Spring can be considered the craziest time of year for the AMC Trails Department Staff. As the snow melts we ramp up for the summer field season, begin to plan projects, hire our staff, recruit volunteers, order supplies and equipment, open up Camp Dodge, and of course – Air Lift.
Each year the AMC Trails Department, in the White Mountains, uses helicopters to air lift tools and building materials to remote locations throughout the Whites. We also fly hardwood bark chips to AMC backcountry campsite to be used in the composting of human waste. Flight time can be expensive, so we do what we can to meticulously plan the logistics and stage materials to optimize the use of helicopters.
AMC works with JBI Helicopter Services, based out of Pembroke, NH, for all of our air lifting needs. The helicopter can carry loads up to 800 lbs. – with a cable attached under the ship, the pilot can drop material in even the thickest woods.
Without a doubt, this is a very exciting aspect of our spring season. But it is not all for fun. Utilizing helicopters saves an enormous amount of time and staff resources. When constructing bog bridges, as we plan to do around Lonesome Lake and in the southern Mahoosucs, the lumber flown in safes us from using the native material on site.
We had two very full days of flying bark and building materials to a variety of locations this spring. In addition to the bark to backcountry campsites we flew: material for 200 bog bridges to Lonesome Lake, material for 30 bog bridges on Webster-Jackson, material for log waterbars and log steps on Mt. Eisenhower, and material for 30 bog bridges in the southern Mahoosucs.
The majority of bog bridges that will be constructed this field season will be installed by the AMC Camp Dodge Teen Volunteer Trail Crews.
Photos by: Alex DeLucia