Fall comes early at 12,000 ft. That’s the lesson learned from our early weeks in August. As the sun rises later in the day, we adjust our schedule accordingly, arriving at the worksite just in time to greet the sun as it rises over the Roaring Fork Valley.

Lida, the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps crew leader, lines out her crew in the early morning sun.

August also means crunch time. Fortunately, the cool air keeps us comfortable as we kick it into high gear.

CFI works with Rocky Mountain Youth Corps to construct a rock staircase. Many of our step rocks weigh in excess of 400 pounds.

Working on the Maroon Bells has its benefits. During an interview with the Aspen Times, I was recently asked what I enjoy about my job. I could have recited a dozen different answers, but the one that came to mind first was, “I live and work in a place that people dream of vacationing to”.

It takes teamwork to get these large boulders moved from their quarry source, stabilized, and installed in the finished trail structures.

Keeping that in mind, we were fortunate enough to host groups of volunteers from Wildlands Restoration Volunteers and Colorado Mountain Club. For me, volunteers add a sense of meaning to our project. One volunteer drove all the way from Kansas on his motorcycle, just to volunteer his time in the mountains!

Crew members work on the fine details of a retaining wall on North Maroon Peak.


Andrew Smeby

My name is Andrew Smeby and I’m a project manager for N. Maroon Peak. My trail career has included working on the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail and the Gore Range Trail. During the off-season I design websites, build kayaks, and spend as much time on the river as possible.