For the first week of the Konnarock Trail Crew 2015 season, both crews worked together in the legendary Mount Rogers High Country of Southwest Virginia.
|Moving a large rock with the help of rollers.|
A total of eight volunteers were split between two crews but together made up a Konnarock Supercrew. There was a great mix of experience levels, with four Konnarock alumni and four first-timers--some of whom would take their first steps on the A.T. this week.
The first day the crew set up camp at Scales in the Mt. Rogers High Country, an open field where an encircling fence kept long-horned cattle and wild ponies at bay. Blue Ridge views of North Carolina rolled into the distance, giving the crew beautiful vistas to wake up to each morning.
|Camping at The Scales.|
|How do you get gravel to the Trail? You CRUSH IT!|
Crew 1 began work on its priority project about 2 miles north of camp where the trail was experiencing intense erosion from a nearby stream running parallel with the footpath. The crew built a series of junk rock cribbing as a barrier against the flowing water and filled the treadway with crush in order to raise it up above the level of future flooding and minimize the buildup of muddy spots.
|Former Mount Rogers Ridgerunner Jonathan Lemberg lends a hand.|
|Before: a 2-foot-high step|
Every day, countless day and thru hikers of the A.T. passed by the crew, many of them thanking the volunteers for their work on the trail and expressing interest about what Konnarock was all about.
Throughout the week, various Mt. Rogers Appalachian Trail Club members came to watch the Supercrew's camp at the much-visited Scales while they were away at work and were so kind as to refill Konnarock's drinking water supply each day.
|After: isn't that more inviting?|
|Hanging out in camp after a good day's work.|
Crew 1 will be back week 6 to pick up where the supercrew left off and looks forward to working in the high country again this season.
|Moving a big rock safely takes teamwork, communication--and muscle!|
Despite the small crew of four volunteers, the crew put in 28 new rock steps!
|6 of the 28 new steps built by Crew 2.|
We did have a few visitors during the week that also lent a hand. Aubrey Arrington, the trail maintainer of the section we worked on, gave his best putting in his first rock steps. Also, David the S.W.E.A.T. Crew Leader and Jay Prevatt, Damascus A.T. Community DOI/VISTA worked a day with the crew.
|Another staircase that replaced an eroded gully.|
After moving large rocks all day, the crew hiked back to camp and indulged in fresh cooked meals and games of werewolf or pelt along with Crew 1. There were spectacular views on the hike up and out each day that made the day that much better. Overall, the results from the crew could not have been better. It was a great week with
alumni and new volunteers alike!