Each year CFI seeks to hire the Kimberly Appelson Memorial Outdoor Leadership Intern to assist with leading CFI’s Adopt-a-Peak volunteer groups on trail maintenance and restoration projects on Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks (Fourteeners). The Appelson Intern will find this to be an engaging yet challenging position working on valuable conservation projects in a high-elevation backcountry setting. This internship position is an excellent opportunity to gain experience in outdoor group leadership skills, trail maintenance, and alpine restoration.
The internship is named after Kimberly Appelson, who was born and raised in the suburban Chicago area but vacationed frequently as a child throughout the western United States and Canada on family hiking and skiing trips. Following her graduation from the University of Iowa in May 2009, the lure of the western mountains drew Kimberly back to spend six months repairing and maintaining Forest Service trails in central Montana as part of a Montana Conservation Corps crew. Later that year Kimberly moved to Breckenridge to wait tables and improve her skiing in hopes of becoming a ski patroller. When the snow melted, she worked as a whitewater rafting guide on the Arkansas River, spending her free time climbing the nearby Sawatch Range Fourteener peaks. She aspired to one day summit all 54 Colorado Fourteeners. However, on July 11, 2010, Kimberly perished in a rafting accident near Frog Rock while rafting the Arkansas River with friends. She was 23.