The Whites got up to 12 inches of heavy wet snow from the April Fools nor'easter but despite the prolonged winter weather, the AMC's Construction Crew is back at Madison and back to work. Blessed with calm winds and clear skies last Thursday, we were able to airlift food, lumber and supplies to begin the spring construction.
Although our crews hiked out from the hut last November, many people have stayed busy over the winter getting ready for the final push. For the past 6 weeks, there have been 4-5 people in the Pinkham wood shop ripping, cutting, milling and sanding thousands of pieces of wood that will be assembled into bunks, shelves, ladders and benches. The work has been slow and tedious at times but the payoff is big. With 2/3 of the fine wood work finished before it even gets to the hut, assembly will be quick and efficient and less wasted wood will have to be flown in and out. Plus, with a new design for our bunks and ladders, there can be a lot more time spent on the detailed wood work shown by the stack of bunk bed posts resembling Thor's giant meat tenderizer.
The winter has also been a good time to finish up final design plans and purchase everything that the crew will need to run the hut this summer. For the last couple of months, we have been creating endless spreadsheets with items ranging from library books to mattresses to spatulas and soap dispensers. Some of these items have been stored at Pinkham but many are being purchased now to be airlifted in May.
With the first crew arriving at the hut last week, the weather wasn't much different than it was when they left. Temperatures were in the teens, visibility was poor and the wind was stiff. With all the snow that fell over the last 4 months, there were drifts over doors and windows and even a small one around the wood stove. Much of the "construction" that happened those first couple of days was in the form of snow shoveling but now that they have found the well and dug out the front door and stovepipe, the interior construction has resumed. In just the last week, the dining room and bathroom floor has been laid with the kitchen and bunk room floors next. After that, the kitchen will be built, the old bathroom converted into a third bunk room, energy systems installed and the bunks assembled. It sounds like a short list but it will take a huge amount of effort over the next two months to get the hut finished on time.
I'll be up there helping out and taking photos to keep everyone updated. For more info on Madison Spring Hut Reopening and special deals, check out the link.