Borrow Enterprises Ltd. donated both volunteer staff and graders to the Clearwater Ski Hill Sept. 20 to do some brush cleaning in an effort to reduce the amount of snow needed to open the hill this winter.
Ben Bergeron, who sits on the board of the Clearwater Ski Club, said in previous years the work was done by a manual brushing program, but in the last couple years, the brush has been growing too thick and too fast to keep up with making the contribution from Borrow Enterprises all the more welcome.
“We used to do manual brushing with brush saws, but the problem with brush saws is we can’t kill the tree totally. We have to leave a stump because we don’t want to put our blades into rocks or sand, so we have to cut the stump fairly high, about six inches, so they’re still alive and come back with a vengeance,” he said.
“This way, with the graders, they’re going to pull the stumps out with the root system and hopefully that’ll give us a chance to have a few years without having the problems with the brush again.”
Bergeron also noted a lack of precipitation has been an issue the last couple years and weather conditions are expected to persist this year as well.
When the ski hill is brushed manually a minimum of one meter of snow is needed for the hill to function, but after the graders finish the job, a half-meter or less should be sufficient and will help the ski hill to open earlier in the season this year.
Volunteer grader operators for the project included Ted Schultz, Steve Reid, Merv Whealtey, Leroy Hansen, and Larry Ryley.