorst and Todd Parment, the former Presidents and Vice President. I think I can safely say that we accomplished that -- and then some. In the past year, I have seen the DOC grow tremendously, and I know that trend will continue.
When we came to office last year, Sara's and my main goal was to create a more unified atmosphere in the Outing Club. In the past few years, this has been a great concern for the Club; every past President has mentioned it as an area for improvement. Our initial steps for attaining this goal included following through with Todd and Amy's "equalization of clubs," establishing strong and useful directorate meetings, and organizing more club-wide events.
Last year, Todd and Amy made a point of rewriting the constitution so that all clubs would be on an equal footing within the DOC. Included in this was an entirely new budget procedure that put all the clubs on the same level. The result of this effort, and it's institution during our tenure, was to bring the clubs closer together and to give each one a greater respect for the activities of the other clubs. This, I believe, set the stage for greater strides forward.
My impression of Directorate meetings before this year was that they were not particularly productive and not very well attended. Sara and I wanted to change this. We believed that Directorate meetings should be an essential time for club leaders to come together, share advice, make connections for joint trips, plan club-wide activities, and raise general awareness and interest in their activities. I am not completely sure how we managed to do this...it may have been the food that we provided at every meeting. In any case, Directorate meetings became fairly popular (compared to years past!) and were pretty darn fun as well! I must give a great deal of credit here to Sara Greenberg, who was tremendously good at ensuring that we were, in fact, being productive while we were having fun. In the future, I would hope that this continues. I envision Directorate meetings becoming more of an "All-DOC" meeting where any member who is interested in the Dartmouth Outing Club can come to share ideas and plan events.
Sara and I (and Chris Carbone, who ably filled Sara's shoes in the winter when she left) also tried to plan more club-wide events. In the fall, a freshman came up to me to tell me how interested he was in becoming extremely involved in the DOC. When I asked him which club he was particularly interested in, he looked a bit confused and said that he was interested in participating in the DOC as a whole. This illustrated to me how sorely lacking the DOC is in general events for all its members. In addition to the traditional Spring and Fall Weekends at Moosilauke, we planned a Freshmen Parents event at the Skiway, desserts at Ledyard, a roller skating excursion to Enfield, and a skating party at Occom Pond. I would highly recommend continuing and expanding these kinds of events. I cannot emphasize enough the need to provide general activities that will appeal to all those DOC members out there who never end up doing anything with any particular club -- as well as those members who do participate in specific clubs, but want to try more! If these activities are to continue, however, it would be wise to appoint a "DOC Events" chair to help coordinate them.
In addition to these efforts, the process of examining last year's External Review and the formation of the Dartmouth Outdoor Review Committee (DORC) has occupied much of our time in office. I believe this process has had a tremendously positive effect on the relationship between the DOC and the Outdoor Programs Office. In the Fall term, DORC met on a weekly basis to discuss important issues the directly affect the DOC as well as the OPO. The majority of DORC, at that time, was made up of students, but also included the staff of OPO. Through the discussion this group conducted, communication between our two entities has increased. This communication must continue. In the past, I have seen how easy it is for misunderstandings to arise between student members and OPO staff -- and now I have seen how easy it is to avoid those problems through simple but consistent communication. Though these weekly DORC meetings have come to an end, I believe that regular meetings between OPO staff and club leaders should continue to occur.
As for the Dartmouth Outdoor Review Committee itself, the changes that have developed from it have been very positive. The DOC is unique in that it has always been given wide latitude by the college to operate as it pleases. We have access to substantial funds, college vehicles, and a wealth of resources in our own backyard. Many other colleges and universities have shied away from supporting their outing clubs so strongly because with support comes a great deal of liability and risk. Dartmouth College has not shied from supporting us, but the College is justified in asking us to review and reformulate our methods so that we can assure them that we are not a "high-risk investment." Issues such as leader training for all clubs address these concerns and, in doing so, strengthen the credibility and character of the Club itself. The past two terms of discussion and decision have accomplished much in the way of strengthening our Club. As discussion continues into next year and decisions are implemented, I hope that students remain as interested and committed to the process as in this past year -- their input and advice has been the cornerstone of this process.
Ah, but now it is time for me to move on. As I have said, I think the DOC has made great strides in the past year. Even more so, however, I see that the future holds tremendous opportunity for the Club. Inclusiveness and unity is growing within and between each club, and with continued effort, this should increase. There is so much energy and interest out there among the Club members for more intra-club and Club-wide events. That energy and interest, I hope, will remind the DOC why it was founded -- to be an outlet for the entire campus to use to truly enjoy the out-of-doors.
I feel a bit sad that I will no longer be able to have a large part in guiding our movement forward. I have learned and experienced more with the DOC in the past year than I thought possible -- but, then, that is what the DOC is all about. I am very confident, though, that the incoming DOC leaders will easily pick up where Sara, Chris, and I have left off, and will do much more for the DOC than we even imagined.
- Pam Brockmeier '95, D.O.C. President
"It's not the magnitude of the adventure we embark on that matters, but our own capacity for wonder when we engage ourselves with the world...What is important is that we remember above all that the world holds adventure in every moment for us; we only need the courage to make it our own."
- Pam Houston, rafting guide.
Now go get yourself outside!
The Dartmouth Outing Club annual report is prepared by many people - mostly students - who have held leadership positions throughout the year and are providing records of programs, achievements, and problems, as well as some thoughts on future directions both for the Outing Club as a whole and for the particular area of responsibility covered by the report author. The reports vary considerably in length and in content depending on the writer and on the amount of interest in a particular program. As you read the annual report, keep in mind that one of the strengths of the Outing Club is its ability to respond to changing needs. You may note that some areas are weaker than others, and even in the strong areas the level and focus of activity fluctuates from year to year. That's O.K. The picture changes annually as each class enters and brings people from different backgrounds and with different interests into the club. Consider this report in its entirety and you will conclude that the D.O.C. is a healthy organization providing a wide variety of outdoor experiences for the Dartmouth community.
My segment of the annual report provides records of the budget and fiscal health of the club, as well as the personnel involved as student leaders, staff, and non-student volunteer advisors. I may include my perceptions of the club and where it is going. Reporting of the clubs' programs is left with the leadership directly involved in those programs.
The financial report, written separately, consists of several tables and follows this narrative. For now I'd like to point out an annual dilemma. The Outing Club starts its programmatic year at the beginning of the Spring term, when new officers assume their duties in positions of leadership. The Club's fiscal year, however, coincides with that of the College which begins on July 1. The Spring term could be difficult because funds are running low while the energy levels, inspiration, and imagination of the new leaders are high. Fortunately the leadership understands this and is frugal throughout the year. Conscientious use of the budget results in fair balances available for the final full term of the fiscal year. During that term, old and new officers work together to produce and provide a very full calendar of events without placing the budget in jeopardy. The club is fortunate to have leaders with such fiscal maturity.
The student leadership is unquestionably the backbone of the club. This group of highly motivated, sensitive, skilled, community focused, outdoor oriented students continues to keep the D.O.C. in the forefront of outing clubs nationally, and provides exemplary proof that student organizations can be a positive influence on the life of students on and off campus. Without the constant flow of energy provided by the club officers, directors, and leaders, all the efforts of the advisory and governing boards and committees, as well as that of the staff, would be futile. In spite of the significant demands on their time, these students continuously rise to the occasion and show their commitment. Many, but not all, of these leaders have written reports included in the annual report. There are others who lead for a term or for an event and may not be named here-in. Too numerous to list here, they deserve an expression of gratitude. On behalf of the College, the Club, and myself, THANK YOU one and all for a job well done! Your efforts are appreciated.
Following up on last year's changes to the Constitution and on Outdoor Programs Office External Review, students and staff met throughout the year to discuss and agree upon new policy and procedures to guide the Outing Club in its continuing role as an outstanding example of a student organization. Central to these discussions were themes of student partnership with staff, accountability, purpose, and resource management. The result of these discussions is a plan which will be implemented in the Fall of 1996. Everyone will have to be consciously aware of what has been agreed upon and work together to make it happen. Change is difficult, but in this case at least, will result in a stronger more credible Outing Club.
DOC President Pam Brockmeier and Vice-President Sara Greenberg proved their leadership skills by encouraging active on-going participation by other student leaders throughout this year-long effort. For this and all else they did while in office I offer my heart-felt gratitude. The club is a better organization for your efforts!
There are others, of course, who always seem to be around, and involved in some way with most of what is happening. Those include students who have made a significant impact on the D.O.C., Dartmouth College, and all of us in a personal way. This list would include Mark Brosseau '98, Chris Carbone '97, Matt Fulton '96, Jodi Gesten '98, Rebecca Harrington '96, Carolyn Hall '98, Michael Hay '98, Brett Jensen '97, Darryl Knudsen '96, Jenny Land '96, Chris Linton '96, JC Martinez '97, Sandy Maruszak '96, Katie Mottinger '98, Julie Moynihan '98, Lindsay Page '96, Sara Pankenier '98, Dave Robinson '96, Tom Russo '97, Pete Semen '97, Sabrina Serrantino '95, Brian Sheldon '98, Brian Spence '95, Tyler Stableford '96, Ian Stewart '96, Oliver Will '96, and Josh Zemel '99. Preparing a list of this type brings the risk of leaving out someone who deserves recognition. My apologies for anyone not included who feels left out. If you feel that way, you belong on the list. These are the people who gave more of themselves than is expected. Many thanks to all!
There are many students, faculty, administrators, alumni, and members of the local community who serve on boards and committees that provide supplementary support to the Outing Club. These include the D.O.C.. Board of Directors, the Ledyard Canoe Club Board of Directors, the Safety Review Board, the Accident Review Committee, the Moosilauke Advisory Committee, and the Appalachian Trail Advisory Committee. The people serving in this capacity are honestly concerned with Dartmouth out-of-doors. They provide extensive knowledge and experience in their respective areas and are to be applauded for their willingness to give time and energy. Their devotion and level of involvement is very much appreciated. Thanks to one and all!
