Ending on a High Note!

Ringle Segment Mobile Skills Crew, MSC, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail,

The 2019 Mobile Skills Crew season came to-a-close with not one, but TWO, curtain calls! Crews fanned out between two project areas to stage the last act in the “Building for the 23rd Century” tour.

mobile skills logo [Converted]

Ringle Segment, Marathon County

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Mobile Skills Crew Project, Ringle Segment, Marathon County
A view of freshly crafted tread weaves through the woods. Photo by Alaina Dedo.

A picture from the Trail around 2:30 p.m. on an overcast, brisk Saturday afternoon would show an array of scenes: A yellow carpet of soggy leaves blanketing the forest floor; Faded section markers still hugging the trees they were wrapped around last spring; Rain-soaked volunteers torn between calling it a day – or season, rather – and continuing to work; A pile of wet, muddy tools lying on the bed of a trailer, begging to be brushed and oiled.

Thank you to the 85 volunteers who gave 2,130 hours contributing to the effort to continue pushing north of currently open Trail.

To better prepare us for success, volunteers:

  • constructed 2,000 feet of sustainable tread,
  • shaped several drainage features,
  • built 6 stone steps,
  • built 17 retaining walls totaling 106 feet,
  • drafted dozens of blazes, waiting to be painted next year
Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Mobile Skills Crew, 2019
After a full day of trailbuilding, volunteers still had enough energy to out do each other in a pumpkin carving contest. Photo by Debbie Krogwold.

Summit Moraine Segment, Langlade County

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, 2019 Wildcard event in Langlade County
John Kolbe, expert sawyer and member of the board of directors for the Ice Age Trail Alliance, handily cuts up a tree trunk. Photo by Dave Caliebe.

Over three days, 9 volunteers spent 242 hours clearing storm damage from more than three miles of the Summit Moraine Segment. Their labor amplified previous efforts by Langlade County Chapter members.

Relying on the collective wisdom, experience, and strength of the crew, hazard trees were safely removed and the jumble of trees along the Trail were dissected and tossed farther into the woods. For good measure, a crew took care of a nagging snag buried deep within the Kettlebowl Segment. Its size and difficulty had thwarted earlier attempts to tame it.

The Summit Moraine Segment, like many segments affected by wind storms, is open, but the gnarled remnants of Mother Nature’s wrath remain, reminding hikers of forces we cannot control.

Summit Moraine Segment, 2019 Storm damage, Langlade County, Ice Age National Scenic Trail
BEFORE. Photo by Dave Caliebe.
Ice Age Trail Alliance, 2019 Storm damage, Langlade County
AFTER. Photo by Dave Caliebe.
Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Volunteer sawyers 2019
Members of the sawyer crew. Photo by Dave Caliebe.

Special THANKS to:

This event was made possible by a grant from the National Park Foundation through generous support of The Coca-Cola Company.  

Generous Sponsors of the 2019 Mobile Skills Crew Trailbuilding Season include:

Sitka Salmon Shares is offering all Ice Age Trail enthusiasts and trailbuilders a $25.00 discount on your purchase of a salmon or seafood share. They’ll donate $25.00 to our award-winning Mobile Skills Crew program.