Final Report 
Our crew began its last hitch in the Pacific Northwest on a cool fall day in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. We were welcomed with the Northwest’s characteristically damp and cloudy skies falling softly upon us. The remainder of the hitch we would see the sun briefly now and then but were more often than not struggling through rain. The work consisted almost entirely of brushing- clearing the corridor of the vine maple and blueberry bushes that threatened to completely choke off the trail.
This hitch presented new challenges for a crew that had seen little rain since leaving training in late May from Western Washington. On top of the foul weather we battled with the monotony of cutting branches and cumbersome limbs for eight plus hours a day for over a week. Our best allies in the fight against foul moods were one another. With positive attitudes we were able to uplift each other from the negativity you would expect to accompany a week and a half of slogging through thick, wet brush in soggy cotton pants- your rain gear having long ago soaked through and now serving, at best, as a makeshift sauna keeping you steamy and warm.
We had a brief scare on October 1st. We awoke at midnight to hear someone in the distance shouting “hello,” which sounds an awful lot like “help” when you’re lying half asleep in a tent a couple hundred yards from the person yelling. Sterling, a light sleeper and an adrenaline junky, bursts forth from his tent vestibule, looking for the action; he’s all business. After sending out a few response calls to the hello we had heard, we hear a person coming closer and the “hello” comes into focus. After our pulses normalize we figure out that there are several hunters scrambling lost through the woods looking for one another. They find each other. Exhausted, we fall asleep, knowing we’ll never forget that elk hunting season begins October 1st in Washington.
All told, despite crumby conditions we were able to clear three miles of trail and managed to build a fire every single night. As hitch leader, I took particular pride in the crew’s resolve to retain a high sense of duty and morale in spite of adverse conditions.
Alana Stickney 
Having spent the first 22+ years of my life on the North Shore of Massachusetts, I decided to join the SCA and experience life on the other side of the country. I began trail work with the Degenerate team in the Umatilla NF based in Oregon and three months later, decided to extend my visit out West by joining the PCT 2 crew. Future goals include the Peace Corps, grad school abroad and, of course, more SCA gigs!
Our 7th hitch on the PCT brought us to the Diamond Peak Wilderness in Deschutes NF where a short stretch of trail was in dire need of our attention. We immediately began work during our 7 mile hike in to camp, logging out some downed trees in the trail. Issac Daniel, our PCTA liaison, hiked in with us and acted as supervisor as Sterling and Jesse had paperwork to complete and had to hike in later that night.
We worked 1.5 miles North of our campsite where we encountered some complicated crosscutting. Fortunately we were able to use our brawn and brains to tackle the project and we had some laughs and a photo shoot or two along the way.
The proceeding days consisted of many checkstep placements, some timber, some stone, some average-sized, others absolutely massive (see picture below).
The team continued working South past camp and came upon another crosscutting project; this one conveniently situated next to some snow. Snowball fights predictably ensued but, being the hardworkers we are, we pressed on with the trail work, setting 13 consecutive structures in the next 1/4 mile stretch of trail.
Our last few days consisted of a lot of brushing and treadwork and a final logout of a tree whose width was equal to Sterling's height. It took 10 hands and 2 rock bars, but in the end we got the best of that beast of a tree.
Trail Maintained: 3610 feet
Logs Removed: 16
Steps and Waterbars: 38
Our call to duty positioned us 4.5 miles into the Willamette N.F., North of Santium Pass, near Sisters, Oregon. This particular hitch was our second two-weeker in a row. My team survived the elements and the grueling work of the Gifford Pinchot but unfortunately we had to see Jesse sit this one out for fear of flaring up a lower back injury. Luckily, we received a new addition to team Beaverslide in Alana Stickney. Alana had just finished up a 3 month SCA crew in Umatilla NF and was itching to get back out into the field. We learned that she has a different pallet of knowledge about trail work through the different projects that she had previously worked on, which was a total bonus! Even though our line-up has changed a bit over the past couple of months we were certain that whatever this hitch at Three Fingered Jack was about to unfurl, we could handle it.
