CX: Kit Carson Peak Volunteer Week
For those looking for the ultimate RMFI challenge and experience, the Kit Carson Peak Volunteer Week is our longest volunteer project of the year and your chance to spend an extended period of time with us backcountry camping in the alpine and helping with the project to realign the summit trail to Kit Carson Peak and Challenger Point, two of Colorado's majestic 14,000 foot peaks!
The new trail being built up to Challenger Ridge is in its latest construction stages. During Volunteer Week we will work to restore and officially close the former unsustainable trail, a "trail" that was steep, gullied, and causing rockfall and erosion damage to this fragile alpine ecosystem. Some finishing construction work of the new trail may also be involved as needed. Each of our workdays will involve a hike from basecamp at 11,500 feet above sea level up to worksites between 12,000-13,500 feet. Work up there is strenuous and remote. No prior experience is necessary, however, participants must be in good physical condition and comfortable completing strenuous physical activity at elevations of 13,000+ feet in a remote mountain setting. Highly rewarding for those up to it! We thank the National Forest Foundation and their Find Your Fourteener campaign for supporting this important work.
BASECAMP AND EQUIPMENT
Volunteers and RMFI staff will work out of a basecamp located in the Willow Lake Basin at approximately 11,500 ft above sea level. This is a remote backcountry location. The base camp will be fully equipped – all group equipment including stoves, kitchen supplies, and water filtration systems, as well as all meals in the backcountry will be provided by RMFI. RMFI prides itself on providing volunteers with hearty, nutritious, and delicious meals to fuel tough trailbuilding at high altitude! Participants are asked to help be part of the camp team by helping with cooking tasks and other camp chores.
Volunteers must supply their own personal outdoor gear, including lightweight tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothing, camp mug, etc.
Volunteers will make use of the RMFI-provided carry-in/carry-out solid waste (WAG) system.
DATES AND SCHEDULE - JULY 21-25
Tuesday, July 21: Volunteers will meet RMFI staff in the morning at the Willow Creek Trailhead near the town of Crestone, CO. We will hike the steep and strenuous ~5 miles up the trail to our basecamp just below Willow Lake. We will get settled into our camp and then volunteers will get an orientation to the project.
July 22 - 24: Complete project objectives: Each day we will hike to the upper reaches of the trail re-route below Challenger Ridge. We will priomarily work to restore the former unsustainable trail and possibly do construction finishing work on the new trail. After work wraps up each afternoon, we will return to basecamp and enjoy delicious dinners and some well-deserved relaxation.
Saturday, July 25: Finish project objectives as needed in the morning. Volunteers may then choose to pack up camp, hike out, and head home. If desired, volunteers can instead choose to stay in the basin at the RMFI basecamp and do some hiking or peak bagging if conditions are good. This is at the participants' own risk.
Due to wilderness group size restrictions, spots are limited on this project. Sign up early!
- This is a very strenuous multi-day backcountry trail work project. No prior experience is necessary, however, participants must be in good physical condition and comfortable living and doing manual labor at elevations of 13,000+ feet in a remote mountain setting. The registration form includes questions pertaining to medical history, outdoor experience, and physical conditioning. Please answer honestly and thoroughly.
- Participants are responsible for transportation to and from the Willow Creek Trailhead. (We are happy to assist with connecting volunteers for possible carpooling, if desired.)
Questions? Contact Elise Moeller, Volunteer & Partnership Coordinator, [email protected], (719) 471-7736 ext. 4#