Meet Ben and Connor, the 2016 Technical Advisors

The Pacific Crest Trail Association hires Technical Advisors each field season to help oversee corps crew work, support PCTA volunteers and teach at PCTA Trail Skills Colleges. They are skilled and dedicated trail builders who spend most of their time in the field in support of the PCTA’s trail maintenance program. Read on to learn a bit more about two of this year’s hard working Technical Advisors.

Benjamin Barry had enough fun working for the PCTA in 2015 to return as a Technical Advisor for a second year. He’ll be overseeing a great deal of fire rehabilitation work in Southern California as well as the ongoing effort to build new trail in the Sierra Buttes in the Northern Sierra Nevada. Ben is a California native who began his trails career with the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation in Missoula, Montana. He has worked trails all over the country, leading crews in the field and tackling projects to support the preservation of America’s wildlands. When not on the trail, Ben can be found playing the banjo or canning sauerkraut with his adorable German Shepherd, Ernest. If you want to volunteer on a project that Ben is leading, he will gladly teach you the ways of trail work and beat you at a game of cribbage.

Ben Barry relaxing on the PCT.

Ben Barry relaxing on the PCT.

Connor Swift’s passion for the outdoors began while growing up in Northern California. He currently resides in the Eastern Sierra and has been working in wilderness and trails since he graduated college in 2010. Connor attended California State University Chico and received a degree in Parks and Natural Resources Management. He started his career with the U.S. Forest Service as a wilderness ranger in the Eastern Sierra, working and patrolling the PCT and other trails in the Hoover Wilderness. He then worked for the Truckee Trails Foundation in the Lake Tahoe region where he also maintained a large portion of the PCT. Connor is now fortunate enough to oversee trail maintenance and construction projects throughout California for the PCTA. Connor spends his free time rock climbing, backcountry skiing, hiking and with his family. He enjoys cooking almost as much as he does eating and he also enjoys a good cup of coffee.

Connor Swift in the Sierra Nevada.

Connor Swift in the Sierra Nevada.

Author: Ian Nelson

Ian Nelson has been the PCTA’s Regional Representative for Northern California/Southern Oregon for more than ten years. He is based in the beautiful Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon and enjoys exploring the many wilderness areas in the region.