In the section of trail we were hiking through to get to our campsite we got to see the after affects of a fire that occurred eight years ago. We hiked through the “burn” area as it was called to reach our camp. The eerie feeling that was evoked cannot be fully explained unless you experience it for yourself. However, there were many signs of life with huckleberry bushes and lupine flowers edging the path. Once we reached a greener area, we were able to descend to Summit Lake. When we reached our campsite, we were certain this site was almost heaven. Summit Lake has the most breathtaking, crystal blue water that looked as though it had just melted from a mountain top. And the view we were given was an over look of Black Butte and to the south, the edge of Middle Sister appeared in our many sunrise photo opportunities.
On our third day of the hitch there was a lightning storm that completely engulfed the Three Sisters Wilderness and much of the Willamette National Forest. There were numerous fires to our south but the most prominent raged around Mt. Washington, less than 6 miles away. The next morning and for the duration of the hitch, we would watch the fire on the mountain and with the remnants of smoke lurking in the distance contemplate the awesome powers at work.
Each day began with checking-in with Eugene Dispatch via the Forest Service radio to let them know where we were; we also listed to some of the chatter regarding the fire fighting. We then began a steep climb to our worksite. We were presented the opportunity to finally cut some big timbers down for check steps with the cross cut. Alana already had experience with falling trees, so it was Nate, Whit and I that got some practice with good ol’ Feliciana (our beloved cross cut). Our check step regimen became so crisp and refined that by the end of the hitch we had a total of 47 check steps in place along with 6 water bars. Each day seemed to bring a lot of hikers through our area and it was great to run into people we had met earlier on the trail, truly “trail magic!”
We also got a visit from Trevor! Little did we know he loves to swim and did he ever! No matter the weather conditions, Trevor was out there in the middle of Summit Lake like an otter basking in the sun and enjoying the cool water. His help and his upbeat attitude helped us all on the trail and in camp, doing whatever was asked of him. He even brought us goodies and things that we forgot to pack (hose for Coleman gas stove, almond butter, little watermelons, chocolate, etc…..).
On our day off some of us hiked to Three Fingered Jack and some hung around camp and had a spa day in Summit Lake. Jack was quite the hike and held spectacular views of the Oregon horizon. The feeling of invincibility did not last long as I (Andrea) placed my hand on the crumbly wall and some rocks started to plummet to the bottom. It was a bit of a reality check or lunch time…. As Nate and Sterling wanted to go further, the summit seemed a tad bit unattainable as to the rocky and unstable terrain seemed to make a way down more of a challenge.
Hitch number seven is at an end but the memories are forever seared in our minds as those two, epic weeks at Summit Lake.
Trail Maintained: 2 miles
Check Steps: 47 (34 timber/13 rock)
Water BArs: 6 (4 timber/2 rock)
Reinforced Drainage Dip: 1
Thru-Hikers Met: 18 (Two Hats, Top Shelf, Drop Dead, Slap Shot, Mr. Fox, Rox Lox, Yankee, Cricket, Barb (and Jack a.k.a. Tequila Kid), LaFawnda, Euro Trash, Happy Meal, Mowgli, Spice Rack, Flash, Crasher, Lighthouse, Broken Record, Happy Whale and more.)
Tired from the California sun and eager to see Northwestern forest, our crew had our first hitch in the state of Washington. The Goat Rocks Wilderness on the Number 96 trail in Gifford Pinchot National Forest to be exact. It also marked the first hitch where we would be pushed to the limit physically and mentally. Two whole weeks in the backcountry without contact with the outside world, a list of projects that included repairing failing turnpikes, a rock wall installation and putting in check steps.
The sun pierces through the weathered holes from my blue nylon dome, water crashes vigorously from Goat Creek's rapids drowning out all other noise until Andrea gives the gentle 'coffee is ready' call. My day begins...
This was by far the coldest hitch we had, which usually lead to sun bathing first thing in the morning to warm up. The walk to work was only a 1/4 mile up the trail to begin with.
The first couple of days we had Greg Baxter from the PCTA giving us a hand and even gave us a lesson on check step installation. Although we knew we had bigger and badder task to handle up the trail we wanted to get a few checks in to warm up.
