Trail Skills Institute Module 3 – April 2018
This year’s TSI Module on Stone Maintenance Structures was held near Flagstaff on the Lakeview Connector Trail on Passage 30, Anderson Mesa. This connector trail was built by the ATA to allow users to access the Lakeview Campground, and to allow campground users better access to the trail, which is just at the top of the mesa beyond a short but rugged cliff band. This short connector is an important access point, and it offers excellent opportunities to study when and how to use stone structures in trail construction and maintenance.
ACE instructors Mark Loseth and Matt Roberts taught the basics of stone work to ten participants from all over Arizona. To preserve the steepest portion of the trail that breaks through the basalt cliff, the group studied how to create backed bars, armored drains and sustainable steps from the ample material available onsite. Dry stone masonry is an art form, and Matt and Mark were excellent at providing an introduction to the craft.
Over 2 days, the team divided into groups and each tried to perfect their own construction and learn from each of the varied projects. We were even treated to a visit from a through hiker who came down to the campground to escape the mesa’s famous winds.