In photos: PCTA’s North Cascades Trail Skills College

Photos by Aaron Peabody, Karen Wang, Linda Rostad, and Patrick Bangle. Words by Mila Benson, PCTA Volunteer Outreach Intern.

All along the trail, the Pacific Crest Trail Association hosts Trail Skills College (TSC) events. These are premier trail maintenance classes that are free and open to the public. In designing the workshops and curriculum, we’ve partnered with many people and organizations. Agency partners such as the U.S. Forest Service to corporate sponsors like REI help make these events possible. TSC classes give volunteers an opportunity to learn new trail skills to improve their expertise and become more effective during volunteer outings.

From June 21-23, several awesome photographers attended Trail Skills College in the North Cascades region. Check out some of their great shots!

Volunteer instructors, students, partners and PCTA staff gather outside the Washington Alpine Club to share breakfast and coffee. Photo by Aaron Peabody.

The beautiful Pacific Northwest shows its moody side on a chilly morning. Photo by Karen Wang.

Students begin their classes by learning important trail and safety information. Photo by Patrick Bangle.

Zack, an instructor for 101 Brushing & Scouting, gives information about trail routes and plants in the area. Photo by Patrick Bangle.

During classes, students learn the importance of safety when using various tools. Whenever handling tools, gloves and hard hats are required. Photo by Karen Wang.

Students head onto the trail carrying their packs and tools ready to get to work. Photo by Patrick Bangle.

The 102 Tread and Drainage class teaches volunteers how to reinforce the trail so it doesn’t get washed away by water. They are hard at work learning new skills and putting them into action. Photo by Linda Rostad.

Volunteers come from different backgrounds and with different experiences, but what they all have in common is a shared belief in creating and maintaining a trail that will be shared for generations. Photo by Karen Wang.

Paige Greening (left), one of PCTA’s seasonal crew leaders, and a North Cascades trail steward (right), dig out rocks to flatten the trail for tread reconstruction. Photo by Aaron Peabody.

An essential part of trail maintenance: naps. Photo by Aaron Peabody.

Paige hard at work breaking up boulders. Photo by Karen Wang.

Attendees of the 205 Tread Reconstruction class take a quick break to get a group photo with an incredible view. Photo by Aaron Peabody.

When classes are made up of incredible individuals, it’s hard not to have a smile on your face! Photo by Patrick Bangle.

With views like these, we could build tread all day long. Photo by Karen Wang.

Meet us on the trail and sign up for a volunteer project near you. Photo by Aaron Peabody.

Even though our Trail Skills College season is coming to an end along most of the trail, there are still plenty of opportunities to gain some new skills by joining a trail maintenance project. If you’re interested in volunteering, visit our full project schedule. We hope to see you on the trail!

If you would like to learn more about our Trail Skills College, visit the training section of our website.