Accustom to lopping, minor tread work and shorter hitches this hitch took us to our limits. It was also the first time where we were set free to work on projects alone and without Sterling over our shoulder as he was away at a family gathering. At one point Jesse was digging an earth drainage, Andrea was armouring a creek, while Nate and I each set checks.
Working our way up to the turnpikes we armoured a creek that was running into the trail and de-bermmed more tread. Once we made it up to the turnpikes we picked our battles clearing out most of the failing structures so that the water would flow. It got to be quite messy. With each swing of the tool mud would splatter our work pants. We were able to 3 turnpikes flowing again by cleaning out organic matter alone. The other two needed more work.
The first failing turnpike we fixed was also the first time we got to put Feliciana took work. We cut 3 sections of cedar timber from a down cedar up the hill from our project site. We replaced the rotting timber with a two tier timber support to the left of the culvert on the downhill side and a one tier support on the right. We supported the left downhill side of the structure with a rock wall directly under the two tier timber supports. Surprisingly this only took our crew a day and a half to finish.
As we felt good about our first turnpike repair we pushed ahead to the big fix of the hitch. About a mile from camp a turnpike had begun to erode downhill making it unsafe for horses and pack animals to get by. First and foremost, we collected rock, we collected so much rock we had rocks for days! We replaced the uphill and downhill side of the turnpike's rotting timber with rock. The first rock for our biggest and best rock wall to date was a scary 4 feet off the trail. I knew when I saw Sterling set the rock that he wasn't playing around and neither was this rock wall. It took the best of us over the next 3.5 days. Two or three of us would usually be finding these massive rocks while two others work on the dry masonry art of setting these >200lbs beast.
It's safe to say after two weeks in the Goat Rocks that we came, we saw and we were challenged on all levels of trail work.
The start of our fifth hitch was an emotional challenge for Team Beaverslide as we have come to call ourselves. We had just received the tragic news that Tessa, our high-spirited family member, had to leave the PCT and return home to Texas to rest a broken foot. It was a tough reality to swallow; in many ways, Tessa was the glue that bound our clan of different personalities together. Nonetheless, we spent our remaining days of break together enjoying each other’s company, picnicking on the beach of the beautiful Northern California coast, barbequing an extravagant farewell dinner, and enjoying a concert in the park. It was a memorable weekend of bittersweet fun- all the way up until our final moments together at the Eugene, Oregon airport where Tess left us. We did not say “goodbye”, however. Team Beaverslide remains hopeful that our sixth member will return to us in due time with a healed foot and rejuvenated excitement to resume trailwork.
Going into the hitch a day later than expected, and with our team consisting only of five members, it could have been a rocky start. However, we had two lifesavers among us to keep both our spirits and our manpower high: Forrest and Sara, a friendly young couple from California and Michigan (respectively), had happily signed up for the challenge. Neither had ever worked trails before but what they lacked in physical experience they made up for tenfold in the analytical logistics of trailwork—both were engineers. Their dedication to the trail, knowledge of land structures, stories of worldly experience, and witty humor deemed Sara and Forrest the coolest volunteers on the block. We all wish they could be permanent members of Team Beaverslide!
The seven of us spent the first work day hiking the entirety of the assigned 4 mile section of the PCT, scoping out problem spots where various work projects would later be carried out. Headed south-bound with our packs full and sticking to the sweat on our backs, we discovered the hard way that the weather in this area of Klamath National Forest was more humid than we had expected. The hike uphill was laborious and long so we split up into small teams for the following three days of the hitch; some members worked the bottom few miles and others at the top section (miles 2.5-4.0).
Subsequently, we were able to accomplish quite a bit of tread work and lopping along the 4 mile stretch. This hitch marked the season’s christening for Feliciana, our cross-cut saw, and also for an often unused tool, the weed whip. Because of the heavy Vine Maple that had encroached on the trail, sometimes to the extent that the trail itself was invisible, the weed whip was a lifesaver. Overall, our crew built and/or fixed approximately 3 drain ditches, built 1 armour/partial rock retaining wall, cleared away 3-4 down trees blocking the trail, widened about 300 feet of tread in total, and weeded various sections of extreme overgrowth on the 4 mile stretch.
