For our second test, we were presented the task of Mount Baden Powell near the city of Wrightwood, California. While our campsite was next to the Pacific Crest Trail, we had to commute to the heavily used trail that led to the Mt. Baden Powell summit. Not only did we run into a lot of people on the trail, we went head to head with 40 switchbacks that covered 4 miles of the PCT. As we worked our way up the mountain we touched up platforms, increased turning radiuses, applied some rehabbing techniques to washed out or overly used areas, and built a rip-rap wall. Another focal point on this section of trail was that there were a lot of areas were people had gone off of the PCT to try and cut corners. One of things Mt. Baden Powell gave us a chance to do was to talk about SCAs mission and to hopefully educate people about why it might be better to stay on trail versus creating a new one.
At the junction of Mt. Baden Powell and where the Pacific Crest Trail divert there was also a 14,000 plus year old tree that had fallen over. After inspection, we decided to make the trail that went around the tree more visible. While up on the summit we learned from an ultra marathon runner who had stopped to talk that the trail we had been working on was going to be used for the Apache Crest 100 mile marathon. There was an great sense of satisfaction after learning that our trail would see so much use.
One of many firsts for our crew was snow. While ascending Mt. Baden Powell we met some snow banks and of course had a nice round of snowballs fights. While at camp, one of the first through hikers, Scarecrow, that we had met on our previous hitch arrived at Mt. Baden Powell and joined us for dinner. It was nice to reunite with a hiker and I’m sure it won’t be the last time.
Also, we had our first volunteer Eugene, join us for each day on Mt. Baden Powell too. Not only was his insight to gear impeccable and helpful, his work ethic was seemingly unmatched. A true volunteer, Eugene shoveled snow from the trail so that hikers wouldn’t be going off the trail or put themselves in danger.
Another hitch under the belt means a lot of things to different people. Onlookers will point to the visible signs of hands that are calloused, feet that are blistered, bodies are caked with dirt and exhausted as indications of hard work, but I think that most of us will say the satisfaction that a once depleting section of trail is now re-worked and ready for hiking means a lot more than the blisters and showers.
Trail Maintained: 4 miles
Stone Retension: 130 sq ft
Switchbacks Regraded: 20