D.O.C. Board of Directors
Kevin Peterson '82
Willem M. Lange III '57A
Dean Daniel M. Nelson '75
Professor David Kotz '86
Dean Peter Goldsmith
Jay Heinrichs '78
Professor Leslie Sonder
Pam Brockmeier '95, DOC President
Sara Greenberg '97
Rebecca Harrington '96
M. deRaismes Combes '99
Carter Wray '97
Matt Little '96
Kevin Hand '97
Safety Review Board
Jim Mason, Chair
Dr. Alexander Reeves
Dr. Michael Mayor
Earl R. Jette '55A
Sandra Maruszak '96
Accident Review Committee
Willem M. Lange III '57A
Pam Brockmeier '95
LCC Board of Advisors
Dean Daniel M. Nelson '75
Dan Lambert '92
Moosilauke Advisory Committee
Putnam Blodgett '53
J. Willcox Brown '37
Jack Noon '68
Bernie Waugh '74
Peter Forbes '83
Viva Hardigg '84
Martha Cornell Macomber '86
Tom Burack '82
Jay Benson '90
Pam Brockmeier '95, DOC President
Rebecca Harrington '96, C&T Co-Chair
David Hooke '84
Earl R. Jette '55A
Appalachian Trail Advisory Committee
Dr. Robert W. Averill '72
Rebecca Harrington '96
College Grant Advisory Committee
Jere Daniel '55
Dr. Eric Sailer '60
Dr. Sam Doyle '47
Professor Richard Birnie
Jack Noon '68
Bob Rooke '74
Norm Webber III '71
Dr. Andy McKibbin '73
Dick Plummer '54
Dean Daniel M. Nelson '75
Carol B. Muller '77
Pam Brockmeier '95, DOC President
David Robinson '96, ESD Chair
Brian Sheldon '98, Bait & Bullet Chair
Earl R. Jette '55A
Willem M. Lange III '57A
The permanent staff of the Outdoor Programs Office has changed again. Bruce Lingelbach was hired as Women's Alpine Ski Coach. Bruce comes to us with experience from a coaching position with the U.S. Ski Team as well as with other outstanding credentials. He wasted no time in bringing that group of skiers to a competitive level not reached by Dartmouth women in a long time. It's great to have him with us. Also new on the scene is Betsy Garties, hired to manage the new Organic Farm program. You won't find her around the office. To see Betsy you have to go out to the farm! Her drive and enthusiasm is contagious. Students are already very much involved, and faculty are planning to utilize the farm in their academic courses. We welcome Betsy to our team. In the area of office support we have been joined by Ashley "ASE" Thomas '91. ASE agreed to help out when Judith Kushner was incapacitated due to an accident while horse-riding. ASE fit in very nicely and has been running the office area very effectively and efficiently. In fact, ASE will continue with us on a part-time basis even after a full-time administrative assistant is back on the job. We are fortunate to have him with us. New temporary staff include Craig Sakowitz and CJ Robechek at the Ravine Lodge where they did a great job as managers. Jed Eliades joined us to manage the Rental Program, and has brought them along very nicely. These with other temporary staff who come back on a regular basis serve the DOC and the Outdoor Programs Office very well, and truly appreciated!
I work with a wonderful staff! They have a lot of expertise, skill, and energy that is shared openly with the students. I'm told over and over by the students how much they enjoy and appreciate working with the staff. As director of the office, I am both proud and humble to have such a great group of people with which to work. My job is much easier because of them.
Permanent Staff (93/94)
Earl R. Jette '55A, Director
Brian Kunz, Assistant Director
David Hooke '84, Facilities Manager
Ruff Patterson, Director of Dartmouth Ski Team
Peter Dodge, Men's Alpine Coach
Bruce Lingelbach, Women's Alpine Coach
Cami Thompson, Women's Nordic Coach
Judith Kushner, Administrative Assistant
Ashley "ASE" Thomas '91, Administrative Assistant (temporary)
Kathy Decato, Administrative Assistant (Business)
Maggie Sullivan, Administrative Secretary - Ski Team
Sally Boillotat, Director of Riding, Morton Farm
Betsy Garties, Organic Farm Manager
CJ Robechek '96, Co-Manager, Ravine Lodge, 1995
Craig Sakowitz '93, Co-Manager, Ravine Lodge, 1995
Jed Eliades, Rental Program
Norm Wakely, Instructor, Ski Touring Center
John Joline, Instructor, Climbing Programs
These people - the Outdoor Programs staff - play an important role in providing advice, encouragement, direction, instruction, and assistance to student leaders and team members. By helping and otherwise working with these students, the staff provides for the needs of the Outing Club and proves to be a valuable resource. It is a real pleasure for me to be part of such a team.
The Dartmouth Outing Club is a part of the Outdoor Programs Office which in turn is part of the Office of Student Life. The Director of Student Life, Holly Sateia, is my immediate supervisor. Holly is very supportive of the D.O.C.. She makes it a point to know what is going on in the club, who the student leaders are, and what the needs are. We are fortunate to have such support. Holly - it is noted and appreciated. Thanks!
In recent years I have commented on the high level of institutional support for the D.O.C.. and for the Outdoor Programs Office in general. That support is evident in the "Final Report of the Planning Steering Committee," (committee chaired by former Provost John Strohbehn) where reference is made to the Outing Club and the out-of-doors as representing the tradition, values, and "sense of place" that Dartmouth is proud of. I also noted that the support is made evident by including the D.O.C. in the current capital campaign with a list of gift-giving opportunities to support the club through endowment. The Development Office staff working on the capital campaign have been very supportive of our efforts to generate gifts of endowment for the D.O.C. and other areas of the Outdoor Programs Office. I am pleased to report that the endowment level is increasing substantially, bringing us closer to our goal of self-support status. The club appreciates this support from the top levels of the College administration and the Trustees.
Two words come to mind as I view the programs and activities being planned and conducted by the student leaders: education and inclusion. Education for themselves to be better leaders through leadership training programs of all types. Education for all participants in outdoor activities through outdoor skills workshops and seminars. Education for the whole community about our natural environment through sponsored conferences, panel discussions, and speakers. Inclusion of all students by hosting "open-to-all" events. Inclusion of minorities by actively seeking their participation in regular activities. Inclusion of faculty, alumni, and administration by inviting and encouraging their involvement in Club programs. It is clear to me that through education and inclusion the Club is responding to issues of diversity, faculty involvement, and safety. Change takes time, especially in this tradition-rich, historically-oriented student organization. But the Club is responsive. The student leaders gain confidence from the solid foundation of the Club and use their strength to bring about social changes working within the system. They also demonstrate their character when accepting changes that could appear as threats but are really just new challenges - new opportunities. And so, by taking advantage of its setting and support, brings together students, staff, alumni, faculty and friends. It continues to be a very special organization in which Dartmouth College can take great pride.
- Earl R. Jette '55A, Executive Director
The Dartmouth Outing Club experienced a reduction in allocation from the general budget in this fiscal year as it has in the recent past and will probably experience in the near future. These reductions are not unlike those made in other offices of the College and in that respect the Outing Club has been treated fairly. Nonetheless, the impact of the lower level of funding necessitates changes in the level of program support.
The tables that follow present the level of funding in each of the D.O.C. accounts. Listing them all provides the reader with a sense of the broad array of outdoor opportunities the club provides and how the various components of the club fare fiscally. The tables also present a comparison of current funding with the previous two years both in dollars and in percentages. Since these tables include the salaries of all permanent and temporary staff, the figures are of budgeted moneys, not of actual money spent. Increases in the bottom line reflect wage increases. Taking this into account, it is obvious that there are reductions in funds available for discretionary use in programs. Readers are encouraged to bring their questions and comments to me.
The reason that the budget (not actual money spent) is shown is that the actual expense is simply not as important in the fiscal control of the D.O.C. It is the philosophy of the D.O.C. to function within the "whole" as an integral part, not to be considered separately. Should one account be overspent through unforeseen circumstances or agreed-upon programmatic expansion another account will be under-spent. In this way the D.O.C. maintains its fiscal integrity. Division, program, and affiliate club leaders have a strong sense of responsibility to the Outing Club as a whole and not just to their particular group. Everyone works together to maintain a level of credibility.
I stated above that allocation from the general budget will continue to be reduced. The Outing Club will survive because of its strength and philosophical support. However, individuals will undoubtedly contribute more in fees to participate in programs. The Outing Club is important to the institution but cannot possibly expect support ahead of academic departments, the library, or compensation for employees. The D.O.C. must create a fiscal structure that is based on endowment income, fees, and annual gifts. Results from the capital campaign are encouraging. I am optimistic that the club can become self-sufficient and thereby assured and confident of its role in the live of future Dartmouth students.
- Earl R. Jette '55A, Executive Director
Bait and Bullet
The Bait and Bullet club had another good year during 1995 and the beginning of '96. Last spring term members of the club got out on local rivers and streams for some nice fishing. The trout were fairly cooperative and everyone had a good time chasing them, even a few beginners who tried out the sport. Orvis came and had a fly-fishing clinic on the Green which seemed to be enjoyed by a lot of people who stopped by during the day. Casting lessons, contests, and demonstrations made the day a huge success. Another demonstration is being planned for this spring.
Mike Bowman took over the club for the summer. I heard about numerous successful fishing trips, many to Boston Lot Pond. I think the fishing was good, although the lack of rain over the summer made fish hard to find in the rivers and streams. Lakes and ponds proved a good substitute though. We also started shooting trap on a somewhat regular basis. For the second half of the summer, a group of 5 or 6 members would shoot almost every Monday afternoon. Unfortunately, we didn't include this activity in the budget for the term so members had to buy all of the supplies for themselves.
Fall term brought the hunting season back once again. Members were diligent as always in their pursuit of the elusive grouse, waterfowl, and deer. Numerous trips in the local area were very successful. Also, a bird hunting trip to the Second College Grant was amazingly successful. Unfortunately, the deer hunting trip to the same location later in the season was not as productive. Again, none of our members came home with a deer. Thankfully, all of our shotguns are back from being repaired and our hunting equipment seems to be in very good shape.
The winter term brought some additions to our equipment lists. The dilapidated fly-tying equipment we had was replaced, fixed, and added to so that we now have a very good set-up for tying flies. Some informal fly-tying practice/instruction sessions got some new people introduced to the special art as well as giving more experienced tyers some time to make flies for the upcoming fishing season. We also had a great ice-fishing trip at the end of January. The weather was really rough the first day of the trip, but the second day was great and we even caught some fish. They were delicious too. And, when it wasn't too cold, we managed a few trips to shoot trap at a local sand pit.
Membership seems to be doing well. It is increasing slowly. We're starting to get some more female members also which is good to see. I think more members of the club are beginning to participate in different activities also. The leadership of the club was changed to consist of two co-presidents. This should help the club by dividing up the leadership responsibilities and making a broader range of abilities available to the club. Hopefully that will contribute to making this year even more productive than the last.
- Brian Sheldon '98, Co-president, Bait & Bullet
Cabin and Trail
This past year has been characterized by "firsts" for Cabin and Trail. We introduced a novel idea in elections by running as co-chairs. We'd like to emphasize that we decided all along to run together, as partners. It was not a last-minute decision; it seemed like the best solution considering our mutually busy senior schedules and the fact that we had both been equally involved in C&T together since Freshman year. We also felt as though we both had individual, complementary strengths which we could bring to C&T in being chairs together. It was unusual that this worked out; we don't recommend this in the future as common practice unless the two people really know each other and work together well. Dividing responsibilities and making sure that both people stay alerted to all club issues can be a difficult task at times and requires effort.
Many changes occurred this year as C&T continued to rebuild and move away from the deplorable state it had been in two years ago when we were plagued by few council members and unenthusiastic leadership, few attendees at meetings, poor communication with the Outdoor Programs Office, and not enough people-power to get the work done. This year saw the re-introduction of a large, well-delegated council from all classes and with varied levels of involvement. However, we continued to focus on making sure that the revived interest in C&T would continue, and strongly encouraged social Heeler activities and a variety of trips. The co-chairs also introduced "office hours" held once a week at Collis over breakfast, or by appointment, so that members and Heelers could ask questions and voice concerns. This system nipped in the bud many gripes and interpersonal problems which have divided the club and our work in the past.
As the OPO has taken on more responsibilities over the past few years, the connection between C&T and the OPO has diminished, and passage of knowledge of the inner workings of the club and its resources for both outside work and office operations has declined. We felt very frustrated that the OPO was not prioritizing C&T's needs to complete cabin and trail maintenance by helping our club to ensure passage of knowledge from one year to the next. Since the OPO is a constant to counter the changing body of students, this role is key. As chairs, we made it our priority to increase communication with Earl, to request weekly meetings with him, and to invite him each week to council so that work and information questions could be dealt with efficiently and on the spot.