The work required of our team on this hitch was not as hefty of a challenge as we were accustomed to. However, an especially pleasant surprise was the variation of the work; one could hardly grow disinterested when each day offered a new project to tackle. And with the addition of our two wonderful volunteers, the hitch was a certain success.
Trail Maintained: 4 miles
Before this past hitch we spent a few days in Portland, Oregon exploring the vibrancy and culture of the city. Days later, recovered from the physicality of the last hitch but strained financially from a few days of sampling the local victuals, we piled into the car and headed back towards northern California and the Klamath National Forest. Several hours later, only halfway through one heady Phish jam, we arrived in Seiad Valley, CA; population: 14.
On the 13th, we met with Bill Roberts- packer, pilot, poet and National Forest Service rep. Bill, his wife Peggy, and their SCA intern, Claire, helped pack in our tools and some of our supplies with the help of their string of burly mules and sleek horses. Packs strapped tight, we moseyed the 3 miles into the backwoods of the Klamath National Forest. Bill encouraged us to interact with his animals, brushing them and leading them to graze, and was more than happy to share his 40 plus years of backcountry wisdom and stock-packing experience.
The work began the next day on the PCT where we got busy cutting back brush and clearing out drainage ditches. After that we spent the next several days hiking three or more miles out onto the Red Butte Wilderness Boundary Trail to do more brushing and treadwork. A snow bank along the trail provided a welcome opportunity to cool down on the way back from work at the end of long days. Snow ball fights in July are a novelty for sure.
The terrain was remarkably different from what we had been experiencing in southern California and Tahoe. Only 6,000 feet or so above sea level, the clouds were often undercast on our morning hikes to work. When the fog and drizzle hadn’t overtaken the hillsides, Mount Shasta was visible, looming hazily over the ridges in the far reaches of the horizon. The wildflowers were in full bloom- Iris, Desert Paintbrush, Beargrass, and Mountain Lupine abounded.
Hiking back and forth the three miles onto the Boundary Trail each day, our pants would become saturated as we walked through the thick, dewy brush that blanketed our path. Brushing our way back toward camp was a gratifying team effort with tangible results- no wet pants. And being able to walk back over your work at the end of the day and recognize that you’ve had a hand in shaping the trail for years to come is satisfying.
The last afternoon of the hitch as we headed back towards our base camp a few of us decided to explore a draw we had heard of from hikers earlier that week. A small stream could be heard trickling down the hillside. We followed the water down a half mile or thereabouts to where it emptied into a small pool. At the edge of this bluish green pool grew a hedge of Manzanita. Water from the pool spilled beyond the hedge, and splashed down a steep rock wall. The ravine continued down for miles to where the ridges rising above us met.
The work that we engage in is rewarding. But the opportunities to connect with your teammates in these serene, scenic, and intimate atmospheres is perhaps more worthwhile and personally fulfilling. Trail work is people building, so I’ve been told. Like a freshly lopped trail, this truth is becoming clearer, too.
Trail Maintained: 10700 ft
On our first full day of work we focused on treadwork. Some of us used picks to make the trail wider while the other members focused on flattening the freshly dug up soil. We worked on a few switchbacks as well. We made the switchbacks wider and the drains more pronounced. On the last two days, we really focused on lopping. There were sections of the trail that had been completely taken over by tall bushes. Some group members worked diligently to cut the heavy brush, while others spent time swamping the severed plants.
A few things we observed
1. Do lop your heart out until 7 pm on the final day. In fact lop more plants than you ever thought you would lop in your lifetime
2. Do talk to thru-hikers on the trail. You may have heard of them through other friends. You may run into them again while in town. They may make you laugh, show you their scars, play a tune on their mandolin, and smoke a lot of hand-rolled cigarettes.
3. Do carry at least 30 extra pounds of food on your back. The wine-flavored cheese and the artisan salami will taste so good in the backcountry
4. Do bring the latest gossip magazine into the backcountry. Once again, so worth it.
5. Do sit in the freezing cold creek with your work chums after work. Talk about something “mildly intellectual.” Do explore the creek for the best pools to dangle your feet in.
