by Alivia Acosta
Konnarock Crew Highlights 2018
The year 2018 was full of trailblazing for the Konnarock Crew, considering that five out of the ten projects involved the completion of trail reroutes. Most notable among them was, in December the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club joined with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in finalizing the Sinking Creek Mountain relocation. The land for this relocation had been acquired in 1997 and the work had begun in 2016. Among other things accomplished during this project, Konnarock 2018 placed 100 rock steps and 591 square feet of rock cribbing in this relocation alone.
Another outstanding relocation completion was the Highcock Knob project that was started in 2015. Placing this sidehill reroute on durable tread required a large amount of technical rock work. Konnarock 2018 was more than ready for the challenge installing 115 square feet of rock cribbing alongside the 249 square feet of sidehilling accomplished.
Experienced Konnarock alumni were also recruited to lead Hard Core, an annual Trail stewardship opportunity for thru hikers to give back during their journey after celebrating at the Trail Days festival in Damascus. Within a short amount of time the fragile soils of Wilbur Ridge were protected from the hundreds of visitors who traverse it each weekend on their quest to capture views and see the ponies of the Mount Rogers High Country.
At the end of the season, Konnarock 2018 had 133 volunteers giving 7,152 hours of trail construction to the Appalachian Trail. Volunteers were from 30 U.S. states, with one international volunteer from New Zealand. Another 99 local trail club volunteers working alongside Konnarock gave 1,362 hours. Totalling 8,515 hours for the season when combined. The graphs provided show a breakdown of each project, with hours from the Konnarock Crew, as well as the total amount of features built throughout the season