We had an excellent turnout with 64 volunteers braving the freezing cold weather - a big thank you to all. The day started well with us struggling to get into the forestry compound and our tool container – frozen locks! Judging by the fact that tea spilt on the table at lunch time froze, I don’t think it got above freezing point all day.
It doesn’t seem five minutes since we held our very first Big Build Day exactly one year ago. This was our ninth and we’ve estimated that your efforts have counted for over 1500 man hours of digging creating close to 2 km of new trail.
We were a little concerned that the cold weather might put people off but a steady stream of volunteers crossed the railway as we set up camp. After a quick safety briefing by Stu, the troops armed themselves with tools, headed off up the hill and found a patch of trail to attack. It was impressive looking up from the bottom seeing everyone spread out on the hill side above.
The baked spuds, chilli and beans seemed to go down well – after helping Martin chainsaw up some larger fallen tree trunks, I ending up with the scrapings out the pan. Thanks to chefs Dale and Bruce.
After refreshing themselves, most were keen to get back to digging just to keep warm. We held the raffle on the hill so as not to disturb the excellent progress. Congratulations to the raffle winners – they looked very fetching in their new Chase Trails T-shirts.
We wrapped up around 3 pm with all but the last few feet of trail dug. The freshly cut trail will need the usual fettling over the coming weeks – shaping the bermed corners and adding a crib wall on the last section of switchbacks. If you fancy helping, please come along – we meet at Swinnos every Sunday at 10 am.