Relocation of Backbone Rock Trail with ASU

Carl Fritz reporting
Event Date: August 17th

The Watauga Global Community College of Appalachian State University (ASU) offers their incoming freshmen an optional orientation event to get acquainted with each other.  For the twelfth consecutive year they have partnered with Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club (TEHCC) to do a trail maintenance event!  Trail maintenance in groups provides many social opportunities in a work environment.  On this Friday August 17, we started the first relocation of the Backbone Rock Trail just south of Damascus.  Ninety seven students and five professors of Watauga College showed up in spite of a 70% prediction of rain (which did not materialize).  And very importantly we had 17 club members and friends who helped acquaint the students with trail digging. Continue reading “Relocation of Backbone Rock Trail with ASU”

July Maintenance Reports

Reporting: Richard Carter
Date: 6/26/2012
Purpose: Cut weeds
Location: Section 14b, Stan Murray Shelter to one mile south of shelter
People: Richard Carter
Summary: I cut weeds with a string trimmer along approximately the first mile south of the shelter, removed one minor blowdown, and did some lopping of bushes.

Reporting: Steve Wilson
Date: 6/30/2012
Purpose: Cut weeds and briars
Location: Section 3a, Abingdon Gap Shelter to Spring 2.3 Mile North of Low Gap
People: Steve Perri, Steve Wilson
Summary: Scythes were used to cut weeds and briars on this 3.5-mile section.  In spite of the dry weather, we found some stinging nettles were chest high and needed cutting.  The trail and water diversions looked good.  Water was found at the Abington Gap Shelter’s spring and at Double springs.  We gave two thru hikers, Squirrel Fist and Lunatic, a ride to Damascus on our way home.

Reporting: Bill Berry
Date: 6/30/2012
Purpose: Cut weeds and clear blowdowns
Location: Section 20b, Temple Hill to No Business Shelter
People: Bill Berry
Summary: I cut weeds, blazed, and cleared blowdowns.

Reporting: Terry Oldfield
Date: 7/1/2012
Purpose: Maintain Mountaineer Falls Shelter
Location: Section 12b, Walnut Mountain Road to Mountaineer Falls Shelter
People: Terry Oldfield
Summary: I hiked with my daughters and trimmed a few overhanging branches on the way to the shelter from Walnut Mountain Road.  At the shelter, we picked up trash and replaced the log book.  I also picked up some trash at Walnut Mountain Road.  Thanks to the Third-Saturday crew, the trail is in great shape and there wasn’t much trash to pick up.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 7/3/2012
Purpose: Cut blowdowns
Location: Section 2a, Backbone Rock Trail south for one mile
People: Carl Fritz, Bob Peoples
Summary: We used Backbone Rock Trail to access AT.  We cut four blowdowns, the largest being just a couple of hundred feet from AT on Backbone Rock Trail.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 7/3/2012
Purpose: Clear relocation
Location: Backbone Rock Trail
People: Dave Clark, Jim Foster, Pat Loven, Ted Mowery, Ed Oliver
Summary: Tuesday Crew cut and lopped growth in the relocation that ASU will work on. Fourteen-hundred feet have been prepared with flags and divided into seven sections of 200 feet each.

Reporting: Bill Berry
Date: 7/6/2012
Purpose: Inspect trail and clear blowdowns
Location: Section 20b, Spivey Gap to No Business Shelter
People: Bill Berry
Summary: I inspected the trail and cleared blowdowns.

Reporting: Brian Paley
Date: 7/12/2012
Purpose: Clear blowdowns
Location: Section 8, Wilbur Dam Road to Watauga Shelter
People: Brian Paley, Bob Peoples
Summary: We cleared several large blowdowns caused by the recent storms.

Reporting: Brian Paley
Date: 7/17/2012
Purpose: Clear blowdowns
Location: Section 12d, North of US19E toward Bishop Hollow
People: Brian Paley, Jim Chambers
Summary: We cleared one regular blowdown, one 24-inch step-around log, and two large clusters of blowdowns.

Reporting: Carl Fritz
Date: 7/17/2012
Purpose: Inspect trail on Round Bald
Location: Section 14b, Engine Gap to Carvers Gap
People: Paul Benfield, Ken Buchanan, Pat Buchanan, Dave Clark, Carl Fritz, Frank Klein,
Ted Mowery, Ed Oliver, Bob Peoples
We inspected trail from Carvers Gap to Engine Gap and developed a plan for work to be completed with Konnarock Crew to hopefully finish major trail repairs to this section for twenty years.  Four of us went to Banner Elk to purchase supplies including rebar for this project.

