Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Week 5:May 30-June 3 2013

 Crew 1: Bluff City Relocation

Crew 1 traveled to Pearisburg, VA to tackle Konnarock's most technical project of the season. The Bluff City Relocation will move the AT away from roads and into the forest, but it involves traversing a steep, rocky bluff. The bluff is so steep the crew members working on it had to wear climbing harnesses and clip into ropes for safety. They also had to prevent the rocks they removed from rolling downhill to the houses below. Between the griphoist high line system that carried the rocks away and the climbing ropes, there was a lot to keep track of out on the bluff!

While some crew members attacked the bluff with sledgehammers and picks, the rest of the crew built new sidehill trail with a lot of help from members of the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club. The Konnarock Crew really enjoyed working with RATC members all week, and had a lot of fun playing games around the campfire at night. The crew staff is looking forward to returning to this project Week 12 with a Supercrew!

Crew 2: Big Butt Rehab

Crumbsnatcher and Harper enjoying the sunset from Pickens Nose.
Crew 2 went south, to the beautiful Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. They did rehab work on a section of the AT just south of Albert Mountain, traversing a landform with the hilarious name Big Butt. Of course, the jokes were flying all week in a place like Big Butt...

The soil in this area is thin and prone to erosion, with bedrock close to the surface. This makes it tricky to build structures, but the crew hauled rocks and logs across steep terrain and used their patience and ingenuity to solve some interesting puzzles. The crew focused on the most dangerous problem areas, adding steps and cribbing in places where the trail gets slippery in the rain or may eventually slide down the mountain without further support.

Camping at an elevation of 5,000 feet, the crew made the most of their scenic surroundings. Crew 2 caught a breathtaking sunset from the Albert Mountain fire tower, splashed around in Betty's Creek after work each day, and hiked to Pickens Nose for another sunset. On Sunday the Nantahala Hiking Club showed their appreciation for the crew's hard work by taking them out to a nice dinner at a Thai restaurant in Franklin, NC. Thanks for all the support, NHC!

Before the Konnarock treatment...
...and after the Konnarock treatment!

A glorious sunset from Albert Mountain.
Dinner in Franklin, courtesy of the NHC!

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