While our Fremont Campout focused on logout and brushing over an immense 130 miles of trail, our Willamette Campout focused on less than a mile. But what a mile—"Derrick's Deadly Switchbacks" descend 1,000' in this short distance. They consist of about 21 switchbacks in all and most hadn't been touched in many years. Our goal was to apply the skills we learned in our Backcountry Trail Maintenance Course by building retaining walls, adding drain dips, leveling the turning pads, and adding speed checks before turns.
It's labor-intensive but fun work—much like playing in a sandbox as a kid! In the end we moved an incredible amount of dirt and rocks and re-engineered each of the aging switchbacks. This is still one of the steepest and toughest descents anywhere in the Cascades so pat yourself on the back if you can make it to the bottom without putting a foot down. Slowly we're rehabilitating the historic Bunchgrass Ridge Trail from Oakridge to Fuji Mountain's summit, next up we'll be tackling one of the deepest and hard to access sections in the recent Kelsey Burn with the assistance of the Backcountry Horsemen of Oregon.
Take a look at the galleries and Little Bunchgrass Loop below—but be warned it's a big, technical, steep, black diamond sort of day.
We (and now you!) owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our volunteer trail workers—we had people join us from all over the west coast. Hats off to all our dedicated volunteers!
We also want to extend a huge thanks to the organizations that support us: Alpine Running, Base Camp Brewing, Crux Ridge Running, Daybreak Racing, Food for the Sole, Humm Kombucha, Nicky USA, Stumptown Coffee, Tall Town Bike and Camp, 10 Barrel Brewing, Timberline Construction, as well as Hannah and Sarah for serving up such delicious meals for all our volunteers!