Friday, April 27, 2007

Trail Flagging, Shelter Damage

"Put the trail here!!!"

In addition to the recent project checks, the staff have been out flagging/reflagging relocations and doing some training. On a recent training, the crew headed up to Peter's Mountain (near Pearisburg, VA) and scoped out some recent roof damage sustained at the Pine Swamp Branch Shelter (RATC). As you can see by the picture, it's going to take a bit of work to clean this one up. In addition, the shelter is in designated Wilderness so no chainsaws!


Also, check out the description of the whole event on the images of the trail register. I'd be a bit weary of windy days from now on....


Gettin' Ready....

Staff and NBATC Members Check out the Project Site.
This week we're continuing with project checks; first off, we met up with the good folks of the Natural Bridge ATC. The project this year goes by the name of Brown Mtn Creek and the project is just that.....a creek. In other words, the AT currently has a few low spots in which hikers must walk through the creek. So, to remedy this we'll be raising the tread by building some crib walls using the numerous boulders on the above hillside. What does that mean for participants? Well, get ready to see some rock fly!!! Most likely we'll then have to set up a "high line" to transport the rock a short ways to the project.

If that's not enough to entice you, the picture below is one of numerous great swimming holes near the project....

Get Ready to Swim!!

Next, the crew headed up to check out a project we'll be working on weeks 5, 8, and 11 called Angel's Gap (with the Roanoke ATC). This project will involve building a relo around a "PUD" (pointless up and down) and to alleviate some major treadway problems. As you can see below, there are some great views to be had on top of the ridge.

The valley below Angel's Gap



Thursday, April 19, 2007

Project Checks...

Crew Leader, Ted Wilson, and Assistant Crew Leader, Kelly Coxe Discuss Privy Possibilities...
This week, “project checks” are the name of the game; this week the crew will be traveling to Bear Tree Gap, Old Orchard Shelter/Privy, Brown Mountain Creek, Lynn Camp, and Angel’s Gap. As you might guess from the name, project checks are the crew leaders time to go over the goals set out for each scheduled project, review driving/hiking/camping logistics and determine tool and material needs. On most occasions, both agency (USFS or NPS) and club representatives join us to iron out all the final details; this is a great example of the cooperative partnership that is built into all things AT.

Crew Leader, Christine Hoyer Cutting One of Two Locust for Bridge Stringers

What a Professional, Huh?

Occasionally, while onsite, the crew will spend time flagging a relocation and/or doing other tasks to prepare for each projects. On Wednesday for example, the crew headed out to do some prep work for the upcoming Bear Tree Gap project. One task for this particular project, building a small bridge across a water crossing requires we harvest a few trees (black locust (rot resistant wood)) for our stringers. As you can see, the crew was happy to spend some time getting the rust off the ole’ saw skills before the season is in full swing.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Tragic Events Unfold on Virginia Tech Campus

Unfortunately, due to the events that unfolded this morning, most people only know Blacksburg, Virginia as the home to Virginia Tech, the site todays tragic events. However, you may not know Blacksburg is also home to ATC's Central & Southwestern Virginia regional office (where Konnarock is administered); all staff are safe.

As a Blacksburg resident and a recent graduate of Virginia Tech, it saddens me to think about these events and I wish to offer my deepest sympathy to the families and friends of those involved in this tragic event.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

We've Arrived!!

Outfitting the trucks with toppers to haul all those tools...

We’re in high gear getting ready for the season! Wednesday was the crews first day and we hit the street running! While Czar spent time at camp organizing the kitchen, office, etc “his way,” the remaining staff stayed busy picking up crew vehicles, shuttling tools, and checking equipment. Next week we’ll be out doing project checks with OCVT and PATH as well as dusting off the cobwebs from our chainsaws and getting them ready for the season.

Aside from updating everyone about our preseason activities this is also a notice that we now have wireless internet available free in the pavilion (it reaches all the way to the picnic table!!).

Now we’re high class!!!



Monday, April 9, 2007

Konnarock Steering Committee Meets

The Steering Committe Deliberates Between Proposals

Weekend before last, the Konnarock Steering Committee had its annual meeting. The Committee is made up of both agency and club representatives and is responsible for approving project schedules, proposals, and deciding who gets what. In particular, because the Konnarock Crew is actually two crews that work 12 weeks in the summer the Committee must decide how the crew will spend that 24 weeks. As you might guess, we often have more than 24 weeks worth of proposals each year. Therefore, a majority of the meeting is spent deciding how to “whittle” away proposed weeks to something that fits. In addition, these weeks must present a “fairish” distribution between the SORO clubs (GATC to TEHC) and VARO clubs (MRATC to ODATC) while also taking into account past years with the crew, amount of support given, etc. As you might guess, this isn’t always the easiest of tasks. However, this year proceedings went pretty smoothly; we even got done before lunch (we know what’s important)!!