The Cabin and Trail council was larger this year than it ever has been in recent memory. We created some new positions and encouraged directors to better utilize resources, such as the trail sign logbooks, meetings with Appalachian Trail officials, and the OPO. We started requiring all directors to give a report on activities in their areas at each council meeting to make directors more accountable and to better communicate what work needed to be done.
In addition to increased communication with the OPO, we also stressed friendly working relations with the directorate in order to better serve C&T's needs and take into account those of the other clubs. The past year has seen more inter-club trips and sharing of ideas and resources. Some of these happenings relate to changes made by the Dartmouth Outdoor Review Committee in the fall, but most are the result of having an enthusiastic, open-minded president who sought to keep the club working and having fun.
The Robinson Hall renovations made this year particularly challenging for C&T because we no longer had a stable base for meeting and working. Our daily activities and work trips were hindered since we were constantly changing meeting rooms and searching for tools and notebooks that were boxed away. The Sherman House facilities were too small for our group so we met in 101 Collis most of the year. We were unable to get any sort of storage space in Collis and it was impractical to bring our store of awards to Collis every week. The awards are an integral part of C&T meeting traditions and we look forward to having them back in our meeting room next year at Robinson. A new DOC workroom and storage building was constructed at Oak Hill at the end of the summer. This facility replaces the workroom and lockers in the basement of Robinson, which the college decided to eliminate. Cabin and Trail and the Fall Crew invested a lot of effort into making the new building a workable space. Because the workroom and lockers are now off-campus, easy access to vehicles is essential to maintaining a high number of C&T seminars and projects. The OPO should consider allowing students to sign out the truck from Safety and Security during non-business hours.
We met with Earl, David Hooke, and various members of the council throughout the year to come up with a plan for making future summer trail crews more successful. As a result, the 1996 crew will be made up of three 99's supervised by a Ross McKinney-like instructor who will continue to run seminars for C&T throughout the year. The crew will not be cleaning cabins and will focus instead on larger cabins projects and trail maintenance.
Cabin and Trail purchased a new Stihl 026 saw in the spring to accommodate two summer crews, purchased needed safety equipment in the fall, and replaced worn forestry equipment in the winter.
The annual reports below have been submitted by the council. The chairs have added information to these reports as necessary.
- Rebecca Harrington '96
- Jenny Land '96
In the spring of 1995, Cabin and Trail organized a trail work seminar on Moosilauke for spring weekend. The 20 workers were divided into three projects: replacing a bridge on the Gorge Brook trail, brushing, and repairing bridges. We started to replace missing trail signs and make better use of the sign inventory notebook.
In the fall of 1995 Cabin and Trail organized two trail work seminars, cleared blowdowns, and helped other groups with trail work. The first seminar was on Moosilauke during Fall Weekend when 20 students brushed the lower section of the Al Merrill Ski Loop and installed water bars, drainage dips and step stones on the lower section of the Ridge Trail. The second seminar was on the section of the Appalachian Trail between Lyme-Dorchester Road and Holts Ledge. Nine students installed stone steps, water bars and drainage ditches. There were several morning and afternoon trips to clear blowdowns on Smarts and an afternoon trip to scout the trail for the second trail seminar and to clear blowdowns on that section. Students worked with adopters on various trail sections, including work with Hanover High School students at Velvet Rocks. Also, two students helped the adopters of the Ridge trail to prepare the trail for skiing.
In the winter of 1996 Cabin and Trail organized a heeler routing workshop to make trails signs which we will install in the spring.
- Austyn Fudge '98
Appalachian Trail Report
This year we concentrated on rewriting of all the national policy information on the Local Management Plan and defining the responsibilities of the DOC, Trail Adopters, Vermont and New Hampshire Forest Services, and the local AT offices. The AT Director, Trails, Director, Shelter Director, and Chair met regularly with ATC representative Kevin Peterson to discuss the trail status and future projects. We developed a comprehensive task list of trails projects for Cabin and Trail in 1996. We also worked on building more signboards and making better use of the ones that currently exist. We've decided to postpone replacement of the Happy Hill Shelter for a year, in favor of increased trail maintenance. Planned spring projects include standardizing blazing, finishing signboards, and assembling information books for all shelters within our section of the trail.
- Christy Utter '98
One large project for C&T this past year was the construction of the new Thistle Hill Shelter in Vermont. Built to replace Cloudland Shelter, the new facility is located approximately 2 miles north of the old site along the AT. Replacement of the current shelter was necessary because Cloudland Shelter sits on private land outside of the AT corridor. Both the managing partners and the landowner agreed that a new site inside the corridor would be preferable to the current situation.
Last winter (1995) a design was selected for Thistle Hill Shelter. We chose the basic three-sided lean-to and the new Beaver Brook Shelter on Moosilauke as a prototype. This design seemed simple, well thought out, and had been road (or trail!) tested. Earl, Kevin Peterson, and especially Dave Hooke were very helpful with advice, plans, war stories, etc. from Beaver Brook and other past projects. Early in the term, Earl and I took a hike out to site to look it over and check out the nearby spruce stand. To my surprise, the trees were incredibly straight and tall, some eventually yielding 60 feet of usable timber per tree. Later in January and through February, we took about a half dozen trips out to the site and, with log list, lumber crayon, and diameter tape in hand, proceeded to fell trees this way, that way, the other way, and back. In all only 25 trees were cut, limbed, numbered, measured, and catalogued.
At the end of March, a skidder was brought in to move the logs about a quarter mile up the slope of Thistle Hill to the site. The early part of Spring term was busy with Dartmouth hosting the Forestry Meet. Work trips back out to the site continued in late April and May to peel the logs at their prime. Numerous Chubbers came out with drawknives, machetes, axes, etc. and went to work on the large log pile. Once peeled, logs were cut to length and stacked off the ground. By the end of the term, most of the peeling had been finished, the site cleared, and a temporary tarp lean-to constructed.
The long days of summer term came and most of the July and August weekends were filled with C&T trips to the soon to be shelter. The first step was to build a batter-board setup which was very helpful for making the shelter level and square. Luckily, the site was relatively flat and little leveling was needed. Next, came the search for suitable stones for the foundation which really were lacking in the area. Eventually we got the rocks and set them in place carefully. Laying the sill logs, hewing and erecting the cornerposts, and spiking in the wall logs followed fairly quickly until height became a problem. Once the height seemed a little too dangerous, we built some scaffolding from logs. The rear wall was finished and the sidewalls continued rising towards the roofline by the end of August.
During Fall Term, we took about another half dozen trips out to the site to finish the shelter before winter. The workforce, larger due to an infusion of eager freshmen, finished building the sidewalls, cutting the roofline, laying the purlins carefully, and installing the roof and floor by mid-November. During this time, a lot of site work was completed, as well. The access trails to the AT, water and newly dug privy hole were cut and blazed. The temporary shelter was removed and everything was set for winter.
This coming spring, we will go out to the site a couple times to finish up the sitework and open up the shelter for the spring hiking season. The hexagonal privy from the Cloudland site will be moved to Thistle Hill, the log landing and brush piles will be cleaned up, signs will be installed, and hopefully a view will be cut. Of course, a rousing Christening party is planned. . .
Over the past year there were many people who came out to help build the shelter, mostly students. Several people went above and beyond the call of duty, and without them the project never would have been completed. Those that come to mind now: Tom Russo, Oliver Will, the Vermont Crew (Jed Kaplan (filmmaker extraordinaire), Brain Sheldon, Steph McAfee, Larry Breckenridge), and Rebecca Harrington.
Finally, I'd just like to leave some important advice for future shelter builders. For a student project, the time plan that we used (cut in winter, peel late spring, build summer and fall) was ideal and I recommend its use in the future. A well built temporary structure, wooden poles and a tarp in our case, is a useful place to eat, sleep, relax, and keep dry. Batter boards are essential for making a plumb, level, and square structure. Take your time laying the foundation and the sill logs - time spent here will save you a lot of grief later on. Don't hesitate to seek advice, but take it all with a grain of salt. Finally, and most importantly, when you are soaked to the bone in a chilly rain, covered in sawdust, rotating the log for the umpteenth time so it will fit, remember - you are having fun in the outdoors!
- Peter Semen '97, Director of Shelters and Thistle Hill Construction Coordinator
This year has produced a few needed changes in the cabins. This past fall, Armington received a new foundation, replacing the old foundation that had included a saucepan and bolts of wood as integral parts of its structure. Over the summer, a new floor was laid down at Hinman, and the fall crew reinforced part of the floor of Stoddard that had been sagging badly due to the weight of the wood stored above it.
The largest and most consistent problem over the past year has been the supply of wood to the cabins. In the past year, there were at least four occurrences of cabins running down to empty before being restocked. Great Bear III and Agassiz II have had the most difficulties, as there can be a considerable amount of manual effort involved in resupplying those cabins. This year, for example, with the erratic weather, it was impossible to drive wood up to Great Bear before the snow had melted there, preventing us from sledding the wood in to the cabin.
Of seemingly perpetual concern is the privy at Armington. The timer of the incinerator stopped working properly this winter, so the bucket has been reinstated to its former role. The thought & hope of the OPO is that the timer probably was sensitive to cold temperatures, and that it will hopefully start to work again in the spring.
Some of the cabins need some moderate repairs-Agassiz, for example, needs an overhaul of its gas lighting system-but there are no new calamities of this past year that still need to be dealt with.
Probably the single most important thing to do with regards to the cabin chain is to establish a more efficient way of dealing with the problem of resupplying wood. This basic necessity demands so much work trip time , especially during the winter, that it eclipses most other projects for repairs and general improvements. Such a system for wood delivery would make a large, good difference in this job and the lives of everybody who contributes their time to work trips.
We will utilize Mellon Grant monies this summer to re-roof and restore Nunnemacher Cabin. We ultimately hope to add Nunnemacher to the DOC chain of rental cabins.
The chairs met with Earl and developed a new system of cabin cleaning. The work will be done by community and alumni volunteers during spring and fall work weekends, modeled after Earl's system for the grant alumni and faculty cabins. We hope that the volunteer work weekends will enable the summer crew to focus on larger projects and better supplying the cabins with wood.
- Nicholas Sherman '98
In wrapping up another wildly successful year of Dartmouth Forestry, two things come to mind: the 49th Annual Dartmouth Woodsmen's Weekend and the dead-of-winter meet in Montreal. Here's the skinny on each.
Back in April of 1995, the half-century-old North Eastern Intercollegiate Woodsmen's Championship returned home to its birthplace, Dartmouth College. We hosted about 30 teams from 12 schools. Dartmouth herself supplied a healthy contingent of hardy souls - three undergraduate teams and numerous alumni.
On a rainy Friday at Storr's Pond, Dartmouth held her ground against the powerhouse teams from the Finger Lakes and Unity College. The women's team grabbed first place in the doubles canoe and portage, while the men tied for first in the doubles and managed a respectable 2nd place finish in the singles behind Finger Lakes. Up on Oak Hill, we burned up the turf in the packboard relay, with both the men and women posting first place finishes.
