Sunday, July 24, 2016

AMC Alpine Zone Trail Maintenance Training--July 17, 2016

AMC Alpine Zone Trail Maintenance Training

We recently adopted the Alpine Garden Trail through the Appalachian Mountain Club.  Today we went with George Brown and a couple of other men to do some cairn building and scree wall formation for practice -- we needed to learn certain skills in order to be trail adopters.

We met George Brown at the Camp Dodge campground, and then we drove up Mt. Washington's Auto Road.  When we got to the  trail, he taught us the skills we needed.  As well as help with cairns and scree walls, he told us when and how to clip vegetation sticking into the trail.  The information was all extremely valuable.

We started off with cairn building.  The weather was perfect, and there wasn't a single dark cloud in the sky.  We started with the base of the cairn and worked our way up.

Wilson, George Brown's dog, was resting.  Maybe he was secretly critiquing our work...

Wilson kept us company.

When we finished the cairn, we needed to find a white rock to go on top.  The purpose of this rock is to stand out and to be easy to spot.  This is so hikers have a lower risk of getting lost.

It often sprinkled a bit and then cleared up.  The ends of my hair were often damp because of this.  Near the end of the day, it rained harder and we had to come down. 

Beautiful rare alpine flowers!  We rock-hopped in order to not step on them.  Sometimes we would see tourists go off the path, though.  When this happened, one of us would remind them of the rule to stay on the trail.

If you are wondering why Sage is standing on the cairn, the reason is we had to make sure it was steady; George Brown told us to test the cairn with our weight.  Sure enough, it stayed standing and was durable.

We found our white rock...

Camp Dodge:

Thank you, George Brown, for teaching us the skills we needed!  We became official certified maintainers of the Alpine Garden Trail today.

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