Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Week 1: May 5-11, 2014

Grayson Highlands Supercrew!

Ready to hike in the first day!

The Konnarock Crew kicked off its 2014 season in one of the most beloved areas of the southern A.T.: the Grayson Highlands!

This area is famous for open balds, sweeping views, the highest peak in Virginia, and herds of feral ponies.

Building rock steps to check erosion, before this trail becomes a ditch.
Thin soils and heavy foot traffic, however, make the Trail in  the Highlands prone to erosion and drainage problems. The Konnarock Crew was tasked with heavy rehab work to prevent further damage and support the year-round efforts of the local volunteer trail maintaining club, Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club (MRATC).

This durable rock waterbar may outlive these crew members!
For this special project, Crews 1 and 2 combined forces into a SUPERCREW! Although the two crews split up to work in different areas each day, they camped together and worked within a few miles of each other all week.

Special thanks to Grayson Highlands State Park for providing space in their campground for the Supercrew! The crew enjoyed luxuries like toilets that aren't available every week.

Ponies wandering through the work site. One has a white blaze on its side!
You can see some of the Supercrew's impressive handiwork below! They installed rock steps to check erosion, stepping stones in flat muddy spots, and waterbars to channel water away from the tread.

Enjoying some local color at Phipps Store.
Even after all that work, some crew members had the energy to catch a bit of authentic mountain music at Phipps Store one evening.

Crew 1!

At the end of the week, MRATC provided a great potluck for the Crew to show their appreciation for the help on the section they maintain. Many thanks to all the volunteers, staff, and agency partners who helped make the first week of the 2014 Konnarock season such a success!

Crew 2 with one of the Highlands' many boulders.
The crew got an impressive amount of work done thanks to mostly-cooperative weather and a full roster of volunteers! Volunteer turnout has been great for the beginning of the season--but we have lots of spaces to fill in some of the later weeks. We need help weeks 6, 8, 10, and 11 in particular. Tell all your friends to sign up today, so we can keep this productive streak going and make sure the projects later in the season get the attention they deserve!


Click here to view the 2014 Konnarock season schedule, and look for the "Volunteer Today" button to get started with registration.

And for more pictures from Week 1, click here to visit the album on ATC's flickr page.

Stepping stones for a spot that turns into a mudhole in the rain.
Crumbsnatcher the A.T. Shelter Mouse is back for another season!
Trail Crew with a view!