Saturday on the Dartmouth Green was quite a spectacle: Pierre the Giant Woodsman graced the lawn along with 200 hundred competitors and at least as many spectators. Jenny Land opened the day's events with a stirring rendition of The Star Spangled Banner, and emcee Ed Watson '94 provided non-stop insightful analysis and corn-pone humor over the PA system. Jim "P-roll" Taylor '74 exhibited the wisdom of Solomon in the role of head judge, and Jed Kaplan '94, along with his laptop computer, sorted out the scoring.
After the sawdust had settled, Dartmouth Forestry had made a rather impressive showing, with the women's team in second place and the men in fourth. Many folks distinguished themselves in the singles events - Pete Semen and Jenny Land won the Chain Throw, Heather Miles and I dominated the Fly Casting event, and Sam Nijensohn tied for first place in the Axe Throw. We were not quite so competitive when it came to the chopping and sawing, but these are extraneous events anyway.
Also of note was the raffling off of a $600 Stihl 044 chainsaw, graciously donated by the Stihl Corporation. Unfortunately, the winner was not a Chubber, and therefore could not be pressured into handing the thing over to Cabin and Trail.
Saturday evening, everyone headed back to Storr's Pond. Trophies were handed to the new champions, the ESF Syracuse men and the Finger Lakes women, and we were subjected to some Hanover High kid trying to play a guitar. The evening ended rather quietly, without much of the drunken debauchery that the Woodsmen's Weekend is legendary for, despite the gracious donation of a keg from the nice people at the Catamount Brewery.
Regardless, the whole weekend was a smashing success. I would like to thank all those who gave their time to make it happen, especially Jenny Land, who directed the meet along with me; Dave Hooke '84, who helped us to organize the event and put together a competent team; James Taylor '74, who was an invaluable resource as head judge; and Put Blodgett '52, who taught us how not to make complete fools of ourselves in a canoe.
For the most part, our axes collected dust from then on until January, at which point we rallied the troops to compete at McGill University in Montreal. Fortunately, there was enough interest to put together two teams, which allowed some first-timers to get some competition experience before the 1996 spring meet. For them it was truly a trial by fire, since we only managed to squeeze in three practices before heading up to Canada. Our performance was consistent with our practice schedule; the men came in 9th place out of twelve teams, the women, 8th out of nine. However, the men did beat the Carhartts off Colby College, the other preppie New England school with backwoods pretensions, thereby claiming the prestigious "New England Cup." (And this after they had bragged to us about their rigorous practice regime.) But as some loser once said, it's not whether you win or lose, it's whether you have a good time, and we certainly did, most notably at Annie's, the hippest nightclub in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec.
Next on the agenda: the 50th Anniversary Woodsmen's Weekend, to be hosted in April by Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, NY. Along with the rest of Cabin and Trail Forestry, I am anxiously awaiting this year's celebration of old-time logging skills, especially since someone else is hosting it. See you in the spring.
- FTD, Tom Russo '97
C&T sent out a variety of trips in 1995-96. Work trips consisted of the regular maintenance jobs like removing blow downs from the trail in the spring and fall, putting in and taking out the docks at Hinman and Armington, and cutting and hauling wood into the cabins. There were also weekly work trips to the new Cloudland Shelter, which is now complete.
There were day hikes at Gile Mt., Balch Hill, Mount Mansfield, Mount Jefferson, and Camel's Hump, followed by boot hockey at Jenny Land's house in Vermont. There were also the more hard core trips, like the 50-mile trailwalk, which had a record number of participants (40 total, 20 of whom completed the distance from Hanover to Moosilauke), and the Smarts Mt. winter camping trip. Of course, there were also a large number of trips in between. The New Year's trip to the Grant was fun with great snow. Unfortunately the great snow in January prevented the winter term Grant trip from making it out of Hanover, but Chubbers still had the opportunity to ski and romp around on snowshoes at the golf course and Oak Hill. 1995-96 was another great year for Chubbers on the trails, at the cabins, and even exploring the out-of-doors around Hanover.
- Meredith Martin '96
This past year has been very successful for Cabin & Trail's leadership training program called "Heelers." In the spring, Ekaterina "Katya" Vladimirsky completed her tenure an Heeler Director. She did an excellent job recruiting new blood for C&T from the 98 class and we ascended 8 new council members. This has definitely helped C&T better meet its goals and responsibilities after a couple of years of dwindling attendance and general internal conflict.
For my tenure as Heeler Director, I did not anticipate being Heeler Director this fall. This made the transition rather choppy and disjointed. I definitely had to learn much of how to run Heelers by myself from scratch. I stuck to what I perceived to be the traditional format of weekly Heelers meetings that consisted of an activity along with other spontaneous events such as feeds. The activities we did ranged from learning a new outdoor skills such as using a map and compass to social events such as carving jack-o-lanterns. The activity meeting approach worked well in the fall. Many 99s and upper classmen who had not been involved in Cabin & Trail before came to Heeler meetings and we all had a fun time. I did not focus on the Heeler requirements that much. I found it interesting that the meetings were attracting mainly women but sometimes we just have chalk these things up to a certain person's good looks.
On the monetary side, the budget I proposed in the fall was probably the largest Heeler budget ever. It was approved unanimously by the budget committee. This probably was a one time occurrence seeing that my budget was slashed in the winter. Even though I was not as frugal as I possibly could have been, Heelers has become much more expensive to run. In my budget, I needed to account for diner tour and transportation to the work shop at Oak Hill. All these miles and money add up. Just one note, I budgeted ten $50 subsidies to help Heelers pay for SOLO wilderness first aid training.
In the winter, I continued the general format of the fall. We had a severe attendance problem at Heeler meetings. I do not know what went wrong. I decided to focus more on "hard" skills such as tool sharpening and ski waxing but no one would show no matter what the activity was. When I asked the Heelers what was up and why people were not coming I got no concrete answers that could help solve the problem. It was weird because C&T's trips and Monday night meetings were well attended. Pete Semen, myself, and the rest of the council will try to remedy this problem in the spring. About SOLO subsidies, I budgeted seven $35 subsidies.
In the spring, we will try to increase the attendance at Heeler meeting and get a group of people ready to ascend. I believe that there is nothing wrong with the Heeler program and that it is fundamentally sound. The format of weekly meetings along with other events is the way Heelers should be run. I think that the problem of attendance this winter was due to Heelers who could have been interested in doing more being over committed to a wide range of activities. Therefore, we will need to make the meetings more interesting in the spring and the skills taught appeal to a wider range of people. I would like to publicize these meetings and what outdoor skills will be taught in order to attract people who are interested in the outdoors but not necessarily interested in Heelers. Also, the teaching of these skills will be done by the entire council of Cabin & Trail not just the Heeler Director.
Chris Saccardi appears to be the Heeler Director for next year. I will work with him this spring to make sure that there is a smooth transition to next fall. It will be nice to have him back so that both of us can brainstorm about Heelers and make sure that we are running it in the most effective way. Council members will need to get more involved and we'll need to refocus on teaching outdoor skills. I have found that Cabin & Trails functions the best when it is a community and I will try to foster more of this sense of community in the spring with the Heeler Program.
- Oliver Will '96
Vermont Crew 1995 Report
This past summer, the DOC as part of a cost cooperative agreement with the Rochester Ranger District of the Green Mountain National Forest hired a special trail crew to reconstruct sections of the DOC-maintained Appalachian Trail in Vermont. Our work was overseen jointly by Earl Jette (DOC) and Tom Paquette (GMNF). Our immediate supervisor was Jeff Harvey (GMNF). We were charged with the summer-long task of reconstructing six miles of the Appalachian Trail immediately west of the Connecticut River in Norwich and Hartford townships, Vermont. The crew was officially mobilized on June 19, 1995. The Crew
The crew consisted of Larry Breckenridge '95 (foreman), Jed Kaplan '94, Steph McAfee '98, and Brian Sheldon '98. Larry and Jed were both members of Cabin and Trail and had extensive experience doing trailwork with the DOC. Steph and Brian, both in their freshman summer, did not have previous trailwork experience.
Having an experienced foreman is essential, though other members of the crew may be new to trail construction techniques so long as they are enthusiastic and willing to learn and work hard. On the trail the crew learned quickly and worked extremely well together, most of the time.
Living and Working Conditions
Vermont crew lived in Norwich, at the Wooster family cabin near the end of Happy Hill Road. The cabin, while small was adequate accommodation for us, and after we installed a water line and some other amenities, the place was more suitable. We spent a fair amount of time in Hanover over the summer, and used the Ski Team locker rooms in Robinson Hall for showers, etc. Because we had no running water or electricity at our house, we were granted a cost of living subsidy from the DOC which covered much of our food costs. We were paid at the standard DOC rate of $5.65/hr. Room and transportation, but not board, were paid for.
Our vehicle for the summer was a 15 passenger van rented from the US Government's GSA motor pool. The van was more than sufficient most of the time, though when we were using the brush hog it might have been easier to have a truck. Also a fifteen-passenger van is not easy to turn around on narrow logging roads. The van did, however, have high clearance which was useful in many instances.
This past summer we were lucky with the weather and generally working conditions were very good on the trail. June was very dry and the bug season short, though the dryness tended to cause dust problems. In addition, it made identifying places where ditching and cross-drains were needed difficult. July and August were wetter, but days were generally warm and sunny. One particularly rainy day we decided not work outside and spent time inside making signs instead.
We began the summer on the AT at the Elm Street trailhead in Norwich. Work proceeded quickly, and in two weeks we had covered the first third of our assigned six-mile segment of trail between Elm Street and Podunk Road in West Hartford. However, we had a lot to learn about trailwork standards. Green Mountain National Forest trail reconstruction guidelines call for most trail structures to be constructed out of rock. A typical rule of thumb, we were instructed, is that any rock moveable by one person is too small for trail structures. We quickly realized that rocks moveable only by three or four people were more appropriately sized.
Working with the Rochester District regular trail crew on the Long Trail near Brandon Gap, Vermont, we saw some good examples of high-standard rockwork. That day on the Long Trail made us realize just how small some of the rocks we had used were and we adjusted our techniques accordingly for the rest of the summer.
As one might imagine, we spent the bulk of the rest of the summer moving rocks. Rocks for stepping stones, water bars, rock steps, cribbing, and even bridges. Big rocks and small rocks. A few of our achievements:
- Stream crossing, rock steps, and trail relocation of trail at Happy Hill Shelter.
- Rock bridge across Podunk Brook.
- Rock cribbing against bedrock, six feet high by ten feet long constructed using only rock bars.
- Wood and rock cribbing against bedrock, assisted by a Griphoist.
- Rearrangement of the streambed by Griphoisting boulders, Gorge Brook, Moosilauke.
- On rare occasions we did some other things besides move rocks:
- Clearing, brush cutting and mowing a field (on possibly the hottest and most humid day of the summer, with a noisy, hot brush hog and beehives in the grass).
- Digging countless dips, and having various colorful encounters with the infamous thru-hiker, Ward Leonard
Near the end of the summer, we finished reconstruction on the entire AT section between Elm Street and Podunk Road in West Hartford. In the final two weeks we moved across the White River and worked at two sites: first on Howard Hill immediately outside of West Hartford village, and later near the Cloudland farm, southbound from the old Cloudland shelter.
