Monday, April 15, 2013

Trail Crew Provides Opportunities to Volunteer on the Appalachian Trail in the Smokies

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is currently seeking volunteers, 18 and over, to help maintain the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with the Smokies Wilderness Elite Appalachian Trail Crew (S.W.E.A.T.) this season. These positions are designed for experienced hikers who have a desire to work hard, live in the backcountry and have a great time with new friends.

The ATC’s S.W.E.A.T. Crew is a mobile crew, carrying all food, tools and camping gear into the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The crew focuses on the difficult Trail problems that occur in the backcountry with the tools they carry in and the materials that they find. Each crew works six days in the field repairing the Trail, building steps, and clearing the A.T. All food, lodging, equipment and transportation to and from the work site is provided.

“Joining the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s SWEAT crew is a great opportunity to give back to the Appalachian Trail, make new friends, and create memories that will last a lifetime,” said Andrew Downs, regional director of the ATC.

Members of the S.W.E.A.T. crew arrive at ATC base camp the day before their crew session begins to meet the professional Crew Leaders, prepare for the work trip and check out any gear they need. The next day the crew enjoys a family-style breakfast and loads up in an ATC vehicle and drives to a nearby trail-head in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After a challenging hike in, often up to 10 miles long and over 2,500 feet in elevation gain, the crew establishes the campsite they will work out of for the next five days. The crew repairs, reconstructs and maintains some of the most remote and beautiful sections of the A.T. often working at elevations of over 6,000 feet for the entire work week.

2013 S.W.E.A.T. Crew Calendar:

SESSION -  DATES
Session 1:  6/8 - 6/13/2013
Session 2:  6/17 - 6/22/2013
Session 3:  6/26 - 7/1/2013
Session 4:  7/8 - 7/13/2013
Session 5:  7/17-7/22/2013
Session 6:  7/26 - 7/31/2013
Session 7:  8/4 - 8/9/2013
Session 8:  8/13 - 8/18/2013

For more information about ATC’s S.W.E.A.T Crew program or to volunteer, visit www.appalachiantrail.org/crews.


Jeff
Hiking in the Smokies

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