Project Leader: Stephen Ullman Project Dates:5/23-8/20/10 Email Address:SUllman@thesca.org P:208-608-6316
For hitch three we hiked 11 miles down the West Walker trail to Piute Cabin in Piute Meadows, at the junction of Tower Lake trail and the Kirkwood Pass trail. We maintained, meaning brushed, logged, and fixed tread and drainage on the Kirkwood Pass trail, the Tower Lake trail, the West Walker trail down to the junction with the Fremont Lake trail, and the Cascade Creek trail, for a total of 14.6 miles. We also built seven cairns across Piute Meadows, constructed 12 check steps, and established 2000 feet of tread climbing to Tower Lake to prevent resource damage where there had been a network of social trails. The hitch went well, and the happy and healthy Hoover crew is looking forward to working in the Robinson Creek drainage next week.
Hitch four brought us to one of the most beautiful and highly utilized of the Hoover's trails, the Robinson Creek trail, beginning in Mono Village. It was an incredible seven mile hike up to our base camp on the shore of Peeler Lake, and we were assisted generously by Nick and Alex from the Virginia Lakes Pack station.
We worked on more rock check steps, drainage issues, and some maintenance to remove fallen trees from the trail in between running from the afternoon thunderstorms.
Our fifth and final hitch, once again made possible by the Virginia Lakes Pack Station, brought us eight miles up the Buckeye Creek drainage to a section of trail called the roughs. It's so named because the creek and the trail run through a rocky section there, creating some tough conditions for the tread.
We focused on rehabilitating and improving one particular hill that needed a lot of attention. The prevailing grade ranged from 20-30%, with a few short stretches that were steeper. We installed 52 rock check steps to make that grade sustainable and passable for both stock and foot users.
The crew made incredible improvements in technical skill and proficiency over the course of these five hitches, and the sustained quality of this high output displays that well.
As a crew we'd like to thank everyone who made this season possible and successful, including the Virginia Lakes and Leavitt Meadows pack stations, Marguerite and the staff at the Bridgeport Clinic, Scott (Yeti) Clemons, and of course Jeff Weise and our teammates on the Carson-Iceberg crew. For anyone I've missed, thank you for making this summer so productive and memorable, we've appreciated all of the support we've received in Bridgeport and in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
Our second hitch took us further down the West Walker Trail, past our first hitch work and across the river to the Fremont Lake Trail. We brushed the ¾ miles of trail from the West Walker River to Fremont Lake and installed 26 stone check steps designed for the heavy pack travel, with six foot landings and a 10-15% grade. Another fantastic hitch with some very generous help from the Leavitt Meadows Pack Station who brought our tools and supplies in to the site.
Our first hitch had us working on the West Walker Trail in the brand new addition to the Hoover Wilderness. We camped behind a rock bluff near Lane Lake, three miles into the wilderness from the trail head. We maintained the three miles South from Lane to the crossing that stock users take across the West Walker river. We brushed the trail for that length, removed several blowdowns, restored several social trails to a natural state, placed three water bars and installed 16 check steps, concentrated in two sections. The pictures included are of those two sections. All in all we had fantastic weather and a lot of fun on our very productive first hitch!
Alex Bacha 
Alexandra Bacha is a 25 year old Florida native. “Alex” graduated from Florida State University’s Recreation and Leisure Services Administration program with a Bachelors of Science in 2008. Through her involvement with FSU Campus Recreation she led numerous outdoor recreation trips in North Florida and on trails in the Southeast. She followed her passion to Dayton, Ohio where she got her first taste of trail work.
During her summer internship for Five Rivers MetroParks, she participated in trail construction on the Twin Valley Trail, a 22 mile backpacking trail that connects two popular MetroParks. Alex also did trail maintenance at MoMba mountain bike area, over 8 miles of a fully sustainable trail system. These experiences fueled her interest in conservation/ trail work and led her to be a part of a Student Conservation Association’s (SCA) residential conservation program through AmeriCorps.
Alex spent 10 months last year volunteering for the SCA’s New Hampshire Conservation Corps (NHCC). There she received several intense weeks of trail and work skills training by some of the best trail gurus. She also worked with the U.S. Forest Service in the White Mountains constructing native tent pads in the Wild River Wilderness area. While on a project crew for The Nature Conservancy, she utilized her new chainsaw skills clearing trail and constructed trail structures.
During her time spent in the Northeast, Alex realized how blessed she was to be able to hike to work instead of fight traffic and to enjoy her lunch by a pristine stream instead of in an office. “It’s the people I meet while working on these types of projects that really make it worth it. To share a common love for the outdoor resources in which we use to appreciate and take in nature.” says Alex.
Katherine Siegel 
I'm from Boston, but I'm a freshman at Brown University in Providence, RI. I'm pretty sure I'm going to major in Environmental Sciences, but that could change. I did 3 high school conservation crews with the SCA (Yosemite, where I fell in love with the Sierras, Kenai Fjords National Wildlife Refuge, and Glacier National Park) and I did SCA's Alternative Spring Break in the Grand Canyon this year (where I met Joe). I'm so excited to spend another summer with the SCA and get back outside and to meet you all!
I love hiking, music, reading, laughing, and working hard with good friends.
Jesse Markowitz 
I'm also from the DC area (Reston, VA) originally, but I moved out to St. Louis for college. I graduated in December from WashU with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Writing and have been hanging out in St. Louis, working, looking for more work, and generally living the dream. I'll be going back to school in a couple years for something under the umbrella of Environmental Studies, but until them I'm going to have a few adventures. I love the outdoors and my general goal for life is to spend as much of it as possible outside hiking (big fan), cycling (huge fan), geocaching (which can be done while hiking an biking), running, taking photographs, kayaking, and really anything that involves being outside.
Katie Byrd 
Joe Morse 
Hey guys, my name is Joe Morse. I just joined the SCA as part of their Grand Canyon alternative spring break, and this will be my second experience. I am from Greenbelt, Maryland and major in natural resources management at SUNY-ESF in Syracuse. I love wilderness recreation and am looking forward to seeing you all in the Sierra’s!
About the Site 
The Hoover Wilderness is home to jagged granite peaks, alpine lakes, and high passes in a 128,000 acre designated wilderness area that lies to the East of Yosemite National Park in California. The Hoover is managed by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and the Inyo National Forest, and we'll be working entirely in the H-T section.
The Hoover is largely high elevation alpine environments. Bridgeport will serve as our base at 6500 feet, with the mountains rising dramatically from there. Temperatures in the area can range from very warm, especially when the high altitude sun is out, to chilly at night.
We're a six person trail crew working in the area for twelve weeks through this summer. We'll be working to open up the trails on the district, putting in a lot of miles to clear downfall that has accumulated over the past few years while stopping to focus on a few of the trickier spots.
We'll be working in Jeffrey Pine, Pinyon Pine, and Juniper forests at lower elevations, shifting to Ponderosa Pine, Aspen, and Fir forests a little higher, and then finally shifting to a more rugged alpine environment at even higher elevations. We'll be sharing the area with black bears, mountain lions, deer, and marmots among others.
My name is Steve Ullman, I'll be the project leader for the Hoover Wilderness team this summer. This is my fourth season as a field leader with the SCA, and after working all across the country from New Jersey to Alaska to Texas, I am excited to get into the high Sierras in California. I graduated from Colorado College in 2008 and after working the summer seasons during college, I've been in different SCA Trail leader positions consistently for the last year.