Vermont Crew was supplied generously from the Cabin and Trail stock of trail tools. We found certain equipment is essential for trailwork, including rock bars, pulaskis, and shovels. Based on our needs and suggestions, C&T purchased several new rock bars and pulaskis in the summer and fall.
Chainsaws, two-man saws, and a Griphoist Model TU-17 are useful other equipment for specialized jobs. For most trail situations a Stihl 026 chainsaw is preferred because of its light weight and high power. When using a chainsaw, always remember a scrench, files, and spare parts as breakdowns on the trail can be extremely time-wasting.
A Griphoist can be extremely useful in some situations, but one should be careful to not overdo it. When the only source of rock for a trail project is down hill of the construction site, using the Griphoist can be the only way of making the job possible. Many other times, it can make straightforward tasks complicated and more time consuming than they ought to be. Using a Griphoist can be lots of fun, but proper instruction in its use and handling are important.
The GMNF supplied us with a Motorola VHF hand-held radio. We were requested to radio in to the Ranger District offices twice a day, to check for messages and report our progress. We also could have used the radio for emergencies had we needed to.
We were fortunate and only had a few minor accidents and incidents this summer. We did have accidents though, and crew members were hurt. While not every accident is preventable, there's no excuse for not thinking before you act. Trail work can be a heated an enthusiastic activity, and many of our accidents might have been prevented if we were slightly more safety conscious.
Larry had a rock roll over on him while he was trying to move it down a slope. He suffered a strained wrist and minor lacerations. A trailside monument commemorates the event.
Jed smashed a finger between two rocks as he was trying to make a fulcrum for moving a larger rock. His fingernail was badly damaged and eventually fell off. Unfortunately, the wound Jed had all summer left his hand open to infection and he later suffered from a lingering fungus. He was not wearing work gloves when the accident occurred.
Steph was sick one day and Larry suffered two bee stings clearing the field. No one missed more than one day of work from injury or sickness.
Work gloves should always be worn. In the event that conditions are wet and work gloves cannot dry out properly, it may be helpful to have a few pairs of gloves. This can significantly reduce the chance of fungal and bacterial infection in the hands. Helmets, safety glasses, and ear protection would be worn when appropriate. Kevlar chaps and face protection are required for chainsawing. Long pants and shirts are important when the risk of bee stings is present. The crew should always carry a well-stocked first aid kit.
Suggestions for the Future
If at all possible it would be helpful for future crews to take Forest Service approved wildland fire training. The Green Mountain National Forest offers fire training to it's temporary crews in early to mid June. The DOC crew, had it been assembled, was invited to the training and in the future the crew should plan on attending. Also, it is very helpful for the crew to spend a day or two working with the normal Forest Service crew to appreciate the standards to which trail structures must be built.
We met a number of thru- and day-hikers on the trail this summer, as well as several mountain bikers. We did our best to inform the cyclists we saw that bicycling is not allowed on the AT or in the AT corridor, but it is imperative that signs be posted at all the trailheads and road crossings to educate the public about permitted uses of the AT. The GMNF has decided that procuring the signs is their responsibility and that standard Forest Service signing must be used. As of March, 1996 the DOC has still not received the signs and this is something that should be attended to as soon as possible. The area around Happy Hill/Griggs Mountain is very popular with mountain bikers and they need to be told where cycling is allowed. The AT is not constructed with wheeled users in mind and cycling on the trail is damaging to many trail structures. While we on the crew built our trail structures with the intent of them lasting a decade, continued heavy use by mountain bikers will significantly foreshorten this aim.
In conclusion, Vermont Crew 1995 was an eminently successful venture. All of us on the crew would recommend that similar crews be mobilized in the future to work on major trail projects along the AT. Cost-cooperative agreements with the Forest Service work well and are a good way of getting a lot of work done in a single summer. In addition, the crew is an excellent way of training new students who will become the leaders of Cabin and Trail and the DOC.
- The 1995 Vermont Crew: Jed O. Kaplan '94, J. Larry Breckenridge '95, Brian M. Sheldon '98, Stephanie A. McAfee '98
Cabin and Trail Crew Report
This summer, besides the usual task of scrubbing cabins, Trail Crew had a number of trails projects. We redid most of the turnpikes on the section of the AT near Atwell Hill Road. We spent a week working knee deep in mud and swarmed by black flies. We repaired or remade almost 40 turnpikes! We also swept and put in a number of water bars between the swamp and 25A. We put in more water bars, stone steps, step stones, and cribbing on the north side of Cube, where Austyn astounded us all by eating a worm and Pieter and Nick moved Sisyphus' rock for some cribbing.
Our most challenging and frustrating projects were the two major carpentry projects of the summer. None of us had any previous carpentry experience so building a privy and putting in a floor were daunting projects. The privy on top of Smarts came together, largely thanks to Pieter and Christy's heroic efforts, but it took a lot longer, cost more, and was not as good as it could have been. It came out a little large, to quote a through hiker, "That privy looks like it was built by the same race of giants that made the stone steps." Having hauled all the wood for it on our backs, we certainly paid for the size. I think it might be a good idea to come up with a design of a privy that can be taken apart, so we do not need to build a new privy every time we need to dig a new hole. Our other carpentry project, the floor at Hinman, came together better. We had trouble getting wood for it, and ended up having to use wet wood. It might be a good idea to get a new dock for Hinman that is easily removable.
We spend a lot of time hauling wood. Thanks to Ed, and the Toyota, we got a ton of wood into John Rand. Christy, Nick and Pieter became chainsaw fiends, and even Austyn and I became quite adept with the beast. Despite chainsaw problems we got quite a bit of wood into Great Bear. We hauled as much wood as we could on our backs into Aggasiz. In the future, Trail Crew might want to get use of the ATV for this! We also put a lot of wood at Hinman, and various cabins in the Grant. In the Grant, besides hauling wood and scrubbing cabins we blazed a trail for trips. Our time in the Grant was shorter than it has been in the past because the Grant had no major projects and most cabins had a decent supply of wood. We also were involved in a search and rescue mission for Jenny Land.
Having a five person crew was both a challenge and a blessing. In the beginning it was difficult to organize and not always very efficient. Once the crew gained some experience it was wonderful to be able to split up and work in multiple locations and on multiple projects at once. At the end of the summer we started having work exchange days with lodge crew, which were a lot of fun. I would strongly recommend them to future crews. It's a good break and fun to try the other job!
It is sometimes easy to lose track of the fact that trail crew is a learning job, and that a large part of the job of a foreman is to be a teacher. Especially if the crew is inexperienced, it is easy to get frustrated when you are spending a lot of time supervising and things are going wrong. It's also important to keep an eye on the crew and make sure that relations between them stay good. We had meetings once a week where we each mentioned a good thing and a bad thing about the past week. It sounds foofy, but it kept some minor frictions from developing into crises.
Communication is important not just between the foreman and the outdoor programs office, but also between crew members if the crew splits up. Protocols for dealing with various situations should be talked out at the beginning of the summer. The lodge can be used as a base for messages, since it is open past the hours of the outdoor programs.
I did not feel confident in my abilities as a foreman, especially in projects where I had no previous experience. Because the crew is based so far away from Hanover, it is sometimes easy to trust someone there who seems to know better. I learned a lot this summer about trusting my own judgment, from making several grave mistakes by going against my gut. I think my best piece of advice to future foremen is to go to Earl if you are doubting your judgment. He is very supportive and understanding. It might be a good idea in the future if the foreman can start a few days earlier than the crew and survey what minor repair, etc. need to be done at all the cabins to make things flow more smoothly. I want to thank and congratulate Austyn, Christy, Nick, and Pieter for doing a great job! They all worked hard and cheerfully even when things were not going as well as we would have liked. Over the course of the summer they learned many valuable skill both for cabins work and trail maintenance. By the end of the summer I felt confident that they were capable of figuring out how to accomplish most projects. I think Christy summed this up well when she said that at the beginning of the summer she was amazed that Pieter figured out how to fix a support on the picnic table. Now at the end, she knew she would never be intimidated by a minor repair like that.
I would also like to thank the Lodge Crew for their hospitality. When I was feeling frustrated with my job or a particular project Ed gave me a lot of support, taking time to teach me and the rest of the crew how to use various power tools. I would most of all like to thank Earl who was very supportive through all of this, which was a learning process for me, too. After struggling through last summer, I feel like I am now qualified to be foreman and the crew is qualified to really do they job we have the potential to do.
- Katya Vladimirsky '95
Fall Work Crew Report
In the fall of 1995 a special DOC work crew was established on a temporary basis to undertake several capital improvement projects. The crew was funded by the DOC, OPO and the DOC Capital Improvement Fund. We were directly supervised by Earl Jette. The original contract called for twelve weeks of full-time work, with one crew member retiring after the sixth week. The Crew
The crew consisted of Jed Kaplan '94, Tom Russo '97, and Pete Semen '97. There was no official foreman and decisions were made on a consensus basis. We reported directly and as a unit to Earl. All three crew members are members of Cabin and Trail and had extensive experience working on all manner of projects with the DOC.
Living and Working Conditions
Fall Crew lived in Orfordville, at Tha Dogg Pound, otherwise known as an ugly A-frame on Orfordville Road, about two miles south of Orfordville Village. The house was adequate accommodation for three people, though with only two bedrooms, one member of the crew had to sleep on a couch. Tha Dogg Pound boasts a large basement complete with pong table and galleries, one bathroom, a small, carpeted kitchen with ancient cookstove, and a behemoth woodstove in the living room. Rent was $400 a month and was paid by the crew members. Utilities and other costs were inexpensive. While we were in the Grant, we were housed in the Gate Camp. We were paid at the middle-man DOC rate of $6.65/hr. Neither room or board was included but transportation costs were covered.
We used two vehicles during the fall; first a small Honda Civic sedan that belonged to Jed, and later the four-wheel drive Toyota truck of the OPO. Because of lack of storage space in the Honda, we built a big orange box (BOB) for storage. BOB, constructed of plywood and dimensional lumber was large, heavy, and brightly colored for visibility. It could also hold a large amount of equipment and supplies.
The weather was generally good through the early and mid fall, with a number warm and dry days, especially in late October. After the first week of November conditions rapidly deteriorated and much outdoor work had to be postponed indefinitely because of cold, snow and ice.
The first week, we spent in and around Hanover, assembling equipment, supplies and carrying out various other logistical errands. We also returned the US Government van used by Vermont Crew to the GSA Motor Pool in Hooksett, NH. We constructed and fitted BOB to our vehicle. We spent two days doing light maintenance work on the ski trails on Oak Hill.
For the following two weeks we were in the Second College Grant, working on a variety of projects mostly related to cabins. We spent the bulk of our time at Stoddard Cabin, sanding, cleaning, and refinishing the floor, replacing the porch steps, and digging a new privy hole. We replaced the broken floor joists and decking in the woodshed and rearranged the firewood storage at the cabin. We cut more firewood for the cabin. In addition, we built a gutter across the porch roof to prevent runoff from rotting the new porch steps.
Also at the Grant, we cleared the site for the new Johnson Brook Cabin, to be built in the summer of 1996. We dug in and installed the watering-trough privy sump at Peaks cabin. We installed porches on Sam's Cabin. The current Grant caretaker, Lorraine, was extremely helpful and we worked closely with her.