6. Do note how your entire back becomes drenched from sweat during your hike in. Notice how the extra food and supplies on your back makes you hike like a bloated turtle
7. Do utterly annihilate inside jokes. Tell your crew members the same joke until it is remarkably unfunny and then tell them the joke again. Laugh with your crewmembers about how out of hand this joke thing has gotten.
8. Do be amazed by the dedication of your crew members. Note how they will stop at nothing to get a task done.
1. Don’t bring your tent. Just sleep on the ground. Don’t think of yourself as lazy for not wanting to set a tent up. You are being “ultra-light.”
2. Don’t leave your emergency keys in Mammoth Lakes. For that matter, don’t lock your other keys into the trailer. Furthermore, don’t lock the key hidden under the tuck inside the truck itself... you may be forced to entertain yourself in Nevada for 12 hours... by the end of your night you may become delirious from laughter as well as deft at sleeping in weird/tight spaces. Don't be scared by your teammate showing up at 2 am with the replacement keys. Don't be surprised if you don't arrive at your campsite until 4:30 am.
3. Don’t stand under or around or in the general vicinity of a bear-hang that is being lowered to the ground. Also, don't be surprised to find the Nutella on the ground after you have strung up all the other food for the evening.
4. Don’t be surprised when fireworks are not visible in the Tahoe National Forest on the Fourth of July
5. Don’t give up trying to convince your crewmates that some big-foot/bear hybrid stomped through your camp last night with the force of a dump truck.
Trail Maintained: 8000 ft
For our second test, we were presented the task of Mount Baden Powell near the city of Wrightwood, California. While our campsite was next to the Pacific Crest Trail, we had to commute to the heavily used trail that led to the Mt. Baden Powell summit. Not only did we run into a lot of people on the trail, we went head to head with 40 switchbacks that covered 4 miles of the PCT. As we worked our way up the mountain we touched up platforms, increased turning radiuses, applied some rehabbing techniques to washed out or overly used areas, and built a rip-rap wall. Another focal point on this section of trail was that there were a lot of areas were people had gone off of the PCT to try and cut corners. One of things Mt. Baden Powell gave us a chance to do was to talk about SCAs mission and to hopefully educate people about why it might be better to stay on trail versus creating a new one.
At the junction of Mt. Baden Powell and where the Pacific Crest Trail divert there was also a 14,000 plus year old tree that had fallen over. After inspection, we decided to make the trail that went around the tree more visible. While up on the summit we learned from an ultra marathon runner who had stopped to talk that the trail we had been working on was going to be used for the Apache Crest 100 mile marathon. There was an great sense of satisfaction after learning that our trail would see so much use.
One of many firsts for our crew was snow. While ascending Mt. Baden Powell we met some snow banks and of course had a nice round of snowballs fights. While at camp, one of the first through hikers, Scarecrow, that we had met on our previous hitch arrived at Mt. Baden Powell and joined us for dinner. It was nice to reunite with a hiker and I’m sure it won’t be the last time.
Also, we had our first volunteer Eugene, join us for each day on Mt. Baden Powell too. Not only was his insight to gear impeccable and helpful, his work ethic was seemingly unmatched. A true volunteer, Eugene shoveled snow from the trail so that hikers wouldn’t be going off the trail or put themselves in danger.
Another hitch under the belt means a lot of things to different people. Onlookers will point to the visible signs of hands that are calloused, feet that are blistered, bodies are caked with dirt and exhausted as indications of hard work, but I think that most of us will say the satisfaction that a once depleting section of trail is now re-worked and ready for hiking means a lot more than the blisters and showers.
Trail Maintained: 4 miles
Stone Retension: 130 sq ft
Switchbacks Regraded: 20
Our first hitch was a doozy. After sitting in a car for three days on our maiden voyage out of Longview, WA down to Southern California we were ready to hit the trail. We climbed almost 2000 feet out of the Idyllwild region to Apache Peak on the shoulder of Mt. San Jacinto. It was a grueling first climb of the season but everyone carried their pack well and our campsite was an amazing overlook of the Coachella Valley with water from a nearby spring that was clear and cold.
