2011 Damascus Hard Core

Carl Fritz reporting

“Hard Core! Hard Core!  Hard Core!” was shouted late Monday afternoon as the two new relocations were opened.  Anyone on Pond Mountain heard those enthusiastic shouts.  And well deserved they were.  These two relocations comprised about 2150 feet and were by far the toughest that Hard Core has built.

This 11th Hard Core event happened on Sunday, May 15 and Monday, May 16.  Unfortunately, rains were occurring on Sunday morning, so many hikers who had signed up were unable to pull themselves out of the tent to go to the assembly point.  We were short about 25 from the normal 100 plus hikers.  Fortunately, the rains quit by mid morning and everything was positive from there.

We took a hard trudge up the south side of Pond almost to Pond Flats for the major relocation.  The hikers, club members and guests put their hearts into building these two relocations.  There was more rock work than we have ever attempted to do before with Hard Core.  We did not get to measure the rock steps and cribbing, but one area managed by Camo was solid rock cribbing for about 150 feet with crush and fill.  There were many other cribbing sections as well and there was not a person present who did not move a rock on that hill.

As Sunday evening came, everyone had a sense of accomplishment even though much remained to be completed.  We retreated to Watauga Point Recreation Area for the traditional dinner coordinated by Mary Cunningham with the able assistance of other Club members.  The winds were cold, but the participants stuck around for the ice cream and strawberry shortcake to wash down the barbecue dinner including tossed salad and baked beans.

We planned to work Monday below Cloudland.  The weatherman was predicting a 60% chance of rain and colder temperatures plus we had not finished the relocations on Pond Mountain; so we elected to go back to Pond Mountain.  Some dreaded the trip back up that hill, but many dug deep inside and tackled it again.

Everyone had to move around to unfinished areas on the relocations.  Much grubbing and rock work continued.  By late afternoon everyone was exhausted, but the trail was done!  Blazing, pictures and the shouting of “Hard Core” began.

Monday dinner was served as usual at Kincora Hostel.  Long time participants like “Baltimore Jack,” “Chef Paul,” “Crispy Critter,” and “Luna” organized the food purchase, preparation, and serving.  Dinner consisted of soup, spaghetti, tossed salad, garlic bread, and dessert.

Overall, 91 hikers worked with 47 club members and local friends during the entire event.  On Sunday, 80 hikers worked with 41 club members and local friends.  On Monday, 73 hikers joined with 26 club members and local friends.  Total man hours for the event were 2192.  Many folks played key necessary support roles in providing food, transportation, and tools, including some from Appalachian State University Trail Club and the U.S. Forest Service.  Also, thanks to U.S. Forest Service for reserving Watauga Point Recreation Area for Sunday’s event.  Thanks to all who made this 11th Hard Core a success.

These TEHCC members, program affiliates and local friends participated:

Daryel Anderson, Juana Anderson, Donna Ashby, Adam Baird, Curtis Baird, Dean Baird, Jennifer Baird, Steve Banks, Steven Banks, Paul Benfield, Pat Buchanan, John Beaudet, Jennifer Berry, Bruce Cunningham, Mary Cunningham, Donna Dean, Joe DeLoach, Andrew Downs, Carol Dunham, Dave Dunham, Jim Foster, Carl Fritz, Mary Jane Fritz, Seth Grindstaff, Faye Guinn, Howard Guinn, Mike Hupko, David LaPorte, Ted Mowery, Ed Oliver, Brian Paley, Bob Peoples, Steve Perri, Kim Peters, Reuben Potter, Tim Schaefer, Brian Satterwhite, “Seiko.”

Hikers who participated were:

“Chef Paul,” “Crispy Critter,” Vincent Mariani, Sandra Mariani, Aaron Smith, Adam Johnson, Alex Grimes, Alison Scheidener, Amber Marshall, Amy Boyce, Amy Peseller, Amy Sternheim, Austin Palmer, Ben Chartoff, Ben Culver, Bill Bancroft, Bob Knight, Bonnie Shneider, Brandon Riggins, Brian Fletcher, Brian Greene, Brian Vavola, Bryan Garcia, Bruce Brown, Byron Garis, Christine Leonard, Cindy Lee, Clark LeddyWard, Colleen McCullagh, Cora Ganzglass, Dave Foley, David Keegan, David Lowe, Deborah Mooney, Derek Ohlgren, Franklin LaFond, Gregory Beauregard, Ian Blanvalt, J D Rayson, Jack Tarlin, James Landon, Janet Arici, Jay DeWilbur, Jen Winings, Jill Wagner, Jonathan Robertson, Josh Dillingham, Kathleen Lawson, Kathryn Woser, Kayle Wilbur, Kendall Abruzzese, Kustch Palmer, Lamar Powell, Leslie Rush, Lewis Moyers, Lisa Karst, Lon Blanvolt, Lyndsey Reimer, M R Prico, Marcus Branch, Mark Jernigan, Mark Perschel, Marty Trephnowsk, Matt Hunn, Matt Limone, Michael Koikilchie, Mike Price, Nick Olsen, Olivia Gomes, Pat Mooney, Paul Renaud, Petek Saracoglu, Phil Abruzzese, Rachel Delucas, Ray Douglas, Richard Evans, Robert Ballagh, Robert Leon, Robert Tomaskaric, Sam Bennett, Scott Ourth, Smith Edwards, Susan Joncole, Tascha Bowan-Kreiver, Terence Todd, Thomas Cruson, Tiara Ward, Tom Baker, Tyler Pierson, Veronica Lang, Wayne Krevatski.