Sledding trip guidelines

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Check with Rory if you want to run a sledding trip, and keep these guidelines in mind:

Hiking Up:

Always use snowshoes when hiking up as it will protect the integrity of the trail and give good traction. Be sure to secure them properly to your pack on the way down so they don't hit you if you have to bail out.

Speed control:

You definitely have the ability to go pretty fast, so you should make it very clear to the trippees that controlling your speed with your feet is important. Everyone should be constantly braking on the steeper sections.

Group management:

Send one more experienced sledder ahead. That person should stop sledding either when they have to bail from their sled or have gone a decent distance down the trail. That way everyone behind them has a reference of approximately where to stop, and everyone can regather before sledding the next section. The last person sledding a given section should always be a leader with a first aid kit.

Steering:

For the most part you can keep control simply by steering with your feet. Admittedly there are times when you start to lose control, which is why we emphasize to everyone on the trip that the sleds are entirely disposable, and that if you ever think you'll run into a tree or something that you should bail off the sled immediately.

Helmets:

Helmets are a good idea. You can get some of the climbing ones and/or ask people to bring their own helmets from skiing or other sports.

Moosilauke:

Basically, we went through all of this safety information with the whole trip before sledding down, so everyone was on the same page. We also did some practice sledding on the Leach Field, which was a nice warmup for the carriage road and let people practice bailing. And obviously if the trail seemed too icy, we would just hike down.