For four days, a crew of nine WTA volunteers worked on logging out the North Fork Sullivan trail from the junction for the now-closed Slate Creek trail to the junction at Crowell Ridge.
We had a hot and strenuous hike in on Saturday morning, when it was close to 100 degrees in the valley and not much cooler on trail. After the seven-mile, very steep approach, we set up camp, rehydrated, and got a relatively early bedtime in order to be ready for logging out in the the morning.
Over the trip, our crew of nine got 168 logs off more than a mile of trail using only handtools, and did a few patches of seriously-needed tread work. There are still a few logs remaining on the final two miles to the Crowell Ridge junction, but they are mostly easily stepped over.
After work on the second day, a friend and I decided to hike up to the ridge for some sweeping views. The trail became easier to navigate (as far as logs were concerned) past our worksite, but beyond the final switchbacks (about a mile from the ridge), the biggest concern is the tread itself, which is so overgrown with beargrass that at times we questioned if we were still on a trail.
Luckily only in a few sections are like this, and as we swam out of head-high beargrass, the trail became more evident.
The views from the ridge were so rewarding. We saw the mountains of Canada and Idaho, Salmo Lookout, Sullivan Lake, and a delightful field of beargrass below us -- the trail that went that way was signed 'Bear Pasture'. There was a thunderstorm brewing some ridges to the east, and it was late in the day, so we took some photos, had a small snack, and headed down.
It took us an hour to return to our workplace on our way down, which made us think it was about two miles from where we stopped working to the ridge, and another 30 minutes to get to camp, so likely another mile.
The thunderstorm was (thankfully) not that close or violent. The wind blew a bit and we got a small sprinkle of rain, then on Monday we headed out -- the exit was markedly faster than our approach.