2019 Grayson Highlands Bouldering & Stewardship Weekend

9 Apr

GHSP Stew 2019Its time for the 7th annual GHSP Bouldering and Stewardship Weekend! This Memorial Weekend, May the 25th & 26th,  come get your hands dirty while providing some much needed stewardship work at the Southeast’s finest warm weather boulderfield (afterward we will get our hands chalky too). As always, this is a collective of hardworking and passionate volunteers, not a festival or competition. Do not expect live music, cotton candy, probably zero professional climbers, and there will be no Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tubemen or t-shirt cannons present. We could go this route, but we find that more work – and higher quality work – gets done when the focus is specifically on providing the best stewardship possible.

Schedule: On Saturday morning, the 25th we will focus on erosion prevention and trail maintenance in an exciting newer boulderfield called the Hinterlands. Sunday morning, the 26th, we will split up with one group doing work (trash, tick marks and general stewardship) in the Picnic Area and a second group doing focused trail maintenance and erosion on another newer area called the New Boneyard. Both mornings we will meet up at 9:00am and aim to be hiking into the areas by 10:00am. We will work until 1:00pm where we will then set off to whatever boulderfields we aim to climb in for the rest of the day. After climbing, or after the morning’s trail-work anyone can set up camp anytime.

Camping: As always, Grayson Highlands State Park graciously allows volunteers of the Stewardship Weekend free park entry and a free night of camping in our private site. This site has no showers or running water nearby, so bring any overnight camping gear you will need for Saturday night. Other options such as cabin rental outside of the park, or camping in sites outside of GHSP are available nearby and can be found online. The standard campsites in the park have been reserved and are already full.

Raffle: We will hold an awesome swag raffle Sunday morning. $10 for one ticket, $20 for three tickets, and if you get more than three tickets, every additional ticket is $5. Grayson Highlands Maps will also be available for purchase during the event. If you plan to be in the raffle or pick up a map, be sure to bring cash or check! All proceeds from the raffle go directly to the CACC. All proceeds from the map go toward Aaron Parlier’s gas tank and student loans.

Food: This being the grassroots stewardship event that it is, please plan to bring your own food. Or, plan to drive off of the mountain to get food. There are several options for getting food: The Grayson Highlands General store or the Log Cabin Restaurant being the closest options just a few miles away. Alternates are the restaurants in Independence (a little further away in VA), West Jefferson (a similar distance across the NC State line), or to Pie On The Mountain with its legendary pizza (just across the state line into TN).

Gear: For camping, bring any lightweight creature comforts you need for one night. For climbing, bring any bouldering gear you would like. For trailwork: Shoes and clothes that can get muddy, gloves, a change of clothes after the work is done, something to hold water, a snack, a backpack for those items, any tools you would like to bring to help with the effort.

Let Us Know: If you plan to attend, please select that you will attend the event on the Facebook event page. This helps us communicate the expected volunteer numbers to the GHSP park staff. Also, please message the event page or the CACC through Facebook or instagram with any questions whatsoever.

Need to Know: Public consumption of alcohol is prohibited in all VA State Parks (GHSP included). There are law enforcement rangers on staff and on the clock at all times, so don’t be dumb. We will be doing some hard work, so bringing your dog is probably not going to be easy in the first place, but the State Park policy is that all dogs must be on a 6ft leash at all times. Weather in the Blue Ridge Mountains can be highly unpredictable, especially with GHSP housing the highest elevations in the state. Bring a warm jacket, bring a rain jacket, bring gear that can shelter you in a storm and in the elements. Cell phone service is extremely spotty, so be ready for that. There will be no Wifi.

I want so say THANK YOU to everyone who has attended in the past and to everyone who has come out multiple years in a row (Shamus, this ones for you!). This event depends on the enormous amount of effort and passion from event volunteers and we have made an incredible difference over the past 7 years. lets keep it going!


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