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Thursday, November 26, 2009

IMBA Trail Building Workshop

Last week (Nov. 20th) I had the opportunity to attend a trail building workshop put on by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA). The workshop was intended for New River Gorge National Park Service employees (NRG NPS), but other individuals invested within the biking community were asked to attend. Friday we had 4 hours of classroom instruction, and then we took our new skills to the trail. We worked on the Hawk's Nest connector trail, which links the Ansted rails-to-trail system with the NRG trail system. The NRG NPS has also purchased two new tracts of land (Craig's Branch & Garden Grounds), which will have stacked looped trail systems for single track mountain biking. If you want to learn more follow this link and scroll to the bottom of the page http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkId=259&projectId=28775&documentID=30522.

Trail building workshop attendees

Adam Stephens and Justin Storm building trails

Building the new Hawk's Nest Connector Trail

Monday, November 16, 2009

NRAC "Re-Vegetation" Project

A big fundraiser at the New River Rendezvous this year was the re-vegetation project. Here is a little history. Kenny Parker, long time climber and part owner of WaterStone Outdoors, was approached with a proposition. "If we (climbing community) can raise $2500 by the last day of the Rendezvous, we get to shave your head." The kicker, La Sportiva would match the $2500 and $5000 would go towards planting native fauna (Tulip Poplar, Black Birch, and Rhododendron) at two of the New River Gorge's most heavily used crags, the Bridge and Junkyard. We easily raised the money, and shaving Kenny's head was quite a spectacle Saturday evening during the Rendezvous. Fast Forward. This past weekend, with the support and collaboration of the National Park Service and several volunteers, we successfully completed the re-vegetation project goals at the Bridge and Junkyard. Below are some pictures from the volunteer-work implemented at the Bridge Buttress. ( NRAC = New River Alliance of Climbers)

Gene rallying the volunteers.

Local Arborist, Everett Hendrixon, "Art is trees" (Hico, WV) supplying the native species

John Perez (NPS Wildlife Biolgist) and Gene Kistler talking over design.

NRAC Volunteers getting it done!

Tulip Poplar, Black Birch, and Rhododendrons.

Wood fiber matting to prevent erosion.

Working on planting in a small rock island.

Johnny P. the stone mason

Tying in split rail fencing to create an enclosure around our newly planted trees.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rocktober Peak Foliage

For 11 months out of the year climbers patiently await the month of "Rocktober". Historically the month of October produces some of the best climate for climbing, temperate, dry weather. But this year it has produced one of the soggiest Octobers I can remember. Below I was able to capture some of the beautiful dry days. This coming weekend will be the first without rain!

View from the Summerlee Site

Enjoying the view from "Two Bag Face"

Summersville Lake after Gauley Season

Sunset at the Confluence Retreat