Colorado Fourteeners Initiative’s cornerstone trail reconstruction projects build sustainably located, designed, and constructed summit trails using durable, native materials. CFI’s goal is to ensure every Fourteener has at least one sustainable summit route to minimize impacts to the surrounding alpine terrain. Work is focused on the most fragile ecological zones containing alpine tundra plants; these areas are generally located above timberline and before one reaches areas of solid talus and rock. To maintain the natural character of Fourteener trails and reduce the ecological impacts of construction, our crews build walls, staircases, and other structures out of native materials that are found adjacent to the work site. In steep and hazardous terrain, complex high-line trams are built to move rocks from more distant locations to the trail work site.
From project initiation by our partners at the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, through reconstruction performed by CFI crews, building a sustainable summit route can take seven years or more to complete and can cost between $250,000 and $500,000 to build.
Watch as a team of volunteers from Osprey Packs helps build a section of elevated causeway on El Diente Peak in this stop-motion video.