When we finished in the Grant we returned to our Orfordville base. From there we split our time about evenly between Oak Hill and the other venues combined. A summary of our other projects follows:
- Oak Hill building: installed locker partitions, built shelving in lockers and in workroom, moved equipment and supplies into building, built workbenches, organized workroom.
- Oak Hill grounds: cut firewood for DOC cabins, surveyed ski trails, repaired signs.
- Nunnemacher Cabin: measured, designed, purchased and transported galvanized steel roofing to the site. Completion of the project was forestalled by inclement weather conditions.
- Hinman Cabin: fixed woodshed door. Installed new woodstove and gas range.
- Armington Cabin: coordinated foundation project with contractor. Cleared and prepared site, removed docks from lake.
- Appalachian Trail: cut small trail relocation at Dogford Road, Hanover town, New Hampshire. Also constructed prototype trailhead signboard to US Forest Service standard. The signboard will be installed at Smarts Mountain trailhead on the Lyme-Dorchester Road.
We used a wide variety of equipment from the C&T tool stock and were well supplied most of the time. However, some of the carpentry jobs we undertook required tools than were not available from C&T. We borrowed several power tools from the College Tool Crib, work lights from the Electric Shop, and the Hilti concrete nailer from the FO&M Woodshop. In most cases the people in the FO&M shops were helpful and found us the tools we needed for the job. Our single major problem was not having a heavy-duty electric drill, and we could not borrow one from the College. In the late fall we purchased a new drill for C&T. We also benefited greatly from Pete's large collection of personal tools. Without many of the tools he had we would have been forced to make more tool purchases.
We were also involved in several new equipment purchases besides a drill. We bought earplugs, Peltor hearing protectors, safety helmets, and new trail tools during the fall. We also performed both routine and biennial maintenance on all of the C&T chainsaws.
Fall crew was safe, and fortunate, and suffered no major accidents. We were particularly conscious about using work gloves and eye and ear protection. Work gloves are essential in many cases, but especially when working with metal roofing. The edges of the galvanized steel roof sheets are extremely sharp and will cut easily. In addition we always wore kevlar chaps and face protection when chainsawing, and practiced safe tree-felling methods. Suggestions for the Future
In the end of October, we wasted a lot of time trying to coordinate the Armington foundation project. Had we known better when the actual work would be done, we might have wasted less time going back and forth to Armington when nothing was being accomplished. In the future, crews should keep outside contractors inherent unreliability in mind and have a variety of backup projects ready to do if the contractor is not cooperative. Generally our progress was not stalled by the Armington contractor, but it was frustrating to work on a project like that.
Working in the College Grant is very nice in mid-September, and we were eminently productive. A higher clearance vehicle (compared to a fully-loaded Honda Civic sedan) would have suffered less costly damage there though.
With regards to equipment we were well supplied most of the time. However it may be helpful to have more simple carpentry tools in the future. With the completion of the Oak Hill workshop and a complete inventory of C&T tools, critical tool needs should be identified and purchased in the near future.
In conclusion, fall crews are an effective way of getting necessary work done in a short amount of time. Fall weather and road conditions are usually benevolent and a lot can be accomplished if the crew is competent, organized, and motivated. It is essential that crew members be able to work independently and solve problems as they arise, without slowing the pace of work. The crew can be especially useful working in faraway places like the College Grant, where students typically don't have time during the regular term to work on major projects
The past summer's Moosilauke-based Trail Crew was not as productive as was hoped, and much of what Fall Crew did should have been accomplished over the summer. Fortunately, the fall crew was able to complete many of the summer projects. In the future with the reorganization of Trail Crew under a more project-oriented rubric, this will hopefully not be an issue.
- Fall Work Crew 1995: Jed O. Kaplan '94, Peter M. Semen '97, Thomas J. Russo Jr. '97
Dartmouth Mountaineering Club
Beginning with a very successful freshmen trips program, of which the climbing sections were supervised by Peter Guinn and Claire Hibbs, DMC membership and activity grew substantially during the fall of 1995. The growing size and strength of the club can be attributed to both the increasing popularity of the sport of rock climbing as a whole and, more importantly, to the strength and camaraderie of its members.
Led by co-chairs Kevin Hand and Margaret Wheeler, trips were run every weekend, regardless of weather. On several occasions this policy resulted in trips with little climbing, however this did not impede our ability to enjoy ourselves. Dartmouth vans, usually filled to capacity, traveled to the White Mountains, the Adirondaks, the Shawanagunks, and many of the smaller cliffs in the New Hampshire region. Of particular note is the club's first trip to Pawtuckaway State Park. Although an interesting and enjoyable place to visit once, it is doubtful that there will be much demand to return there in the future.
As usual, beginner climbing days were held at the local Winslow cliffs, in the Daniel's Climbing Gym and at least once a week beginner days were held at Bartlett Tower. Morning climbs on Bartlett, dubbed 'Cocoa Climbs' for the hot chocolate that was provided as a reward for anyone deranged enough to show up, were also held once a week. Drawing from a Ledyard tradition, the DMC began its own feeds and several informal slide shows were given to keep climbing moral high during inclement weather.
As a celebration of the end of rock climbing season and the beginning of ice climbing season, an end of the term party was held at an off campus house during which several distinguished and hard earned awards were presented.
To welcome in the new year and the thick ice of Crawford Notch, several DMCers spent the days just prior to the Winter '96 term climbing on the ice of Frankenstein Cliff and the renowned ice of Lake Willoughby in northern Vermont. Led by Tyler Stableford and Lindsay Page, the club ran its usual winter mountaineering skills course and several trips to Holt's Ledge were organized to teach beginners the basics of ice climbing.
The east coast was blessed with an exceptional winter, thus enabling classic climbs, such as the Black Dike, to be climbed on thick ice well into the month of April. Furthermore, before the winter would end, a few DMC climbers had the opportunity to climb with Fred Beckey and Alex Lowe. Beckey, at over seventy years old, negotiated Pinnacle Gully in Huntington's Ravine with no difficulty.
To vent the anxiety of both a stressful winter term and cabin fever, the club has taken to the tradition of a pilgrimage to western rock during the ten or so days of spring break. This year, under the leadership of Noah Goldberg, a green Dartmouth van traveled to Tuscon, Arizona where Mount Lemmon beckoned itching fingers. After a few days in Tuscon, the spring break crew traveled south toward Tombstone, AZ and entered the realm of Cochise Stronghold (West). With a bolted cliff to please the sporto's, and an enormous range of rarely climbed but utterly classic trad lines scattered throughout its tremendous slabs of chicken-head infected rock, the Stronghold will certainly see the return of many club members. Of particular note is the marathon day of two parties of three who climbed the six pitch classic Warpaint (5.10c) and the outrageous five pitch Moby Dick (5.7+).
After the Stronghold the van traveled south-east to the legendary Hueco Tanks. For three days members of the trip either bouldered on the thousands of pocketed rocks, or they climbed the two-pitch moon-like cliff for an experience which cannot even be fathomed in New England. Reluctantly, the van made its way back east in time for spring term.
Although it may have been spring, many of the club's members found themselves still on the ice and in the snow. Tuckerman's Ravine saw several of the club's eager skiers and the local cliffs remained unclimbable until mid-March. An exceptional winter resulted in an extremely wet spring, thus resulting in a frustrated climbing community. Nevertheless, classics such as the Whitney Gilman ridge still saw several ascents by club members. Co-chairs Margaret Wheeler and Brad Molyneaux headed up the club for spring term. Cocoa climbs were continued and Tuesday night feeds were raised to a new level as several of the club's more talented chefs stepped up to the challenge of feeding the masses.
While club members ate and slept well in Hanover, Scott Porter, having just graduated at the end of spring term, was curling up in his bag at 13,000 feet in an attempt to pioneer a new route on the Himalayan peak Masherbrum. Due to unusually volatile weather and snow conditions, the summit attempt was sacrificed. Fortunately, all members of the expedition have safely returned to the United States.
On July 10, three members of the club will depart for Wyoming and ultimately for the Bugaboos of British Columbia. Peter Guinn, Luke Cudney, and Kevin Hand will test their alpine, free, and aid climbing techniques on the rock of Devil's Tower, the Grand Teton, and the impeccable granite spires of the Bugaboos.
In honor of Jack Durrance and the 60th anniversary of the DMC, the members of the Bugaboos Expedition hope to repeat many of the routes established by Durrance on the Grand Teton.
- Kevin Hand, Fall '95 Co-Chair of the DMC
Environmental Studies Division
The Environmental Studies Division (ESD) of the Dartmouth Outing Club is a student group designed to educate the Dartmouth Community about environmental issues through various media. Throughout this past year, the group has managed to maintain continuity, and to accomplish many goals.
In the spring of 1995, the group experienced a sudden resurgence, led by Marlene Sheehan '98 and Jim Hourdequin '97. Nearly 50 people attended weekly meetings, consisting mostly of '98 women. We held a fun Earth Day rally and collected a healthy stack of letters to congressmen. We generated some discussion & publicity over the efforts of Congress to rewrite the Endangered Species Act and otherwise deregulate the environment. Some ESD people held a demonstration when President Clinton came to campus to deliver the Commencement Address to the Class of 1995.
In the summer, we sent out a letter to incoming '99s encouraging them to adopt a more environmentally harmonious lifestyle when they came to campus. We also helped push Kiewit to provide Energy Star-compatible computer equipment to incoming freshmen. An expedition to Franconia Ridge was undertaken; we collected signatures in support of Northern Forest issues from hikers along the trail.
In the fall, Laura Sigman '97 and David Robinson '96 led ESD. Patrick Parenteau from Vermont Law School came & gave a talk on the antics of Congress. ESD also became involved in the installation of solar panels on Murdough Center. Ann Melander '97 and Joshua Mooney '98 met with Bill Hochstin to set up an experimental dorm recycling project. As a group, we encouraged students to voice their opinions on environmental bills through campus education. Several stews were held to discuss current environmental issues.
In the winter, Julie Moynihan '98 joined David Robinson as co-chair. We held tabling events to collect names to send to the Mail Preference Service, which can halt junk mail, and to publicize forest issues. We also put recycling signs up in the dorms. A few times, we held informal discussions of our environmental interests and other miscellaneous topics. ESD members also asked visiting presidential candidates about their views on environmental issues, one of whom made the front page of the Valley News.
Thanks to the tireless work of Jim Hourdequin and many previous generations of ESDers, a college-run organic farm came into existence. Betsy Garties was chosen to be the farm manager and students met with Betsy to make plans for the farm.
This spring term ESD is the strongest it's been since last spring when the group was reborn. Although the numbers are lower, we have a great group of dedicated students willing to put in time for the causes they believe in. With new co-chair Josh Mooney '98, along with Julie Moynihan, the group seems to have been reborn again. This term Josh Mooney organized a Northern Forest Lecture Series, bringing 5 speakers to campus throughout the term: Steve Trombulak, Professor of Biology at Middlebury College, nature author, Bill McKibben, Executive Director of RESTORE: The North Woods, Michael Kellett, grassroots organizer for the Northern Forest Alliance, Brian Hart, and Dartmouth's own College Forester at the Second College Grant, Kevin Evans. ESD has organized tabling events about general forest issues including Mitsubishi's record as the worst corporate destroyer of rainforests, the push to repeal the Timber Salvage Rider, and the Northern Forest. For Salvage Logging Hoax week, the group organized a press conference to award Senator Slade Gorton, Dartmouth class of '50 of Washington State, with an award for being the alumnus who has caused the most destruction to the environment. His primary achievement being the introduction of the Timber Salvage Rider to the Senate.