Our work was the much-needed cutting of tread. We dug back into the hillside to afford a wider walking surface battling roots, rocks and other hazards. We kept in mind our newfound tenants of a quality trail and vastly improved the often narrow and uneven trail. Our final two days were spent on a switchback whose interior was badly eroded. We set rock on the hillside over an area approximately 180 square feet. In some parts of the country this technique is known as riprap.
We worked hard, got dirty and lived in a beautiful piece of the world for 9 days. We got a chance to practice a host of backcountry skills from cooking to cat-holing and had a blast doing it. The sun was hot, the flies thick, the work dusty and the hike uphill but it was beyond a doubt worth every moment. I could not have asked for a better kickoff to what is sure to be a great season.
Trail Maintained: 6000 ft
Rock Retension: 180 sq ft
The crew arrived at a Girl Scout Camp in Longview, Washington and began their training for the coming months. Hailing from Connecticut, Michigan, South Carolina, Texas and Minnesota they boast a wide array of different backgrounds and experiences that will certainly be helpful in our adventure on the horizon.
They spent ten days getting trained in everything from SCA logistics to Risk Management to vehicle maintenance to Wilderness First Aid and Trail Work Skills.
The Western Washington climate kept us on our toes but the vibrant, communal attitude was more than enough to make up for the occational rain.
Nate Hallman 
Nate hails from the scenic shores of coastal Connecticut. Growing up along the Connecticut River instilled a passion for outdoor experiences. Kayaking, hiking and exploring along the Connecticut River valley and the Appalachian hillsides served to nurture that love.
Last summer Nate walked away from his daily routines and the monotony he had come to know in the nine to five working world. With a backpack and a handful of faith he stepped onto the Appalachian Trail in Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia and methodically walked towards Maine. A little over six months and 2000 miles later he arrived at Mount Katahdin, Maine with an empty bank account and the memory of a half year lived without regrets, lived intentionally, and in the moment.
His passions include long distance hiking, travelling, learning new ideas, expressive visual art and the live music experience, as well as forming rich networks of connections with the communities that have grown out of these pursuits. He hopes this summer will provide an opportunity to grow individually- building character, increasing his skill set, being more receptive to the truths others have grasped, and growing toward a fuller understanding of the humility, love, and patience a life lived on the fly with five other people can bestow. He hopes to parlay this love of the outdoors into a career based in experiential education.
Tessa Williams 
Tessa was raised on sweet tea, disco music, and all the trappings of city life. She went out West for the first time last summer, on a college geology field trip. Edward Abbey wrote “There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California.” After spending her first night in California, she understood this quote. As she saw the sun set while wading in the waters of Lake Isabella, she knew where she wanted to be.
She eventually wants to be a high school social studies teacher, but she wants to explore more of the world first. Camping in all 50 states is on her bucket list, and she jumped at the opportunity to cross Washington and Oregon off her list. Listening to bands from the Pacific Northwest while in high school made her yearn to get out of Texas and experience for herself what these artists were singing about. In short, being a trail maintainer on the Pacific Crest Trail was something she simply could not pass up. She is a lover of stationary, had written letters, skylines, pine trees, acrylic paint, HBO television shows, nail polish, Japanese culture, trashy gossip magazines, economic and science news, indoor soccer, Vietnamese food, live music and riding her mountain bike around her college campus.
She is looking forward to living and working in backcountry settings. She is excited about seeing parts of the country she has dreamed about going to. She is excited about going months without watching her Bravo Television. She is excited about working with only her hands and simple tools. She is excited about working outside all day long. She is excited about going to a new town every few days. She is excited about getting to know her crewmates who hail from all over the country. Most of all, she is excited to be working nowhere near Excel spreadsheets and fax machines.
