Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Week 6: June 6-10, 2013

Supercrew at Mount Rogers!

Jumping for joy in the highlands!
Konnarock wrapped up the first half of the season with a Supercrew week in the beautiful Grayson Highlands of Virginia. Unlike most Konnarock projects, the crew camped in the backcountry near Thomas Knob Shelter. The Forest Service brought in the crew's food, tools, and camping gear using an all-terrain vehicle on a horse trail, while the Supercrew backpacked about 5 miles into the campsite with their personal gear.

Crew 1 moving a BIG rock!
The Supercrew camped together in the highlands, but worked in two different areas within the Lewis Fork Wilderness. Crew 1 made some impressive improvements to the spur trail that leads from the AT to the summit of Mount Rogers, the highest point in Virginia.

The trail was badly eroded, so Crew 1 built a massive crib wall and a side drain to improve the drainage. They also built several steps and waterbars, working together to move BIG rocks and crush smaller rocks into gravel.

Crumbsnatcher inspected the inside of the crib wall for stability.

Before: erosion and exposed roots. :-(
After: 13 beautiful steps! :-)
Crew 2 worked on the Appalachian Trail near Brier Ridge. Unlike Crew 1, they were mostly working under tree cover, but they were close enough to the open high country to enjoy lunch out in the open with idyllic views of wild ponies. Crew 2 used some of the abundant large rocks in the area to build steps and waterbars, including an impressive 13-step staircase.

End-of-day adventures.
Backpacking into the camp site.
Crew 2's favorite lunch spot.
Despite plenty of rainy weather, both crews enjoyed the high country's famous vistas when the clouds cleared. Some crew members climbed around on boulders at the end of the workday, or went looking for the feral ponies. While the crew was working, volunteers from the Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club (MRATC) kept an eye on camp and fended off curious ponies. After the crew hiked out at the end of the week, the MRATC provided a fantastic potluck dinner back at base camp!

The Supercrew really appreciated all the help from MRATC and the Forest Service that made this unique project possible. Thanks!!

Crumbsnatcher the AT Shelter Mouse prying a rock with her pick mattock.

Supercrew doing some SUPER stretching!

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