Back Country Blessings

 I wake to see stars twinkling in the dark of morning to make coffee and eat the fresh scones Eli makes at 4:30 am in our back-country oven. Venus and Jupiter shine their brightest in the unnoticeable rays of early sunlight. By 5:00 am it’s time to start hiking....

Reports from the Roving Crew

During the week of July 16th the Roving crew was completing maintenance on the talus field at about 13.400 feet on Mt. Missouri. It was an exciting week for the roving crew and the challenge of working in the talus field was tackled head on. We were able to build 30...

Wendel Hann and his Mules: CFI’s Best Volunteers

Each spring Wendel rolls into Leadville with a beat up horse trailer and a wry smile, ready to do a job that few could do in his place.  Wendel’s mules brave rough trails, steep exposed switchbacks, and heavy loads to get essential gear to our most remote...

Musings on Maroon

I’ve never been one to advocate looking too deeply into the past. However, lying in my sleeping bag at the base of North Maroon peak, filthy and completely exhausted, I can’t help but wonder how I got here. Working for CFI ranks among the most moving experiences of my...

Missouri Mountain Menace

It’s the middle of the night. Ethan and I hiked in for our third week on the Missouri Gulch trail today, or (judging by the depth of night) possibly yesterday. Recently it has not been hard for me to sleep through until morning, but tonight I am wide-awake. Since the...

A Portrait of the Trail as a Young Man: The San Luis Crew

After 14 days in the field my feet are tender and swollen like ripe fruits.  Pressed gingerly into  mountain boots the soreness fades quickly. Its 4 a.m., and the first glow of the sun has not yet touched the horizon. Descending the talus from tent to basecamp the...