Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 8020 | Snowmobile VERMONT By Melanie Tregoning When it comes to grooming Wardsboro Pathfinder’s 710 trail, a better question would be, “Who’s ON the groomer?” The 710’s over 27 miles has many narrow sections and is groomed by club volunteers who use wide- tracked sleds hitched with drags. Club President Jesse Parsons and former volunteer groomer explained, “We have three Ski-Doo Skandic SWT 550F machines (2003, 2004, and 2006) and a 2012 Arctic Bearcat 1100 Z1 XT GS, all fitted with drags of various weights for different trail conditions.” Grooming responsibilities are divided into four areas. Trailmaster North Rich Rochette grooms from Corridor 7 at junction WM 10 south to Canedy Road. Newbie Jerry Cloutier grooms from Canedy Road to the center of Wardsboro. Trailmaster South Gary Urbinati handles Wardsboro Center to the southern kiosk rest stop. Bob Allen grooms from the kiosk past the famous “Bull Monument” to the Corridor 100 Dover intersection at junction WM 20. Volunteers Tim Kenny, Kevin Sabourin, and John Bilda and his crew help with off-season trail improvements, equipment repair as well as grooming. Groomers have seen owls, turkey, fox, squirrels and an occasional moose while grooming the 710. “Owls have startled me many times by swooping down into the area lit by my headlight,” recalled Rochette. “As far as moose go, well, they have no reason to move. The open sled offers little protection but it’s all we really have. So, we wait it out until they decide to leave.” On average, the top grooming speed is 5 to 8 mph. However, the momentum and weight of the rig will carry through when least expected, so volunteers have learned to anticipate that. Rich Rochette, whose full-time job is in IT, began volunteering for off-season trail maintenance in 2011 and started grooming in 2012. “My favorite part is getting out early in the season to fill in the deep holes and water bars, cover boulders and to level out the base. We need about 2 feet of snow to do that. It takes patience to get it to that point. During the season, I enjoy grooming late at night to smooth out the trail from the day’s traffic.” This is Jerry Cloutier’s first season grooming. “I love getting out on the Scandic. Since retiring from my flooring business two years ago, I’ve been over the entire 710 trail doing off-season maintenance. It’s rewarding to see work done in the summer, making a big difference during the winter.” Bob Allen, an avid snowmobiler for years, has been grooming since 2012. He is a self-employed, home- improvement contractor in Connecticut and grooms weekends. “The best part for me is hitting the trail on a nice cold night to cut down bumps and fill in holes, then looking back to see a nice smooth path through the woods.” Trailmaster North Gary Urbinati owns a local construction business. He began grooming in 2010 and prefers to go out early in the morning. “When I run across riders, I ask them Gary Urbinati, Rich Rochette, Jerry Cloutier & Bob Allen WARDSBORO PATHFINDERS The Wardsboro Pathfinders’grooming fleet includes three Ski- Doo Scandics (two pictured above) and an Arctic Cat Bearcat. Who’sintheGroomer? &ON The club’s“Big Orange”heavyweight drag is typically hitched to the Arctic Cat Bearcat grooming sled.