Asheville, NC (May 27, 2014) – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) invites volunteers, 18 and over, to help maintain the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as part of the Smokies Wilderness Elite Appalachian Trail (S.W.E.A.T) Crew for the 2014 season. These particular positions are physically demanding and are designed for experienced hikers who love to work hard, live in the backcountry and create lasting friendships.
S.W.E.A.T. Crew is a mobile group that focuses on Trail maintenance in the heart of the Smokies on sections more than five miles from the nearest road. Crew members carry tools, water, food and camping supplies to support their work. Each session lasts six days in the field where the crew focuses on clearing the A.T. and repairing it with materials they find. Food, lodging, training, equipment and transportation to and from the work site is provided.
"The Appalachian Trail Conservancy encourages all hikers and Appalachian Trail supporters to get involved with a Trail Crew," said Leanna Joyner, ATC's trail resource manager. "These all-volunteer crews are instrumental in completing large-scale projects along the Trail."
Members of the S.W.E.A.T. Crew arrive at ATC base camp the day before their crew session begins to meet the professional crew leaders, prepare for the work trip and check out any gear they need. The next day the crew enjoys a family-style breakfast and loads up in an ATC vehicle and drives to a nearby trail-head in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After a challenging hike in, often up to 10 miles long while carrying a 50- to- 60 pound backpack, the crew establishes the campsite they will work out of for the next five days. The crew repairs, reconstructs and maintains some of the most isolated and stunning sections of the A.T., often working at elevations of more 6,000 feet.
Sessions with availability in the 2014 S.W.E.A.T. season are:
Session 1 6/7 to 6/12/2014
Session 2 6/17 to 6/22/2014
Session 4 7/6 to 7/11/2014
Session 5 7/16 to 7/21/2014
Session 6 7/26 to 7/30/2014
Session 8 8/13 to 8/17/2014
Session 9 8/22 to 8/26/2014
For more information about the ATC’s S.W.E.A.T Crew program or to volunteer, visit www.appalachiantrail.org/crews.
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park Service, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,185 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
Contact: Javier Folgar
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.535.2200 x117
Email: [email protected]