Crew 1: Jerry Cabin to Big Butt Rehab
Carolina Mountain Club
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Konnarock Week 5 has come and gone, and another round of intensive rehab work at Big Butt Mountain on the Tennessee/North Carolina border has been executed. For the second week at Big Butt, Crew 1 enlisted a new group of volunteers to continue working on the deeply damaged section of the A.T. that was initiated during Week 4.
The project work built directly upon the stone staircase and stone crib wall that were previously
started by Week 4’s crew. With many of the heaviest rocks already in place, perhaps the most important task of the week was crush production. A vast amount of this hand-made gravel was necessary to fill the crib wall and raise the tread surface to a level where it would be safe from standing water and the accumulation of organic muck.
Meanwhile, other volunteers worked on digging a series of grade dips for drainage. Much of the
problem in this work area stemmed from a lack of drainage and a subsequent accumulation of decomposing organic materials, ultimately resulting in the quagmire that faced Crew 1 from the beginning. By raising the tread with steps and cribbing in addition to creating drainage channels, this trail section will be able to manage water much more effectively in the future.
Yet another task to build upon this project was the use of Konnarock’s brand-new Milwaukee rock drill to pin a few of the stone steps in place. Since Crew 1 had no choice but to build directly on bedrock, rebar pins will ensure that the annual freeze-thaw cycle does not dislodge the steps that were so painstakingly placed for this staircase. The new drill worked like a charm, punching through bedrock with ease thanks to the energy from a wonderfully quiet portable Honda generator.
One thing is always certain on Konnarock trail projects, and that is that nobody ever goes hungry! The food fest continued on the way home on Sunday when Carolina Mountain Club member Skip took Crew 1 out to Pizza Hut in Erwin, TN. To extend the adventure just a little bit further, Crew 1 then made one more stop at Clarence’s Drive-In in Erwin for milkshakes.
--Josh Reynolds, Assistant Crew Leader