This work isn’t easy. But it sure is rewarding.
Thanks to incredible volunteers who came out to this year’s (Not) Work Week, we were able to get a ton of work done on the connecting trail from Butcher’s Branch- Climbing Access to White Wall! From Saturday, May 14th to Saturday, May 21st over 1,000 volunteer hours were put in towards making rock steps, retaining walls, and other sustainable trail infrastructure to help provide safe climbing access.
You can now easily connect from Butcher’s Branch- Climbing Access Trail to White Wall and all the way to The Hole without worrying about rolling your ankle on the wobbly pile of rocks that you used to have to traverse! This route provides safe access to these wonderful climbing areas using technical rock features which will last for generations to come.
Check out some pictures of the work done, and get a sense to how much fun these crews had out there over the week!
Photo Credit: Matt Threlfall, Brittany Chaber, and Dana Bakker
We want to give a huge shoutout to our partners at the New River Gorge National Park Service. The NPS trail masters showed up and safely lead our volunteers to success. Also, camping this year was at the NPS Burnwood Campground, which was a blast!
Thank you to everyone who provided food for the volunteers throughout the week. They helped fuel the power behind moving all those heavy rocks.
Pies and Pints (https://piesandpints.net)
Cathedral Cafe (https://www.thecathedralcafe.com)
Pole Cat (https://www.facebook.com/Polecat-101073518354973)
Wood Iron (https://www.woodironeatery.com)
Maura and Gene Kistler
Brittany and Sam Chaber
Bill and Cheryl Crumm
Thank you to our swag and raffle sponsors who donated some really awesome prizes and other goodies for the volunteers during the week.
Farm to Feet
Thank you to the climbing gyms that helped to roll out the red carpet for our volunteers. Their donations went a long way in being able to provide the best care for the community and the conservation of the climbing areas we all love.
Triangle Rock Club
Ascend Climbing Gym
River Rock Climbing
eNeRGy Rock Gym
Philadelphia Rock Gyms
Vertical Adventures Training Center
And the stars of the show- our volunteers. People from all over and locally came out to help towards NRAC’s mission of preserving and creating climbing access for all to enjoy. Through the sweaty conditions, more than 60 volunteers showed up throughout the week and donated their time and power to help build this trail.
And of course, we would be remiss to not mention the mastermind of the whole operation- Gene Kistler, Board President of NRAC. For all of you who know Gene, you know that without his advocation towards this area and community, things would look a lot different. Lately, we’ve been strengthening our relationship with the park service (learn more about the climber stewards program here) and it only keeps growing.
Next time you’re walking along this section and notice the ease in which your feet travel over the tread, give a salute to the people who helped make it happen.