View Full Version : hard core '14

mountain squid
05-04-2014, 15:14
Believe it or not, it is that time of year again! Time to spend a couple of days helping the TN Eastman Hiking Club (TEHCC) dig some new trail! We will be moving rocks and pushing aside duff on the 18th and 19th of May (Sunday and Monday after Trail Days). And, if all goes well, painting some white blazes.

The work sites this year will be just North of Ash Gap and Little Rock Knob (both sites, both days). Rocks promise to be involved at both sites, but probably more so at Little Rock Knob, where a more experienced 'Rock Crew' will be assembled and detailed under the tutelage of Camo.

Sign-up for Hard Core will be on Friday and Saturday of Trail Days in Damascus, VA. Bob Peoples and I will be at the ATC booth in town. Sign-up early, because the list fills quickly.

Hikers will be picked up on Sunday morning in Damascus, VA and transported to the trail heads, either at Cloudland or Hughes Gap, depending on which work site. They will need to bring all of their gear. On Monday, hikers will be transported to the work site and then on Tue they will be returned to wherever they were on the trail.

Dinners on Sun and Mon will be provided. You will need to have your own breakfasts, lunches and snacks. Lunches will be eaten at the work sites. You will also want to bring water/something to drink to the work sites (bring PLENTY of water for the hikes too). Lodging will be at Kincora and Braemar Castle in Hampton, TN.

For those with a vehicle, we may need your assistance in transporting hikers to and from the work sites and then back to the AT (on Tue). We usually have work gloves available. However, sometimes it is difficult to get a matching pair . . . you might pick up a cheap pair prior to. Sturdy footwear (no sandals) is a good idea too.

It is always a good time (even when it rains!). Hope to see you there!

See you on the trail and at Trail Days,
mt squid

maintenance videos (http://www.youtube.com/user/mountainsquid04/videos)

05-05-2014, 21:57
Looking forward to it Squid, but can only do Sunday this year. :)

mountain squid
05-07-2014, 17:56
See ya in about a week Ox!

Here's a couple of video previews (sort of) of the Little Rock Knob section (we were actually sawing down a dead tree on this section):



See you on the trail,
mt squid

mountain squid
06-11-2014, 20:08
The 14th annual Hard Core has come and gone . . . . and once again it was a successful event with expectations being exceeded! We had approximately 75 hikers come and help dig some new trail this year. We were split into two groups, but still managed to open 1600 feet on Little Rock Knob and almost 2000 feet North of Ash Gap (Roan Mountain).

On Sunday morning in Damascus, VA, somehow we managed to get the hikers identified as the Blue Team (Ash Gap) and the Red Team (Little Rock Knob). Maps were passed out to the drivers. We didn't lose anyone, however, some of the Red Team missed the turn off to Hughes Gap (Little Rock Knob trailhead). That was straightened out and everyone got to where they needed to be.

I was part of the Blue Team. The work site was accessed from Cloudland on top of Roan. There were about 30 hikers who made the trek down to Ash Gap after receiving hard hats, gloves and tools. It was a long day of digging and we did open one section on Sunday. Some hikers were able to paint a blaze before hiking back up to Cloudland!

Both teams met for a BBQ dinner at a picnic pavilion in Roan Mountain State Park. After dinner, everyone received a t-shirt for volunteering and their hard work.

Monday morning was a bit chilly (especially on top of Roan), nevertheless, the teams gathered up and headed out. Since the tools were left at the work sites, the hike in was easier.

The Roan Mountain relocations have been ongoing for 5 years and this year there were 14 sections to complete. Given the number of workers, and the difficulty of some of the work, it didn't seem possible, but the hikers put forth the effort and 13 of the 14 sections were opened. The 14th section had very little to complete (and that was completed about a week later). Roan Mountain is finished! The trail might be a little longer, but it is definitely less steep and less susceptible to erosion.

I haven't checked out the accomplishments of the Red Team at Little Rock Knob yet, but I understand they were also unsure of being able to open their section. Of course they did though! It took them until almost midnight, but they got it done by the light of their headlamps . . . haha, just kidding . . . .

I think everyone was back at Kincora for dinner by 6:30 pm. Chef Paul prepared some very tasty Split Pea Soup, while Baltimore Jack made enough spaghetti sauce for about 500. Of course, when you are talking about hungry hikers that number drops to about 120 . . . there was plenty and it was good! Cake and Ice Cream for dessert.

After dinner, and in the dark, Bob paired hikers with drivers. We didn't have as many drivers as we would have liked this year, but somehow, it all worked out. To the best of my knowledge, all the hikers made it back to the trail safely. (I drove 4 to Pearisburg . . . and nearly ran out of gas . . . but that's another story . . . )

It was a Great Hard Core! Special Thank-You to Andrew Downs (ATC SW and Central VA Regional Director) for providing the nice, 'hiker friendly' t-shirts. Also a Thank-You to 1Pint for providing goodies for the hikers.

See you on the trail,
mt squid

maintenance videos (http://www.youtube.com/user/mountainsquid04/videos)