Andrea Klaphake 
Andrea will point to Melrose, Minnesota as to where she began walking on a gravel path back before she can remember. On this path she developed her love for art, music, reading, nature photography, drawing, antiquing, and music. After growing up on a unique farm, Andrea set her sights on a road that is heavily traveled by attending and graduating from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She aspires to some day work with nonprofits and/or environmental education programs. Andrea will always be up for canoeing, hiking, running, and anything that she's never encountered before such as a new food or maybe sky diving (with a bit of convincing). Andrea's perfect day would be spent in a canoe with her dog Ryly and nephews. Also, if Andrea could have lunch with anyone from history she'd spend it with either Michaelangelo or Robert Frost.
Although she's never done trail work, her path has led her to conservation. Andrea is absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to travel and shape the west coast with her own two hands by working on the Pacific Crest Trail for 6 months.
Ever so far as her feet can take her, she anticipates this to be one of the most spectacular experiences of her life. The PCT appears to be where her path has led her thus far, and there's no telling where it will go.
Whit Patterson 
Whit is originally from Auburn (War Eagle) but grew up in nowheresville South Carolina. He came from a family of green thumbs and a ma that urged him to explore and reach his dreams. After a love for the outdoors was established in Boy Scouts early in life, it was rediscovered through geology field work and trips out west.
He currently attends University of South Carolina, where he studies geology. Living in the city lights is definitely not his style and hopes to break away from the city as soon as possible. Ramblin' has become a part of life and the western skies do nothing but feed that hunger.
Little more than 6 months ago Whit got a visit from a SCA recruiter, Gary, who told him that he could find himself working his way up the PCT for 6 months. With that in mind Whit decided to leave those city lights to join a movement and to take perhaps the biggest leap of faith he had ever made.
When he is not ramblin' through the woods and the Appalachian mountains, he can be found exploring any and every kind of music, road trippin' and keeping up with his beloved Auburn Tigers.
The Pacific Crest Trail is a 2650 mile National Scenic Trail that runs through California, Oregon and Washington, tying together the borders of Mexico and Canada.
Together, the SCA, Pacific Crest Trail Association, Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service and National Parks Service have formed a strong and lasting partnership that strives to best maintain this magnificent natural resource.
Throughout the year our crew will work to maintain sections of the trail from Southern California to Washington. Without a permanent base we will will travel from Southern California to Central Washington and back again with a singular vision of a better trail. We look forward to interacting with the many different user groups and outdoor enthusiasts who share a passion for protecting our land. From the equestrian users to agencies to the through-hikers and day hikers we look forward to seeing you out there.
Jesse DeAngelis 
A true 'Yooper' at heart, Jesse grew up in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She spent most of her childhood outside exploring, camping often with the Girl Scouts and family/friend backpacking trips. Later, in college, Jesse worked two summers as a special needs camp counselor and fell in love with helping others experience the magic of nature.
Just this past May (2011), Jesse graduated from Ripon College, a private liberal arts school in rural Wisconsin, with degrees in Anthropology and Psychology. Her involvement and leadership in campus organizations such as Amnesty International, the Ripon Outdoor Club, and Psi Chi, the Honor Society in Psychology, have sprouted Jesse's passions for human rights, awareness and understanding of diverse peoples, and environmental activism. She plans to hone her leadership and outdoor skills in her time with the SCA in preparation for graduate school and a career centered around service.
In her spare time, Jesse enjoys reading, cliff-diving into Lake Superior, baking, music, running, cross-country skiing, watching films, and hiking in the U.P. woods with her dog Forrest. She is jazzed to be embarking on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of working and living on the Pacific Crest Trail for the next six months.
Sterling grew up in rural Maine and got a unique view of the world from the bow of his father’s canoe and through his mother’s passion for playing host family to students and teachers from all over the world. He spent his first five years in the workforce as a part of his regional conservation corps where he learned the joys of serving his community and saving his planet.
He went to college in upstate New York where he studied Art and English. After moving West and working a variety of education jobs from woodworking instructor to snake handler to after-school teacher he led high school crews in Oregon and now three Pacific Crest Trail crews and one Leader Team for the SCA.
He views leading conservation and restoration corps as an incredible gift and an opportunity to practice his craft. When not in the backcountry he can be found taking in live music, sampling local cuisine, dreaming about his next travel experience and pickling things.