Carl Fritz is reporting that along with a small crew of maintainers they were able to clear the trees from the shelter. The shelter sustained some cosmetic damage but it remains functional. The back roof overhang sustained some damage but has not affected the functionality of the shelter. The trees were laying across the roof. They cut the tops off trees then were able to pull the 16 inch maple with a 20 foot stump on a root ball upright with a rope and come along. Then they felled the 20 foot stump with a crosscut saw. They were also able to clear blowdowns on the high water trail in the Laurel Fork Gorge as well.
July Update: Reports have been received of half dozen hikers being ill with source possible in the area around Nolichucky River, Curley Maple Gap Shelter, and Cherry Gap Shelter with the results showing in the Roans. Don’t lay food directly on open surfaces – and follow proper sanitation to avoid adding to this number!
Prevent outbreaks of norovirus (or even passing around a stomach bug) at campsites/shelters along the Appalachian Trail. Proper hygiene — especially hand washing with soap and water — is key to preventing the spread of the disease. (Hand sanitizers may not be effective against norovirus; however, vigorous rubbing of applied sanitizer has been reported to improve performance.) Also, be aware that most water filters do not filter viruses.
Please be informed! Read the following information carefully.
Prevent Norovirus 2015
This is the continuation of the “Hike the TEHCC A.T.” series. We made it to Hughes Gap last month. Now it’s time to hike the balds! If you’ve wanted to hike large sections of the A.T. but avoid the in-and-out, here’s your chance. We’ll need roughly half to help participate in shuttling. This leg will be from Hughes Gap to the Barn Shelter. We’ll take the Overmountain Victory Trail for trail access. Contact email@example.com for details. Past and future hikes are being detailed at Hike Plans:2016 TEHCC AT
The May edition of the TEHCC newsletter is now available.
If you don’t read this month’s newsletter, you’ll miss out on a lot of good information!
- Spring dinner wrap up
- Honoring the many contributions of Ted Mowery with the Stan Murray Award
- The revival of TEHCC Lending Library
- The continuation of the “hike the TEHCC AT section” series
- A well-stocked event calendar
- …and more!
April 2016: Two nights of bear encounters have been recently reported at the Watauga Lake Shelter. The bears were seeking food, thus destroyed a pair of tents, able to shake a bag off the bear pole, and climbed trees for hanged bags.
The US Forest Service has reinstated a Closure Order similar to the previous one which now covers Oliver Hollow Rd./Hwy 321 to Wilbur Dam Rd. – approximately four miles of the Appalachian Trail along the west side of Watauga Lake. No picnicking, lingering, or overnight camping. Hiking, only, allowed on the named four mile Appalachian Trail section. BEARS ACTIVE IN THIS AREA. Help us protect you and the bears. Please hike through the area without stopping. Closure Order: April 15, 2016- Until Further notice.
For TEHCC members, the best recommendation is to avoid this “Oliver Hollow” area and enjoy another section of the Appalachian Trail. For thru-hikers, the word is being gotten out so that they can properly plan their distances. The temporary campsite located south of Hwy 321 above Shook Branch is available for use.
By William Werner
For fair-weather hikers like me, April marks the beginning of hiking season. I’m excited to get back out on the trails, and we have a great lineup of hikes this month. I’d also like to bring to your attention two important non-hiking events in April. The first is our annual rental equipment inspection on April 20th. The club maintains a broad selection of hiking and camping equipment for rent, and each year we need volunteers to examine the items to evaluate their condition. Helping out with this process is a great way to get to know what equipment is available, and it’s just plain fun to set up tents in the middle of the B-310 lobby. Volunteers are rewarded with a light lunch of pizza and snacks, so I highly recommend you come out. The inspection is from 11:00 to 1:00 in Room 221 of the Eastman Employee Center (B-310). Contact our Rental Equipment Coordinator, Terry Dougherty, at 502-5177 and let him know if you can make it. The second event is our Spring Dinner Meeting, scheduled for the night of Friday, April 22. We have an excellent speaker this year in Danny Bernstein, an Asheville author who will present stories and photos from her visits to each of the National Parks in the Southeast. We also have some copies of her book to give out as door prizes; so be sure to attend!
Tim Schaefer is interested in section hiking the TEHCC section of the AT this year (Spivey Gap to the Virginia border). He’s looking for car pooling and hike partner(s). This way he won’t have to do it twice going out and back. It also fits in well with the National Park Service’s program this year to hike 100 miles of trail and earn a pin or decal (see February newsletter). Since time, and more specifically hiking days are limited, he’s looking at possibly doing this in as few as seven outings. If this sounds too aggressive, contact him anyway as he may be encouraged to tone it down to be able to accomplish this. There are also others interested in achieving this same goal in not such an aggressive manner as well and we can get you in contact with them. If interested email Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org for some discussion, to do some planning, and start to get some events on the calendar.
Submitted by Vic Hasler
The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016. In celebration of its Centennial, several of the national parks are hosting 100-mile challenges. For the Appalachian Trail, everyone who hikes 100 miles or more — with at least one hike on the A.T. — during 2016 is eligible to receive a limited-edition Hike100 decal. Register by sending your name and email address to AT_Hike100@nps.gov to receive a simple official hiking log. Enter dates, where, and miles to reach the 100-mile goal, and then send it back when you’re done. Other national parks in the region announcing similar challenges include GSMNP and New River Gorge.
Vic Hasler and Carl Fritz reporting
ATC worked collaboratively with the APPA NPS office to develop a system for assessing the value of the A.T. and its associated facilities. The results are to help the APPA (Appalachain National Scenic Trail) better compete for funding relative to other National Parks in our region by accurately accounting for the true worth of the extensive work provided by the volunteer corps. The monies help support A.T. relocations, trail rehab, and facility improvements.