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  1. #1
    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    Chillicothe, OH

    Default Week 5 and 6 Konnarock Trail Crew

    Last month I spent two weeks volunteering with the Konnarock trail crew. The first week (week 5 of the season) I was on crew 2 working on trail rehab on Yellow Mountain, about 1 mile south of Standing Indian shelter. We worked all week in the rain but were able to get some critical work done, including building a couple of rock steps and installing a crib wall in a section where a combination of roots, rocks, and poor soil was causing the trail to degrade. We replaced the steep and slippery tread with a more sustainable and stable trail. I witnessed one hiker fall twice on this stretch before we completed our work.

    My second week (week 6 of the season) I was on crew 1 where we worked on the third and final week of a project on Battery Cliffs near Humpback Rocks in VA. Previous crews had set up a high line and flew rocks to a staging site near the bottom of the section. We spent part of a day bringing the rocks up the trail for placement using the high line. Most of the week was spent building rock steps, drainage, and water bars. I think we built 27 rock steps this week and a total of 42 steps for the three week project. The weather was perfect of mid June in VA, low humidity, breezy, and temps in the 70's.

    I did my first Konnarock crew 25 years ago. One thing I have noticed over the years is that the number of people volunteering for trail crews is declining. We used to have crews with 8-10 volunteers. This year we had 6 volunteers on crew 1 and 5 volunteers on crew 2. This year the median age of the volunteers was about 65. Last year I volunteered with the MATC trail crew and instead of two crews they only had one. And this crew only had 3 volunteers. While the number of hikers on the AT increases each year, there hasn't been a corresponding increase in volunteers.
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    More walking, less talking.

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