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
- From Youth Corps to Crew Leader
– August 22, 2016
Over the past seven weeks CFI Project Managers on Mt. Columbia have had the pleasure of working along side an 11 person crew from Rocky … Read More
- An Intern’s First Season of Trail Work
– August 19, 2016
In the past I’ve come to the mountains expecting the spectacular. The larger-than-life views, epic hikes, and extreme environments. Guessing at which mountain critters I’ll … Read More
- Non-Natives in Chicago Basin
– August 15, 2016
Enter the Chicago Basin in the Weminuche Wilderness and delve deep into the home of many Colorado inhabitants. Black bear, mule deer, elk and mountain … Read More
- Backcountry Cooking with Kristine
– August 12, 2016
Cooking can always be a challenge, but try cooking without a stove, oven, table, cutting board, spatula, your favorite spices, or even the convenience of … 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. Watch the video below to get a better idea of what is involved in volunteering for CFI.
What might I do?
Each CFI project is different based on the unique features and needs of the peak where the volunteer project is being held. However, work focuses on maintaining existing constructed trail features, building new trail features and revegetating damaged alpine tundra. The following video shows what this work looks like to provide you with a better sense of whether a CFI project is right for you.