Konnarock Crew

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The Register, Volume 8, Number 11, November 1985.

Konnarock Completes Third Season

 The Konnarock crew ended its third successful season of trail work on August 27. The 1985 season at Konnarock brought together people with widely varying backgrounds and skills and placed them in a situation where they could share their own particular talents and experiences and come away with a valuable working knowledge and understanding of the many factors involved in high quality trail work. The sense of camaraderie has always been high at Konnarock and this year has ended with its own share of friendships, ideas ex- changed, the mutual enjoyment of some very beautiful country, and the satisfaction of accomplishing fine personal and group work.

The total number of volunteers this summer was 41, double that of the 1983 season, with six crew members working the full season and ten working at least four to eight weeks of the program. The crews, staff of three crew leaders, and a camp coordinator worked out of the base camp in Konnarock, Virginia, a 60-year-old building owned by the USFS.

The crew tackled 15 projects in North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. They completed 4 projects: a relocation at Davis Hollow, re-construction work at Unaka Mountain and Icewater Spring Shelter in the Smokies, and four rockbridges at Catawba Mountain.

An average of five club members joined the crews to work on their Trail sections. Several projects brought out as many as sixteen members. The clubs' participation was extremely important to the crew, raising morale and helping them to learn about the larger A.T. project.

A great deal of very fine trail construction and maintenance was accomplished including: 30,000 feet of trail clearing, 26,000 feet of sidehill construction, 1,000 rock steps, 312 log steps, 2,350 feet of cribbing, 27 rock waterbars, 141 log waterbars, 550 feet of gravel fill, 3,600 feet of ditch repair, 4 rock bridges, one 46-foot bridge built in conjunction with Cherokee National Forest personnel, a 29-foot bridge in Pennsylvania, an overlook, an outhouse, and picnic table. The crews also blocked switchback cuts and areas of trail used by motor vehicles and cleaned out and repaired old steps and waterbars.

The incidence of injuries was very low despite some adverse weather and working conditions and the use of potentially dangerous tools. Emphasis is placed on safety including use of safety equipment, proper handling and care of the tools, instruction in their safe and effective use, and awareness by the crew leaders of each member's abilities and limits.

U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service provided a great deal of support for projects this year, including technical and logistical assistance, provision of construction materials, and necessary paper work They -cut and hauled logs for waterbars. check dams. and stiles and hauled gravel. steel bridge trusses and numerous other items necessary for completing the projects. Special thanks go to the district rangers and staff of the Unaka District (Cherokee N.F.) the French Broad District (Pisgah N.F.) and the Wayah District (Nantahala N.S.) and also to South District maintenance and ranger personnel of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The U.S. Forest Service expressed its appreciation of the Konnarock program by financing an additional month of projects. A crew of die-hard full-season volunteers completed 1,745 feet of sidehill; 3,442 feet of trail clearing; 1,185 feet of cribbing and 236 rock steps at Raven's Roost, Peters Mountain and the Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area. Thank you Forest Service!