SUPPORT CFIEvery donation counts!
SUPPORT CFIEvery donation counts!
Donations from individual Fourteener enthusiasts play a critical role in CFI’s field successes. Gifts match restricted grants, while funding expenses many foundations and corporations will not cover, such as feeding field crews and transporting crews and supplies to remote trailheads.Click here to donate now
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UPDATESWhat we've been doing
- All Quiet on the Holy Cross Summit
– August 25, 2014
The question of Wilderness has been plaguing my brain this past season. I’ve worked trails in multiple states throughout the last three years and I … Read More
- Moments of Education in Trail Work
– August 22, 2014
I meet tons of volunteers as part of the Adopt a Peak crew with CFI. I often must introduce them to the importance of practicing … Read More
- My Job as a Trail Builder
– August 18, 2014
I consider trail building an art. I have spent eight seasons constructing trails all over the country, and I have had the pleasure of working … Read More
- Fourteener Climbing 101: Intro to Wilderness
– August 15, 2014
A few years ago I spent the summer working on San Luis peak, Colorado’s least visited Fourteener. In total we spent two years working on … Read More
Trail Construction & Restoration
CFI has run volunteer trail construction, maintenance and restoration projects since 1994. While no experience is necessary to volunteer on a field project, the following information should provide an idea whether this would be a suitable experience for you.
Who can volunteer?
CFI volunteers need to be 18 years of age or older. (Youths aged 14-17 may participate if accompanied by a parent or guardian.) Volunteers must be in good physical shape so that they can hike to the project site (usually located above 10,000 feet),work a full day using hand tools, and hike back to the trailhead.
When are projects held?
Projects are held from mid-June through early October—the only period when Fourteener trails are clear of snow. Because of Colorado’s summer “monsoon” season weather, every project gets off to an “alpine start.” (That means really early for non-climbers.) This is done so that we can get in a full day of work and have the crew headed down the mountain well before thunderstorms begin in the early afternoon. Start times can vary by peak, but groups typically depart the trailhead no later than 6:30 a.m.
What equipment do I need to bring?
CFI provides all the necessary trail tools and safety equipment for volunteer projects, including work gloves, hard hats, and safety glasses. Participants need to bring at a minimum: a backpack, 3-5 liters of water, raingear, sunglasses, sunscreen, a fleece jacket, long pants, sturdy hiking boots, and a lunch and snacks. A full list of items to bring will be provided ahead of time for each project.
Am I fit enough?
In general, if you are fit enough to do a full-day hike or similar activity (such as a full day of skiing or snowshoeing), then you should be sufficiently fit to do a CFI volunteer project. Projects rarely are located near a summit—so we don’t hike as high as someone climbing a Fourteener—and we pace our work throughout the day. Click here to watch a short video about the fitness level you’ll need to do a CFI project.
What might I do?
CFI developed a short video to describe some of the types of work you might perform during the course of a 14er volunteer trail maintenance or vegetation restoration project. Click here to watch the video.