SWEAT 2015: The Season Begins!

Session 1 Crew & Leaders at Newfound Gap

SWEAT 2015 has commenced! Let the work (and fun!) begin!

Taking a break on Charlie's Bunion.

Day 1: On the SWEAT Crew's first session in 2015, the volunteers took a break on the ascent to check out Charlie's Bunion.  Afterwards, veteran trail volunteer Randy led the way to our camp for the week.

Restored sidehill trail
Day 2: On our first day of trail work, the crew quickly got to know each other, as well as the tools they'd be using all week.  Andy enjoys working with pulaskis, Sharon, the pick-mattock.  It was quickly apparent that Andrew (aka Redbeard) is an expert rock worker, so his experience was put to use with the assistance of Kayla, Andy, and Randy.  Meanwhile David, Sharon, John and Morgan worked on restoring about 75 feet of trail near Laurel Top.


Rock waterbar being installed
Day 3: Chris, the ATC Trail Specialist, joined our efforts for the day in order to instruct us on design and installation of diagonal stack rock waterbars.  Near the end of the day John had a minor accident with a folding saw that resulted in him and David hiking out to seek a medical opinion.  Luckily, the doctor let him return the following day.  We had a great dinner—mac and chili—packaged up ahead of time by our camp coordinator, Meg.  After eating, we told some funny stories, ha, ha.

Our Crew Leaders back at camp
Kayla clears a gnarly blowdown
Day 4: This was a day for brushing.  The whole team worked together to clear more than a mile of overgrowth, including a few blowdowns.  Back at camp, everyone shared their ideas for camp recipes (some sounded better than others!). 

Andy restores some sidehill trail
Day 5: More brushing.  Our motto changed from 'think like a raindrop' to 'think like a hiker' as we continued clearing impediments.  Meanwhile Redbeard did a fabulous job cleaning waterbars and using crushed rock to fill in low, muddy areas.

Can we eat yet?

Enjoying a beautiful sunset in the Smokies
Day 6: The hike out.  Everyone got up super early, packed fast, and hiked even quicker to get some great grub back at base camp.  After cleaning up, the team received their shirts and went their separate ways.  Banner SWEAT Crew opener this summer! Great work everyone on Session 1!
Great work great week!