Reporting: Tim McClain
Date: 7/21/2012
Purpose: Cut weeds
Location: Section 3b, Spring to US421
People: Tim McClain, Peggy McClain
Summary: We cut weeds and cut back limbs and woody growth on the south half of this section.

Reporting: Tim McClain
Date: 7/22/2012
Purpose: Cut weeds and remove blowdowns
Location: Section 3b, Spring to US421
People: Tim McClain
Summary: I finished cutting weeds on this section and removed six small blowdowns with a handsaw.

Reporting: Richard Carter
Date: 7/22/2012
Purpose: Cut weeds
Location: Section 14b, North side of Grassy Ridge
People: Richard Carter
Summary: I cut weeds and briars with a string trimmer along about three-quarters of a mile of trail on the north side of Grassy Ridge.

Grants from Tennessee Appalachian Trail License Plate Revenue

Joe DeLoach reporting

A committee consisting of members of the Tennessee Eastman Hiking & Canoeing Club, the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has been formed to advise the ATC on use of funds from the Tennessee Appalachian Trail license plate.  Funds from this program must be used to support management of the Appalachian Trail in Tennessee and along the North Carolina border.  Continue reading “Grants from Tennessee Appalachian Trail License Plate Revenue”

2012 Damascus Hard Core

Carl Fritz reporting


Hard Core participants enjoying Sunday dinner at Watauga Point Recreation Area
(photo courtesy of Steve Wilson)

The Damascus Hard Core event was Sunday, May 20th and Monday, May 21st.  This is the largest trail maintenance event involving hikers on the entire Appalachian Trail.  In spite of the obstacles, the hikers, club members and friends stepped up and volunteered in numerous ways to make this 12th annual outing a huge success. Continue reading “2012 Damascus Hard Core”

2011 AT Statistics

Jeff Siirola reporting

Statistics for 2011 AT maintenance has now been added to our year by year summary and charts. Data for 2011 is below. It’s been an amazing year setting all sorts of club records!

Year: 2011
TEHCC Total: 13,631
Adopt-A-Trail: 2,582

WRD Regular Maint.: 2,683
WRD Special Projects: 9,908
WRD Watauga Total: 12,591

NRD Regular Maint.: 701
NRD Special Projects: 339
NRD Nolichucky Total: 1,040

Totals Regular Maint.: 3,384
Totals Special Projects: 10,247
Totals Events: 317
Totals People-Events: 1,747
Totals People: 543

These are record numbers in every category (accounting for redefinition of Ranger District Boundaries in October 2010) except total number of individuals (Totals People) which is second-highest-ever.

CORRECTION: Because of several corrected worker identity errors, the total number of individuals in 2010 (Totals People) should be 457 (not 445). All other data for 2010 on the website are believed to be correct. Corrected 2010 and new 2011 data are highlighted on the attached spreadsheet.

Konnarock Crew – Hughes Gap to Cloudland Relocations

Scheduled for July 8-10, and July 29-31, 2011

Leaders: Joe DeLoach and Carl Fritz

Last year, we began one of our most ambitious Appalachian Trail relocations ever, from Hughes Gap to Cloudland atop Roan Mountain.  This formerly 2.6-mile section of Trail ascends 2200′, with a 0.4-mile slight descent along the way, making it possibly the steepest section of the A. T. in the south.  We’ve flagged numerous relocations to climb the mountain at a sustainable 10-12% side-hill grade, and built the first four with Hard Core, student groups, and Club outings in 2010.  This year, we’ll tackle some sections higher on the mountain with all our resources, including the Konnarock Crew, which will work near the midpoint of the section.  The Konnarock Crew, in its 29th year, is managed by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and works with the 12 southern clubs.  We are fortunate to have them for five weeks this year, with plans to devote the first three weeks to these relocations and the final two weeks of July 29-31 and August 11-15 to putting more gravel on Round Bald.  The Crew arrives on a Thursday afternoon, has three full days of work Friday-Sunday, and departs Monday afternoon; so the best days to work with them are Friday-Sunday.  Volunteers who work at least 40 hours with the Crew receive a Konnarock T-shirt for their efforts.  Please contact Joe DeLoach or Carl Fritz if you’re interested in helping.