Starting off strong!
After nearly two full weeks of training, travel, and preparation, this week we were all eager and excited to get the project on Mt Baldy started and show off our trail building skills. Monday morning we meet Chugiach State Park ranger Blaine at the trailhead and finally got the reroute plans and a quick introduction into the Mt Baldy trail and the surrounding area. The Mt. Baldy trail lays mostly on land owned by the municipality of Anchorage but passes into and provides access into the 495,000 acre Chugiach State Park. The trail is very popular with hikers, families, and the mountain runner community. The Mt Baldy trail is in dire need of maintenance and rerouting if it is to live on sustainably, it has suffered from over use and has become braided and widened to over 100 feet in some areas. We as a crew were hip to fixing it up and making it a resource that can be enjoyed safely by generations to come.
Much of the work we preformed this week consisted of cutting up the existing vegetation on the proposed reroutes and preserving them for the planned revegetation of the trail we are bypassing. The tundra mats were cut into 3ft by 2ft rectangles and wrapped up until we use them next week in our revegetation.
This week we completed cutting the tread and tamping our next trail section that is the smallest but highest in elevation on Mt Baldy. This section is over 400ft long and we are excited to open it to hikers next week.
The crew also completed cutting the tread for a section we call phase 2: section 1, at around 150 feet. We were able to cut tundra mats from and build brand new trail for over 500ft of reroute!
Our off time this week consisted mostly of hiking and exploring the beautiful Chugiach State Park that is our backyard. We spotted a mother moose and baby in camp also some of us had and encounter with a bull moose while hiking last weekend. In other news the crew band made big leaps as we acquired a guitar and a ukulele! We also attended the season opener for the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks Alaska League Baseball team. Their home field happens to be next door.