Members of the group have also been involved with the organic farm, where we volunteer as a group and individually. We had a successful Earth Day celebration at the Dartmouth Organic Farm as well as a feast afterward.
Throughout the year, we had discussed starting some sort of periodical, perhaps by reincarnating Sense Of Place. This term Sean Donahue '96 and Amy Crowell '97 decided to take this project on and created Leaves and Branches, which is still in its formative stages. We hope to soon produce this journal which will feature student writings on environmental issues.
The enthusiasm and energy behind ESD this term has been incredible. We are confident it will continue to be as active as it has been this term. We are making great strides towards educating the Dartmouth campus about environmental issues as well as holding congresspeople accountable for their environmental records and stances on certain bills.
- Joshua Mooney and Julie Moynihan
Ledyard Canoe Club
The 1995-96 season was one of the best that Ledyard has had in recent years. The core membership of the club, the trip leaders, staff, and student council grew noticeably, continuing the club's ongoing expansion. We had a successful business season as well, providing the important financial support for the many trips, events, and instructional programs that took place.
In celebration of our 75th Anniversary we held a Bag-A-River challenge for all club members. Alumni and students alike held the Ledyard anniversary banner over rivers, lakes, and bathtubs all over the world. A display in the Baker library of Ledyard history and memorabilia was coordinated by John Magyar '98. We look forward to an anniversary banquet in special honor of Jay Evans '49, Don Merchant, Vail Haak '49, and Walker Weed '40.
Justin Wells '95 led an incredible tour of South-Eastern whitewater over last year's spring break. New rivers were explored, friends made and music enjoyed as we road-tripped and enjoyed the warmest weather ever during the annual spring trip. The Ledyard whitewater paddlers also made a few first-descents for the club in the local area, in addition to running trips on a daily basis to all levels of local whitewater. These day trips, accessible to all levels of paddlers remained the backbone of the Ledyard Canoe Club.
In addition to the annual expeditions and the day trips, a wide range of overnight trips were led all over New England. Many alumni participated in the Trip-to-the-Sea, which was extended the entire length of the navigable Connecticut River by a few brave students and alumni. Sophomores-from-the-Source introduced many more students to summer canoeing. Flatwater excursions departed to the Adirondacks, Rhode Island and the Second College Grant, as well as whitewater trips to Maine, Canada and New York. With the addition of a new Fall term whitewater trip to Maine, the club sent out more extended trips than ever before.
Ledyard's racing contingent stayed small but put in good finishes at local and national races throughout the year. Current Ledyardites raced in flatwater competitions at the USCA Marathon Nationals in Syracuse, NY and whitewater races at the Wildwater Nationals on the Deerfield River in Massachusetts. Ledyard placed one paddler on the US Wildwater Team for 1996. Ledyard Alumna Dana Chladek is our Olympic Slalom hopeful.
The instructional program continued to grow with the club's many activities. Marathon Canoeing instruction, whitewater clinics and our whitewater kayaking PE program were well attended all year. ACA certification and good management has led to a good relationship once more with the PE office. Many new instructors learned how to continue the Ledyard tradition of instruction with a high level of quality and safety.
There were many improvements to the facilities at Ledyard over the last year. We expanded our fleet of boats, with new whitewater designs and a couple of 'historic' canoe models, one donated by former Surgeon General C. Everett Coop. With lots of volunteer labor and many weekend work parties we neared completion of a new roof over our boat storage cage, thanks in large part to the help of Ledyard Board of Directors member and architect Daniel Johnson.
Brett Golden '99 organized a successful weekend for our annual Mascoma Slalom and Wildwater Races. Drawing international competition and a wide range of local paddlers, the oldest collegiate canoe and kayak race continued its long tradition of excellence. Many Ledyardites participated in both days events, ensuring as always, an appropriate amount of carnage.
Ledyard adopted some new policies and practices to accommodate the growth in membership and equipment use. The Student Council put in long hours in meetings to maintain and improve our operating protocols for the future. Inspired by $2,500 put into endowment by the Council, Davis Kirby '32 generously donated a $50,000 endowment called the Jay Evans '49 Challenge Fund to inspire students to plan for the future in all aspects of Club organization.
In sum, it was a great year and I am honored to have been a part of the Ledyard Canoe Club during my years at Dartmouth.
- Cohaereamus, Ian Stewart '96
The last Safety Report in the log that I have is dated 1986, so there have been many changes in the student safety position and the DOC as a whole. I will detail those which are most relevant to the position of safety director.
For first aid courses, the DOC office now regularly schedules SOLO to teach Wilderness First Aid every term. Additionally, MRL has offered SOLO Wilderness First Responder courses during the summer. I have kept in touch with various EMS agencies and try to serve as a resource for students who are looking for EMT and FR courses. The Bureau of EMS has a course and exam schedule that comes out every few months which highlights the course offerings and provides contact information.
In addition to offering first aid courses, I believe that it is beneficial to offer rescue courses as well. In the spring I arranged to have SOLO teach a two day Backcountry Search and Rescue course, that was well received by the Dartmouth community. This winter Matt Russell worked with the DOC to host another SOLO course, entitled Winter Medicine, Rescue, and Survival. Brian Kunz also taught a winter driving course, to acquaint students with driving the vans in the typical Hanover winter weather. I think that a high angle ropes rescue course would be a great project for the future -- such a course would be very valuable for DMC members and ski patrollers in particular.
First Aid kits are still a requirement for DOC trips, but they are now maintained by Robinson Rental. This arrangement has worked out very well; I would recommend that one of the workers be specifically appointed to stock and check them so that there is some accountability, but otherwise it has worked out very well. Kathy has a Bound Tree catalog, which has good prices for first aid supplies. Robo Rentals reorders supplies as needed, and if you want to add something into the order, just check it with Brian and then tell Jed (or whoever is running Robo rentals). I made some small changes to the kits, adding CPR face shields and changing from alcohol wipes to betadine disinfectant. I ordered trauma pads to be added to the Cabin and Trails kit when they use it for forestry practice and had a ziplock bag with gloves stapled to the inside cover so that the gloves are very visible whenever anyone uses the kit. Since many DOC first aid providers are not active in the EMS world, it was my guess that gloves might easily be forgotten in the heat of an accident. Currently the kits are semi-organized with materials in ziplock bags, which is an improvement from when they were just all thrown into the kit, however, I think that compartmentalized bags would make organization that much easier (though I must note it would be expensive to buy such specialized first aid bags). Brian and I have discussed buying Tupperware containers to hold the supplies and provide more rigid protection, but nothing has been done on that front yet. I did buy a set of cervical collars for use at DOC events. They will be kept with the litter and backboard. For future purchases I might recommend head blocks and a more modern (plastic) backboard. This would enable us to provide a higher standard of care at DOC events.
I think that it's important that students in the DOC know that the Safety Director exists. I have attended Directorate meetings throughout the year and blitzed club leaders to remind them of various issues (such as reminding them to blitz in trip reports and take first aid kits -- both things which seem to be forgotten all too often!). I set up a DOC Safety Account for trip reports, since we were not housed at Robinson this year and people were not filling out the paper forms. Now, people blitz into this account right before they leave for a trip, with the information that used to be on the paper forms (such as who's on the trip, destination, approximate times, trails/routes planned etc.). This has worked out pretty well, allowing me to know who's where at any given time. It's a new procedure though, and people need to be reminded to use it. I sometimes would blitz leaders of trips who forgot to blitz the safety account and remind them to use it next time.
The Safety Director is responsible for arranging for first aid coverage for DOC events, such as the Mascoma Races and Trip to the Sea in the spring, the Dartmouth Logging Days, and the Citizen's Classic as well as any other large events, such as the ski team's Foliage Classic bike race which took place this fall. Ski Patrol members provided coverage for the Mascoma races, Dartmouth Logging Days, and the Ski Team's Foliage Classic. For the Mascoma Races, I would make sure that the litter, backboard, collars and plenty of warm blankets are available. Ledyard should provide throw bags and rescuers trained in swiftwater rescue (so they just need qualified people to provide first aid); make sure that you talk to whoever is running the races though -- you can't assume they'll remember everything! At the Dartmouth Logging Days we had several lacerations, strains and sprains. The Mascoma races and Foliage Classic had no significant injuries. The Safety Director should also keep in touch with student leaders of extended trips to make sure they had enough first aid kits for their trips (since all leaders are now required to have first aid)
Coverage for DOC trips is now completely independent; though I happened to also be the co-safety director for this year's trips program, that job is not a requirement of the DOC Safety Director. If you would like to see any info pertaining to the safety of DOC trips, that would be in the Trips file (which Brian could find for you).
As you can probably tell, the duties of Safety Director have changed over the years. When I entered the position last winter, I was told I could make it whatever I wanted. I have tried to increase the educational opportunities available to the Hanover community in the areas of first aid and rescue and provide a resource for students who want to learn more. I think that working in conjunction with the Dartmouth Ski Patrol and the Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team provides a valuable base for skills and a resource to draw on in planning further rescue courses.
I hope that whoever takes over this position will have as much fun with it as I did!
- Sandra Maruszak '96
The 1995-1996 season saw many positive changes and events for the Dartmouth Ski Patrol, including new projects, new members, and new equipment.
During the spring of 1995, the patrol fell naturally back into its forgotten role as emergency medical provider for the Outing Club at the Mascoma Whitewater races, the Dartmouth Logging Days forestry competition, and the Foliage Classic mountain bike race at Oak Hill in the fall. The presence of the patrol as a dedicated emergency team meant that there was an obvious mechanism for individuals to seek medical attention as needed, even for minor injuries which might otherwise have been neglected. When problems arose, the patrol was available to step in and handle the situation, leaving event organizers free to concentrate on running the event. The whitewater and mountain bike races were fortunately injury free, but the forestry competition generated a variety of injuries and medical problems, which were managed effectively.
The fall term was kicked off with the recruitment drive for new members. The executive board resolved to attempt to increase the quality and retention of the membership in several ways. First, the Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) class was limited to 15 participants, to ensure plenty of hands-on experience and a high instructor-to-student ratio. Preference was given to sophomores, as past years had shown that patrollers entering in their sophomore year were more likely to participate for three winter terms than those entering as freshmen. Each applicant was interviewed in person by the director and training officer. A standardized application form and interview procedure were used to ensure fairness. Finally, those applicants who were unable to be placed in the OEC class were offered an opportunity to participate as "Apprentice Patrollers."
The apprentice program was designed to offer freshmen the opportunity to begin their involvement with the patrol slowly. In past years, many students entering the patrol as freshmen found that the new environment of the college led them to "bite off more than they could chew", and in the aftermath, many were forced to choose other activities over the patrol after their first year, thus wasting many hours of their time, and more hours of the time of the OEC instructor. Apprentice Patrollers have the opportunity to experience patrolling, and to become trained in the on-the-hill skills required of all patrollers. Their sophomore fall, they will be given first priority for the OEC class, and will become full patrollers at the beginning of their sophomore winter.
