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By the time they hefted their wooden packboards by the leather straps and hoisted heavy loads onto strong shoulders at the top of Mount Washington last July, the trail workers were in woods shape.

They’d started the summer by patrolling 360 miles of Appalachian Mountain Club-maintained trails in the White Mountains, cutting hundreds of wind-toppled trees and untold amounts of brushy blowdown off the treadway. They’d spent a few more weeks building stone staircases and water bars on trails in the region. Now, this six-person contingent of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s White Mountain Professional Trail Crew was on assignment in the alpine zone, working to improve the much-used Crawford Path.

Their packboards — tall wooden frames fit with hooks along each side, allowing the carrier to affix everything from sleeping pads and a week’s worth of food to axes and buckets — seemed the only semblance of standardized dress code. Crew leader Coupons and second-year crew member Wrench donned button-down shirts and plaid wool vests this Monday morning. Jax had her hair pulled into a neat ponytail and paired a silky dress vest with rugged work pants, while Misty of Chincoteague (just Misty for short) sported a pinkish-orange mohawk, and Crush opted for a one-piece Dickies suit, which she said keeps pebbles from getting into her clothing.

By the time they hefted their wooden packboards by the leather straps and hoisted heavy loads onto strong shoulders at the top of Mount Washington last July, the trail workers were in woods shape.

By the time they hefted their wooden packboards by the leather straps and hoisted heavy loads onto strong shoulders at the top of Mount Washington last July, the trail workers were in woods shape.

They’d started the summer by patrolling 360 miles of Appalachian Mountain Club-maintained trails in the White Mountains, cutting hundreds of wind-toppled trees and untold amounts of brushy blowdown off the treadway. They’d spent a few more weeks building stone staircases and water bars on trails in the region. Now, this six-person contingent of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s White Mountain Professional Trail Crew was on assignment in the alpine zone, working to improve the much-used Crawford Path.

Their packboards — tall wooden frames fit with hooks along each side, allowing the carrier to affix everything from sleeping pads and a week’s worth of food to axes and buckets — seemed the only semblance of standardized dress code. Crew leader Coupons and second-year crew member Wrench donned button-down shirts and plaid wool vests this Monday morning. Jax had her hair pulled into a neat ponytail and paired a silky dress vest with rugged work pants, while Misty of Chincoteague (just Misty for short) sported a pinkish-orange mohawk, and Crush opted for a one-piece Dickies suit, which she said keeps pebbles from getting into her clothing.

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