Hiking with Tools! is an opportunity to enjoy a day hike on our beautiful section of the A.T. while helping out with some routine maintenance, such as breaking up fire rings, cleaning out waterbars and steps, lopping rhododendron, and painting blazes. All tools will be furnished and no prior experience required! Last year we typically had four to five people on each trip – with eight new volunteers making a contribution. Contact Kim for hike details, including meeting time and place.
APE’s are hosting their 13th annual event on Saturday, June 21st, 2014. Meet at U.S.A. Raft, 2 Jones Branch Rd, Erwin, TN starting at 11AM. Participants will be assigned to teams plus provided with maps, trash bags and gloves. There are clean-up opportunities for both those with their own boats or rafts – and shore crews. Be prepared with appropriate footwear, sunscreen, bug repellant, etc. Rafts, pickup trucks, and trailers will be helpful and much appreciated. Consider bringing a packed lunch, boating equipment, rain gear, chairs, family, and friends. Showers and restrooms are available at the campground. For cleanup participants, a free BBQ dinner from Texas Roadhouse of Johnson City will be served at 6PM with live music by the Chaz Spence Trio and prize drawings. Bring a lawn chair, kick back with a cold tasty beverage, and know that you did something good for the river we all enjoy so much!
Last summer we hauled 37 tons of gravel from Carver’s Gap to between Round Bald and Engine Gap. This summer we hauled another 110 tons of ABC aggregate (crusher run) from Carver’s Gap to between Round Bald and Carver’s Gap.
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.
As everybody who lives in this area is aware, we’ve been pummeled with storms over the last couple of months. This of course has caused its share of blowdowns on the trail. We’ve had hikers reporting blowdowns throughout various parts of the trail. Combined with it being around the same time our crew of regular maintainers planning and executing our big maintenance projects of HardCore and Konnarock Crew and gearing up for the biennial AT conference, it’s been a rough spring. If you are aware of any, we always appreciate a warning. Send messages to firstname.lastname@example.org or use our contact form.
Pond Mountain should now be clear. We’ve got some unconfirmed reports of blowdowns between Moreland Gap and Mountaineer Falls Shelter. Here’s some pictures of clearing out some blowdowns near Temple Hill Gap.
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.
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 don’t always relocate a Trail section just because it’s steep, but steep trails that run on a ridgeline are very prone to erosion, with only the rockiness of parts of this section retarding that erosion. It is also a treacherous descent, especially in the icy or rainy conditions that are prevalent at those elevations. 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 four weeks to these relocations and the final week of 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.