The interview process proved successful, as a very dynamic and enthusiastic group was selected for the OEC course. A note to future interviewers - gut feeling during the interview proved to be a pretty good prediction of actual performance as a patroller, so don't be swayed by other factors if your gut feeling, and those of the other interviewers, are particularly strong (either way).
The addition of training officer Lon Setnik as co-instructor for the OEC course made life a lot easier for lead instructor Matt Fulton. As a team, they were able to back each other up and provide the class with a wider variety of tricks, different ways of looking at topics, and sanity checks for each other. The instructors resolved to avoid unnecessary lectures, by relying on the students to do their assigned textbook readings, and every attempt was made to provide ample hands-on time. The efforts paid off, and the class produced a number of hot-shot emergency care providers.
Less positive were the results of the fall OEC Refresher class. The new OEC administrator for the New Hampshire region, Maggie Lohmann, was adamant in her enforcement of standards, and when rusty veteran patrollers were unprepared for the refresher, she required us to do it over. This stance of dedication to excellence was fully supported by the DSP executive board. The veteran patrollers were requested to make a commitment to the patrol, to hone their skills, and to re-refresh. Several practice sessions and a second refresher were scheduled, but many veterans decided instead to terminate their association with the patrol, for a variety of reasons. The second refresher was conducted along with the OEC course exam, with reasonable success.
Also during the fall, several patrollers attended the two day National Collegiate EMS Foundation conference, this year held at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. The NCEMSF is an association of college and university based EMS and rescue organizations. The DSP was the only ski patrol represented at the conference, which began with a variety of presentations by distinguished experts in the EMS field, including care for poisoning, CISD, documentation issues, and issues specific to college EMS, such as dealing with bureaucracy and seeking funding. The conference also included a trade show of the latest equipment, a competition, and some socializing in the evening. The DSP representatives won the "Most Creative CPR" trophy in the Moving Code Race. The second day centered around a vehicle rescue demonstration by the local emergency services, and a visit from the PennSTAR aeromedical helicopter (U Penn's version of DHART.)
With the OEC class complete, the patrol returned from winter break to find a very snowy Skiway. A training weekend was conducted for the entire patrol during the first weekend of the term. On Saturday, veteran patrollers did refresher training in toboggan handling, and were given pointers on how best to instruct the new recruits. The candidates and apprentices were given a "knowledge scavenger hunt" of pertinent and trivial patrolling facts to gather, which included skiing every trail at the Skiway and labeling a map. On Sunday, the candidates and apprentices were given a formal orientation and were put through their skiing paces. Most were very capable, and those with deficiencies were provided with exercises to improve their skiing.
A new paid patroller, Chris Prior, replaced Erik Pollock for this year. We hope that Chris will return in the future, as he proved to be enthusiastic, reliable, and a team player - a great addition to the patrol. Hans remained a constant, as always. The non-student volunteer division acquired three new patrollers, including NH Southern Section chief and National Appointment holder Bob Brown, and his son Scott, transferred from the now defunct King Ridge ski area, and Blair Perot, transferred from a small area in New Mexico.
The extinction of King Ridge turned out to be our windfall - not only did we get Bob and Scott - both excellent patrollers - but we also acquired a number of almost brand new backboards with straps, purchased at auction for a song. With the purchase of brand new head immobilizers and collars, all four duty sleds and the patrol room are now fully equipped to handle most emergencies. Additionally, a new patient care report form was introduced, to better document emergency care provided by the patrol and the circumstances surrounding an incident.
Possibly the best news of the year was the purchase of a brand new Cascade Model 100 toboggan, made possible by donations from a group of concerned individuals. The Cascade is the standard for ski patrol toboggans all over the world. The sled is much more stable and is easier to control than the antiquated Dartmouth sleds, providing a gentler ride for the occupant. The portability afforded by it's lightweight construction and folding handles now allows training runs to take place regardless of weather, crowded lift lines, or other factors, which previously prevented us from loading sleds on the lift. Until at least one more can be acquired, this sled will be used primarily for training.
Also looking good on the gear front were the patrol vests purchased from Ski Area Supplies as a uniform option this year. To reduce costs, hopefully graduating patrollers will be willing to sell their uniforms to apprentices for use next year. For the record, no patroller was seen on the slopes in blue jeans this year. During the fall term, fleece vests for off duty or aid room wear were obtained from Climb High through Mink Brook Outfitters of Lebanon at roughly 60% of retail costs, and embroidery was done by TopStitch, also of Lebanon. The vests looked really sharp, and did a lot to build team spirit.
The decision to discontinue placing large orders with the unreliable NSP Warehouse will hopefully make the supply process a lot smoother in the future. This year's packs were ordered from Conterra Technical Systems, and they were cheaper, better quality, and they were actually in stock and delivered promptly.
A crisis struck mid-season, immediately before Winter Carnival. Early in the season, the privilege of free beverages at the Skiway Cafˇ had been offered to on-duty patrollers (as it had been for paid employees for some time). The week before Carnival, the arrangement was suddenly rescinded. Needless to say, the patrol took this as a slap in the face, and there was much unhappiness, to the point of threats to not patrol during Carnival. After some heated discussions, a one day boycott of the Cafˇ, and some high level lobbying, the free drinks were returned, but not without a bad taste in the mouth that we had to fight about it in the first place.
As it turned out, Carnival weekend was one of the busiest ever, with numerous reportable accidents, and many more non-reportable incidents. Friday's 99 Cent Ski Day was responsible for most of this activity, as many students decided to make it their first or only day on skis. The alpine race teams did well, the patrol's top-shack barbecue grills were in full operation, and it was an enjoyable weekend.
During the year, the patrol distinguished itself in several ways in the eyes of the region's patrol community. After the '94-'95 season, the New Hampshire Region NSP Outstanding Part Time Patroller award was presented to Matt Fulton based on his work to improve the patrol, including the development of written Standard Operating Guidelines for the patrol. This season, Fulton and Scott Brown attained their Senior Patroller qualification. Both attended numerous training clinics and evaluation sessions at other areas throughout the season in addition to their duties at the Skiway. For the first time, a team of Dartmouth patrollers competed in Sunday River's "White Heat Toboggan Challenge" sled races, against competition like Loon, Sugarloaf, Stowe, Smuggler's Notch, and others. The team was able to successfully navigate the course despite the remarkably icy, steep, and moguled terrain, but did not place. Also new this year is an annual award internal to the patrol for Outstanding Ski Patroller, established by area manager Don Cutter. The award is based on duty hours and on service.
All in all, it was a very positive year. Student patrollers alone logged 2625 person-hours of patrolling duty in total. The quality of service provided by the patrol was maintained at an extremely high level. Excellent emergency medical care was provided to all accident victims, garnering more than one note of thanks from grateful patients. In addition to responding to accidents, all patrollers were extremely attentive to their other duties, assisting the skiing public whenever possible, and working more than ever as a team with the rest of the area staff to make the Skiway run as smoothly as possible. Objectives for the future include acquisition of several more Cascade toboggans to supplement or replace the aging Dartmouth sleds, incorporation of rope rescue into the standard training program for candidate patrollers, replacement of aging lift evacuation equipment, development of a continuing education program to ensure that OEC standards are met and exceeded at the fall refresher, and continuing to build esprit de corps within the patrol.
- Matthew H. Fulton, EMT-D/OEC-I, Patrol Director '95-'96
Over the winter break, news of record-breaking snowfall got all of us incredibly excited for what was sure to be the mother of all winters. Arriving at the beginning of January, the Hanover plain was truly buried in snow. A nice 10 inch storm near the beginning of the term go us all riled up to go play. And then.... it happened. Two days of rain followed by two days of 40 degree weather. It was unbelievable. The 2 feet of snow on the green quickly turned into several inches of slush, and then froze. The skiway turned into a giant skating rink. Many hopes were dashed.
The club actually started off activities in the end of fall term with an info session at the Lone Pine Tavern replete with videos, equipment information, and a clearinghouse for members to meet and eat and start to get psyched for the season. Although we had a good turnout, we hope to do more advertising next year.
February brought little to no snow, but the snowboarding club met and played as often as we could anyway. Plans to carry on last year's Monday night trips to Whaleback were broken because of the bad conditions. There were weekly meetings at C & G complete with video-watching and pizza-eating (once). The club bought several videos this year to add to our growing collection, and perhaps one of the greatest buys this year was the tuning equipment for use by any and all club members.
Several trips were planned, although lack of interest forced us to cancel a couple of them. A joint trip with the Winter Sports Club was planned to Okemo and a great day was had by all who went. A spring break trip was planned to Mt. Orford in Canada, and the people who visited our northern neighbor reported great terrain and a good time. We are still waiting to see if weather at Tuckerman's Ravine allows for a overnight trip for some very challenging terrain.
Hopefully next year will bring more snow and more consistency in snowfall. We plan to reinstate the Monday night trips and hopefully will be able to go on more trips to local ski resorts. Until next winter...
- Juan Carlos Martinez and Brett Jensen
Women in the Wilderness
We have a goddess to watch over every dinner of comeraderie, every trip whether it be a jaunt to pick apples or a winter survival skills weekend which truly tests our knowledge of surviving in winter. Over the past year, the greatest characteristics of Women in Wilderness have manifested themselves in every activity. These characteristics are those of unconditional support, uncommonly open warmth and welcoming towards all, and the desire to learn from and teach other women. Each season has seen some traditional excursions and some new additions to the repertoire of activities. And each season has brought with it new people, each with her own brand of enthusiasm and a thousand more reasons to go out into the wilderness around us. This wilderness begins at Pine Park, only minutes from our residences, and extends beyond our very imaginations. It has given us our source of inspiration and the joy of being with it. Thank you to every woman who contributed her spirit and knowledge and to Pearl for watching over us in this wilderness.
The spring was characterized by dinner meetings and day hikes. The highlight of the season was an overnight retreat to Titcomb Cabin complete with spring paddling. This fall's activities were led by Erin Hardie and Kytja Weir and included hikes to Smarts mountain and the Norwich firetower. The skills weekend at Great Bear Cabin proved to be an instructional and wonderful time for all. Although it rained for three solid days, the women had a great time bushwhacking, learning to chop wood, and generally feeling more secure and comfortable with their abilities to survive in the wilderness. e.e. cummings was invoked as the weekend was dubbed puddlewonderful and mudluscious. The weekly home-made dinners managed to be cozy and welcoming with the tremendous number of '99s who poured into the Women's Resource Center every Sunday night.
The drastic change in the weather brought big changes in the types of activities that women in wilderness initiated. Day hikes gave over to more extensive trips, notably one to Great Bear and a winter survival skills weekend to John Rand led by Carolyn Hall and Sara Pankenier. The Great Bear trip was well attended and we had two days of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. That night in between the two physically demanding days was relaxing and warming, in that the food was wonderful and the conversation better. Every woman read from a book she had seen as fittingly inspiring for the occasion or shared her emotions evoked by breathing the winter air. This type of relaxation and reflection was unknown on the winter survival weekend trip as we were all too busy surviving and learning skills. It seemed as if everything that could make our trip unpleasant happened, such as it being the coldest night of the year, yet succeeded only in testing our abilities and finding us worthy of its difficulties. This spring and in the year to come, we are hoping to continue combining traditional and expected activities with new ideas, with relaxing moments in nature as well as taxing and strengthening trips to our wilderness.
- Jeannine Murray-Roman