Volunteer Trail Work Project:
A spectacular time of the year to be in woods – we will be above 10,000-feet for the duration of this project. Grab your hard hat, a set of leather gloves, good hiking boots and prepare yourself for six days working on this often used trail. This five night work-trip provides access to the Continental Divide Trail and spectacular views.
Be prepared for mud (because that is what makes it so fun!)
Working closely with the Divide Ranger District, our task is multi-purposed. We will continue on the efforts of 2017 with two primary focuses. The first is to clean or construct drainage features and the second is to brush the trail of aspen saplings and overgrown willow. Many hands make for fast work and success.
We will be backpacking into our basecamp for the project – approximately four miles from the trailhead.
What is a Volunteer Trail Work Project?
This six-day project is focused on specific trail maintenance needs in the Rio Grande National Forest. Designed as fun work in the backcountry, our focus is safety, enjoyment and followed by completion of the project goal. We recognize that the public land system is used by hikers like us. This is a way to give back to all of the boot prints we have put on the trail tread.
Projects like these offer a day-to-day reward of accomplishment. You will be amazed at what you and your co-crew can achieve with buckets, mattocks, shovels and pick axes. As a crew, we will complete important trail work. You will meet new friends, share meals and chores. We want you to enjoy the experience, and come back.
This project is open to volunteers who meet the following criteria:
* Have a great attitude and desire to work with other volunteers to accomplish a project goal.
* Ability to adhere to the following basic rules: Be Safe. Have Fun. Get Some Work Done.
* Physical stamina to hike to and from camp, hike and work at a moderate pace throughout the day.
* Have the appropriate gear and equipment for the week; all food and tools will be provided for you.
* Ability to participate for the full length of the trip; no late arrivals or early departures.
* Willingness to learn – no prior trail work experience is necessary.
* Must be 16 years old with parent or guardian.
What is the Difficulty?
We are always hesitant to rate a trip because everyone perceives difficulty differently. This volunteer project is above 10,000-feet, with ample water sources and some treed sections. Your body will feel fatigued faster making breaks more of a necessity because of the altitude; this is the greatest single complaint of volunteers because it is an unnatural feeling to be “catching your breath.” Some volunteers suffer from minor headaches or an upset stomach. Maintaining hydration and nutrition is essential to feeling good at this altitude. Additionally, it is imperative that volunteer for this project be in good physical shape.
A day’s trail work can be strenuous if you are not accustomed to it. Volunteers should have the physical stamina and ability to hike to and from camp, hike daily to the work site and work at a moderate pace. It is recommended that volunteers spend a day or two extra vacationing and touring in the area prior to traveling to the trailhead. This will assist with acclimation.
Our Work Week: Subject to change.
* Day 1 – Sunday, August 26th
Hike to camp, set up camp, examine and assess the project worksite, as a group outline goals and review
the principles of Leave No Trace. We will meet at the trailhead at 8:00 am for breakfast and pre-project
notes before hiking 2-4 miles to our basecamp. We have not yet finalized the basecamp location.
* Day 2 and 3 – Monday, August 27th and Tuesday, August 28th
* Day 4 – Wednesday, August 29th
Day off! This is your day to relax or explore the local trails, peaks and views of the wilderness.
* Day 5 – Thursday, August 30th
* Day 6 – Friday, August 31st
Finish and evaluate trail work, break down camp, hike out. We expect to finish at the trailhead at 2:00 pm.
Our Work Day: Subject to change.
* 6:30 – Morning wakeup call.
* 7:00 – Coffee and breakfast served. Please be on time! Make your lunch.
* 7:30 – Cleanup crew washes dishes, puts food away, etc.
* 8:00 – Leave for project site.
* 8:30 – 9:00 – Begin work at the project site; taking periodic breaks.
* Noon – Lunch break. At least 30-minutes, probably an hour.
* After lunch to 3:30’ish – Continue trail work; taking periodic breaks. Don’t overwork!
* 3:30 – Leave for camp
* 4:00 – This is your free time to enjoy the landscape, read a book, write in your journal or take a nap
* 6:00 – Dinner served. Please be on time! Enjoy a big plate of delicious, nutritious, filling hot food.
* After Dinner – Cleanup crew washes dishes, puts food away, etc.; everyone else on own.
A menu will be provided approximately two weeks prior to the project. Our menu is designed to ensure nutrition, is not carbohydrate heavy but instead blends all nutritional needs including: fruits, vegetables, fats and proteins as well as carbohydrates.
Because this project is almost entirely above 10,000-feet you can expect dinners to be a soup base. We have found that hearty, filling soups assist with ensuring you feel better, sleep better and maintain hydration. You won’t be hungry and we apologize now if you return to the trailhead a couple pounds heavier than when you began.
Allergy and dietary restrictions can be accommodated if we are advised in advance – like, when you register!
Gear and Equipment:
Volunteers are expected to provide their own camping and personal gear. Equipment can be provided with prior request – typically no later than 14-days before the trip start. A complete list of suggested items will be provided upon registration. Most, if not all, of the items needs are already in your closet.
Food and tools will be provided and packed in for you.
Registration is OPEN (maximum of 5):
Reservations are a first request, first reserve. Cancellation policy applies.
Although you are a project volunteer, there are costs associated with offering a week in the backcountry. Your $125 registration fee assists with paying for food, transportation of group gear and equipment as well as tool needs.
We ask that you reserve your space only if you are going to attend. There is no refund for cancellation in this work project. It is very difficult to fill recently vacated spaces, particularly within three weeks of the project start date when most cancellations tend to occur.
About Our Landscape – Weminuche Wilderness:
The Weminuche Wilderness is the largest wilderness area in Colorado – extending more than 488,210 acres. With three fourteeners and numerous thirteeners, this wilderness is highly used yet generally unspoiled.
Designated in 1975, and expanded to its current size by the Colorado Wilderness Acts of 1980 and 1993, the wilderness contains the headwaters of dozens of major streams and rivers, these water sources drain into the Rio Grande and San Juan Rivers – two of the Southwest’s most ecologically and culturally significant waterways. The landscape is of glacial valleys, windswept ridges and crags and averages an elevation of 10,000-feet. The ragged peaks and soaring cliffs, formed over millions of years as volcanic eruptions covered the landscape and adds to the dramatically different mountain landscapes this wilderness area offers in its largeness.