Crew for a Week: Volunteering in the Enchantments and on the Wonderland
This summer, volunteer Karen Story joined WTA on two backcountry response team trips (BCRTs). She wrote about her experience, and included photos of the amazing work that can be accomplished by volunteers working multiple days in the backcountry.
This summer, volunteer Karen Story joined WTA on two backcountry response team trips (BCRTs)—work parties that venture into the backcountry to complete annual maintenance that would otherwise go unaddressed. Story wrote about her experience in two blogs, and included photos of the amazing work that can be accomplished by volunteers.
Ensuring access to the Enchantments
Karen's very first BCRT ever took her to the Colchuck Lake Trail with a crew of nine other volunteers.
Their mission was a particularly challenging and technical one, demanding even by BCRT standards: install a temporary bridge over Mountaineer Creek. After several days of prepping the area for the bridge installation, the log spanning the creek was set into place using a griphoist, and the crew worked hard to complete installing posts and handrails. Once complete, the bridge gave hikers safe access to the storybook landscape of the Enchantments for the duration of the summer season.
Working on the Wonderland Trail
The work on Mountaineer Creek piqued Karen's interest, and later in the summer, she joined WTA on another BCRT, this one at Mount Rainier. For five days, Karen was one of six hard-working volunteers who camped at uber-scenic Emerald Ridge and widened two more than 40-foot sections of the trail that the South Puyallup River was eroding away.
To address the erosion, the team worked hard each day, moving boulders, trees, and dirt and digging into the hill to create better tread. They left behind a safer, wider, and much better-looking trail that Wonderland hikers will appreciate in seasons to come.
The 2014 BCRT season is over, but stay tuned for the release of our 2015 schedule backcountry trips early next year! This winter, come see what you can accomplish on one of our many day work parties. There's no experience needed, and we try to accommodate for everyone's ability level.