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What is a "blowdown?"

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What is a "blowdown?"

Postby Stevie0111 » Sun May 16, 2010 6:39 pm

Stupid question, I know... I see people talking about trails and commenting how there are no blowdowns, or that they cleared all the blowdowns... What the heck is a blowdown???? Hahahaha...

-Steve
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Postby Stevie0111 » Sun May 16, 2010 7:12 pm

Gotcha!! Great, thanks!!

-Steve
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Postby EastcoastMike » Mon May 17, 2010 3:07 am

Yeah, usually blowdown refers to an area where a storm did significant damage to a large area.
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Postby Buz Groshong » Mon May 17, 2010 3:08 pm

EastcoastMike wrote:Yeah, usually blowdown refers to an area where a storm did significant damage to a large area.


Never heard it used that way. Always heard it used to refer to a tree that has been blown down - typically one that is across the trail.

Another term that might be useful to know is "waterbar." It refers to an erosion control device that diverts water off of a trail, usually made of rocks dug in with a shallow ditch in front of them on the uphill side. It is not a place along the trail where you can buy bottled water.
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Postby kozman18 » Mon May 17, 2010 3:19 pm

Buz Groshong wrote:It is not a place along the trail where you can buy bottled water.


Don't make me explain the meaning of the word "trailhead."
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Postby Tonka » Mon May 17, 2010 3:41 pm

Buz Groshong wrote:
EastcoastMike wrote:Yeah, usually blowdown refers to an area where a storm did significant damage to a large area.


Never heard it used that way. Always heard it used to refer to a tree that has been blown down - typically one that is across the trail.

Another term that might be useful to know is "waterbar." It refers to an erosion control device that diverts water off of a trail, usually made of rocks dug in with a shallow ditch in front of them on the uphill side. It is not a place along the trail where you can buy bottled water.


I think Eastcoast is right. Here is a good example of a big blowdown. It happened in and around the BWCA on the 4th of July 1999. Over 600 square miles of downed timber. I was up there the following year and it was quite amazing.

I pasted a link below if you'd like more info.

Image

Image
http://www.ra.dnr.state.mn.us/bwca/
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Postby EastcoastMike » Mon May 17, 2010 3:47 pm

Buz Groshong wrote:
EastcoastMike wrote:Yeah, usually blowdown refers to an area where a storm did significant damage to a large area.


Never heard it used that way. Always heard it used to refer to a tree that has been blown down - typically one that is across the trail.

Another term that might be useful to know is "waterbar." It refers to an erosion control device that diverts water off of a trail, usually made of rocks dug in with a shallow ditch in front of them on the uphill side. It is not a place along the trail where you can buy bottled water.


I should have been more specific with my comment. In the ADK guidebook usually when they mention blowdown they are referring to a large area. I'm sure it can be used for both though! :)
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Postby Buz Groshong » Mon May 17, 2010 5:07 pm

EastcoastMike wrote:
Buz Groshong wrote:
EastcoastMike wrote:Yeah, usually blowdown refers to an area where a storm did significant damage to a large area.


Never heard it used that way. Always heard it used to refer to a tree that has been blown down - typically one that is across the trail.

Another term that might be useful to know is "waterbar." It refers to an erosion control device that diverts water off of a trail, usually made of rocks dug in with a shallow ditch in front of them on the uphill side. It is not a place along the trail where you can buy bottled water.


I should have been more specific with my comment. In the ADK guidebook usually when they mention blowdown they are referring to a large area. I'm sure it can be used for both though! :)


Wasn't saying that it couldn't be used for that meaning, just that I've always heard it for the other. A guidebook would more likely use it as you have mentioned; I hear it (as a trail maintainer) for the other use - as in "There's a 14-inch blowdown on your trail."
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Postby Bark Eater » Wed May 19, 2010 12:00 pm

Ah. "blowdown". One of the most distasteful terms in the English language to outdoor adventurers after "spruce hole". :D
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Postby WalksWithBlackflies » Wed May 19, 2010 6:15 pm

Florida Frank wrote:Ah. "blowdown". One of the most distasteful terms in the English language to outdoor adventurers after "spruce hole". :D

In these here parts we call 'em "spruce traps", so as not to confuse with the dreaded "sod hole".
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