Lower Trace Ridge reroute has begun – Trail work Day recap – Oct 5th and 6th, 2012
by Greg Leister
The first offical trail work day has begun on the re-route of Lower Trace Ridge. This is huge! I mean huge in more than one way, because we are actually cutting new trail in Pisgah. Also huge because of the shear scope of the project. It is very exciting to be a part of this project and to be working with other folks who are equally excited to make this happen. Here is a little run down of our weekend.
Last Sunday Setp. 30th we had our little scouting party to look at what we were up against before there were any scheduled workdays. After we all collectively recognized that this was indeed happening and soon, we started wrapping our minds around what we were dealing. The first thing I need to do was post a trail day to our current master volunteer list. That was posted late Monday and I knew I would be very lucky if I had a few folks re-arrange their schedule with such a short notice. I also knew Friday would be slim since most of us work and Saturday fast approaching with many people already having plans. Fortunately I was wrong and we got a great crowd out there to start some work during those days. So how did go?
Friday was another more or less scouting day. Julie and myself started the morning by heading down to the BCH(Back Country Hourseman) folks camp ground to introduce ourselves. I was quietly hoping to walk up on them while they were making a big breakfast of hotcakes and eggs but was told we came a little too late. We chatted for a few minutes discussing what both of our groups would like to see this trail evolve into. More Big Creek/ Horse Cove than Fletcher Creek. Excellent I thought, this is the start of something meaningful. After our little chat Julie and I decide to motivate to the trail to start cutting while the horse folks gathered their things and headed that way. We combined forces and cleared about 1200 ft of trail. It was slow going with one certified sawyer and 8 swampers! But we managed to get a fair amount done and set the stage for Saturdays workday.
Saturday was a bit different. PAS had 10(including myself) volunteers show up to pitch in Saturday. Ten! Can’t remember the last time I was on a workday with 10 volunteers, simply fantastic! Luckily I had the forethought to gather some tools for tread work along with our corridor clearing tools. During this session we had our own sawyer working along with the horse folks and they made pretty good progress together. That left 8 of us to start working on tread. We roughed in approximately 450 linear feet of sweet class 2 non-wilderness single track by hand. I still can not believe it, we are cutting new tread! Man that sounds pretty weird especially since we don’t do that in Pisgah. But that is what we did and will be doing a LOT more of during future workdays out there. It was hard work and we all earned our dinner that night. Thanks to all the volunteers that took time on such a short notice to make those days happen. Looking forward to more days out there so keep your eyes open for announcements on more workdays. Looking forward to turing dirt with you.
Here is a few estimated statics on how long this project could take cutting it by hand for tread work only and does not include corridor clearing.
We logged roughly 43 man hours to tread work. During that 43 hours we roughed in about 450 linear feet of trail. I say roughed in because there are some spots that need a bit of finesse work, maybe 10 more hours to complete 450 linear feet. 53 hours for 450 feet = 8.49 linear feet per volunteer hour. The trail is approximately 1.6 miles or 8448 linear feet long. Divide 8448 into 8.49 and you get 995 volunteer hours or 23 days exactly like our workday on Sat to complete the length of that re-route. Now remember this is all hypothetical and with so many variables this could fluctuate considerably. My guess is 995 hours is low so I would guess it being more like 1200 hours. This is also all hand built with no machine.