On June 1st, a five-member crew hiked spent a little over five hours on the Mount Benson Project. We scheduled a short day to allow for members to join in the club BBQ, later that day.
With a seemingly endless amount of work to be done the crew focused first on moving materials from the lower road to the eroding bank. Once positioned we spent the remainder of the day working at the eroding bank.
After watching a few groups walk through the site we picked a route that is now the one route up through this section.
The five us toiled in the hot sun. We move a great deal of earth, stone and dead wood throughout the day.
At the end of our time, we stood back to admire the work we accomplished. A route is well-established between the existing large stones. The intent is to create an established route that uses the existing terrain. In all likelihood, the existing terrain is already settled and less prone to further erosion as compared to adding new material onto the site.
In addition to defining the route that should be used, moving markers, and creating well defines places to walk, a lot of debris has been brought in to close off the other braided routes.
The work on the bank is far from complete. There are still at least two more steps that need to be cut and built up, and several locations where terraces should be installed to support the existing bank. To promote plant growth on the slope it will need to be seeded, and that may require transplanting, spreading of seed, and/or minor working of the solid surface.
Lastly, there is the issue of the large boulder our route travels over, it is being undercut more and more each season. Some of this is from hikers walking past it– this has been curtailed– but more of it is from water. It’s my belief that the area needs terraces installed and soil backfilled to stop the erosion, and this should support the stone for many years to come.