2014 Damascus Hard Core

Carl Fritz reporting

It always seems that the volunteers (hikers, club maintainers and friends) exceed expectations during Damascus Hard Core. And the volunteers did so again for this 14th annual event. This year’s hikers enthusiastically signed up. In fact 68 were signed up in the first two hours Friday morning of Trail Days and only 50 was the target. However, fewer returning hikers came to Trail Days and we also target 50 of them. Then surprisingly with good weather many hikers did not show up Sunday morning for departure from Damascus. Continue reading

2013 Damascus Hard Core

Carl Fritz reporting

This 13th annual Damascus Hard Core event was Sunday, May 19th and Monday, May 20st.  It was preceded by the tragic event at Damascus Trail Days during the parade on Saturday when 50 people were injured by a car.  Everyone experienced more obstacles including rainy weather during the Hard Core event.  But Monday ended spectacularly with everyone happy. Continue reading

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

GSMNP S.W.E.A.T. Crew Needs Volunteers

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has just put out a press release looking for volunteers to help out with their trail maintenance efforts in the Smokies. It sounds a lot like their version of Damascus Hard Core, so if you’re looking for more, or missed out on this year, here’s chance to do more AT maintenance. SWEAT Crew ATC Press Release has all of the details.

The Week Ahead – May 16th

Unfortunately if you weren’t there, you missed HardCore 2011. The work on Pond Mountain was tough but the sense of accomplishment of making trail in those conditions is great. Full write up coming soon. This week it looks like you have some good opportunities to learn and have fun.

  • Wildflower Hike to Grassy Ridge on Wednesday starting in the morning
  • Club meeting at Eastman (open to outsiders) on Wednesday, main topic the new Trail Wiki
  • Hike for your Heart in Bristol on Saturday, a chance to hike and raise money
  • Hike Big Yellow Mountain to Little Hump! on Saturday. The details are scarce, but the notice says a celebration about a partnership between Highland Brewing Co., USFWS, and SAHC with refreshments at the end of the hike. Just saying!

Get all of the details from our schedule page.

The Week Ahead – May 9th

Wow! Do we have you covered this weekend! Take your pick. Whitewater or flatwater paddling, the infamous Damascus Hard Core, or the always reliable Collins Chew and his Friday Hikers. Check out the schedule for all of the details.

  • 2011 Nolichucky Hometown Throwdown Event
  • Moonlight paddle on South Holston or Watauga Lake
  • Friday Hikers
  • Damascus Hard Core 2011 – Look for me here!

Hard Core – Pond Mountain and Hughes Gap Relocations (2010)

The 10th annual Hard Core event became reality on Sunday, May 16, and Monday, May 17.  It was a reunion for many of us, but we also welcomed many first timers.  As usual, everyone had fun working hard. On Sunday the work project was to build trail relocation on the trail south side of Pond Mountain.  This particular relocation was to eliminate the worst piece of the AT on Pond Mountain. On the second day we started a relocation north of Hughes Gap to again replace a very steep area of the AT.  The 2000-foot relocation is replacing a little more than 700 feet of existing AT.

Continue reading

Hard Core – Big Laurel Branch Wilderness and Grassy Ridge Relocations (2009)

The ninth annual Damascus Hard Core, held Sunday, May 17, and Monday, May 18, is now history. And it was a very exciting event! We hoped the Saturday night rains would clear sufficiently by mid-morning Sunday, and they did. Monday was a beautiful blue-sky day. Every year, people come to socialize and work at this event, and this year, they found plenty of both. Fortunately, no serious injuries occurred, even with all the rock work. 139 people, including 29 club members and guests from ATC and TVA, plus 110 hikers worked 2282 hours to make this two-day event a tremendous success. We built 4500 feet of very difficult sidehill relocations in these two days. This exceeds our record of 3800 feet built in 2008; and it is by far the most difficult trail overall that we have built with Hard Core. Continue reading