Session 6 Covers Some Distance!

Session Six covers distance~! Mt Chapman to Cosby Knob Shelter
(This week the crew leaders really got into taking pictures, so we've got a little more material to work with on the blog!) 
Showing team spirit! Check out SWEAT! 
Crew Leader: Mic Collins
Assistant Crew Leader: Allegra Torres
Crew members: Austin, Kane, Robert, Elizabeth, Elliot, and Katie

July 25th: The crew set off on Friday with high hopes for covering over ten miles of the A.T. from Mount Chapman to Cosby Knob Shelter with their six-day session.  We parked the van at Cosby campground and hiked 3.5 miles up the Low Gap Trail to Cosby Knob Shelter where we set up camp and prepared for a day of work between the shelter and Camel Gap. On the hike in Robert noticed some knee pain and made the difficult decision to turn back instead of continuing on with the crew. Read more about his story here

July 26th: On day two we were joined early by our Camp Coordinator, Chloe De Camera, who was anxious to join SWEAT for the first time this season and show off her trail digging skills.  Mic and Allegra gave an early morning tool talk where they discussed proper tool usage and necessary safety concerns.  The crew then spent the day working towards Camel Gap. Along the way they cleaned out 38 waterbars, built 2 rock waterbars, and cleared 1.5 miles of corridor.  

July 27th: On day three the crew woke up early to pack up camp and move to a new site of Tricorner Knob Shelter.  We hiked an additional 7.7 miles with weight on our backs, stopping occasionally at overlooks and views to relish in the beauty of the Smokies. 

July 28th:  Day four saw the first use of the cross-cut saw for the SWEAT crew this season.  Mic and Allegra discussed proper use and safety precautions when using the cross-cut saw, then led the crew through a proper assessment of the tree we would be cutting and the cut we would be making.  Every crew member had a chance to use the saw and after four separate cuts, three hours of work, and some display of brute strength rolling the excess logs out of the way, we had cleared the trail of the dangerous blow down!  We spent the rest of the day cleaning water bars towards Mount Chapman.

Head to these hills!

July 29th: On our last day of work the crew was able to work together on a major mucking/turnpike project. The crew de-mucked several areas of the trail south of Tricorner (which earned us our crew name: Desperate For Muckraking ;) then split into groups in order to dig in logs, gather rocks, create crush, and raise the tread through turnpikes in order to avoid muck in the future.  We ended our day of hard work by adding three steeping stones as an approach to one of the turnpikes.  A great day of work indeed!


July 30th: The crew woke up early in anticipation of our 8.5 mile hike out. We had breakfast, broke down camp, and enjoyed a fast paced hike down the Snake Den Ridge Trail and made it back to the van in just under 4 hours. 
Two of the toughest women I know arm wrestling.  
Week Summary: Session Six of SWEAT covered over ten miles of trail.  We cleaned waterbars, built new water bars, cleared three miles of corridor, cleared a massive blowdown with the use of a cross-cut, and built three turnpikes all while having a ton of fun and some great laughs.  Thanks to the volunteers of Desperate for Muckraking, it was truly a great week! #DFM

Peace out, Appalachian Trail!

By the numbers:
Waterbars cleaned: 84
Waterbars built: 2
Corridor cleared: 3 miles
Turnpikes built: 3 
Blowdown cleared: 1