Stonework in the Tetons

In 2005, Brian Bergsma, the supervisor of the Grand Teton National Park Trail Crew ushered in a new era of stonework. He specifically hired folks who had worked for the California Conservation Corps and in the national parks of California's Sierra Mountains to teach us all how to construct walls, drains and stairs of granite and limestone.  

We were fixing a section of trail, leading to Lake Solitude, which had been loved to death by the footsteps of many millions of hikers, worn into a trench leading right to the shore of that alpine lake. 

Our rock stairs and walls filled in that trench, turning a deep and widening scar on the earth into a staircase that not only protected the trail, but also funneled the hikers into a smaller space, preserving strips of habitat on either side. 

The work takes a long time; sometimes a person spends an entire day on a single step. But in the end that step will never move again, never need to be repaired. It's permanent.