Trail Talk: Behind the scenes with Grand Teton National Park’s Youth Conservation Program – Week 4

YCP was BUSY this week! It was right back to work as the crew dug into a new reroute near Grandview Point Trailhead. The 22-person crew was able to create over 300 feet of new trail tread in a matter of hours. Digging new tread is difficult and exhausting work, but with the positive attitudes, hard work ethics, and solid teamwork of this year’s crew, the project was completed in record time.

YCP members experience the mechanical advantage of a 3:1 rigging system during the Ranger Olympics.

Later in the week, the team participated in the Jenny Lake Climbing Rangers “Ranger Olympics.” They learned about mechanical advantage techniques used in high angle rescues to move heavy loads with ease, competed in a rock-climbing contest, and practiced using a wheeled litter employed in carrying out injured persons from the backcountry. Before heading up the trail from Lupine Meadows to clear drains, YCP enjoyed a BBQ lunch grilled up by the rangers and observed a short-haul rescue training at the rescue cache.

Bjorn and Ripley assist the climbing rangers transporting a patient with the wheeled litter.

Week four concluded with the crew learning about non-native noxious weeds in Grand Teton. They learned how to properly identify certain species and proper technique for removing them to ensure they don’t return annually or spread their seed. YCP spent a full eight hours gridding acres of land and pulling thousands of Musk Thistle, Hounds Tongue, Mullen, and Salsify.

Be sure to watch for this month’s eNewsletter for coverage of YCP’s week three when the crew met National Park Service Acting Deputy Director of Operations David Vela and conservation author Terry Tempest Williams at the Jenny Lake ribbon cutting.

Jenny Lake Ranger GR Fletcher provides climbing tips to YCP on the rescue cache climbing wall.

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