abp1Becca and I with our beautiful truck on Mt. Princeton

Howdy Folks! My name is Robin Zeller and I am one of two Outdoor Leadership interns working with CFI this season. I have the least experience with building trails of anyone else on our team, meaning I have been doing a lot of learning and practicing for the past few months of work. For those of you who do not know, trail building- especially in the alpine environments where we usually work- is not only very physically demanding, it is incredibly technically involved. Each day we carry up about four different tools, and with those tools we need to build structurally sound trail elements. Learning all of this from my fellow adopt team members has been frustrating at times but very rewarding.

bp1 2A wall my Adpot team built that I am particularly fond of. Find it 3/4 of the way up Mt. Princeton

Aside from learning the technical aspects of trail building, one of my favorite parts of working for CFI has been teaching what I have learned to volunteers. Most of the volunteers we have worked with thus far have been groups of teens. I have worked with teenagers before coaching freeride skiing, so I was excited to be able to work with this demographic again in this new setting. These groups have been great because of their enthusiasm and desire to prove themselves. Never have I seen young people so excited to move a large rock, or shovel ankle-deep mud to make a water bar. I think these young people get a lot of energy from being in the mountains and doing work the see as valuable. My fellow Adopt team members also seem to have an infectious enthusiasm that can turn tough and sometimes miserable situations into opportunities to get nice work done and laugh at the ridiculous situations we find ourselves in.

bp1 3Two tough guys putting the finishing touches on a check step

bp1 4A couple of ladies putting snow on some recently transplanted grasses

Working with Adopt has taken me all over the state and has introduced me to some very cool people. I am looking forward to learning more about trail building and for opportunities to pass what I learn on to the next generation of environmentalists and trail builders. In the coming weeks I will be working on Mt. Bierstadt, Quandary, North Maroon, and Capitol peak. Come find us!

Heres to the Colorado summer and being outside to enjoy it. Cheers!




Robin Zeller

I am a Colorado native and after 4 years in the rainy Northwest getting my BA I am back home where I belong. I have enjoyed mountains my whole life through recreation and academic study. I am an avid skier, climber, and highliner and I love doing all of these things in my beautiful Rocky Mountain backyard. Being one of CFI\’s Outdoor Leadership Interns is a bit of a dream come true and I am looking forward to a great season working with these awesome folks!